Saturday, December 31, 2016

bound knowledge - a series ...

Earlier in the year
I accidentally stumbled onto making ephemeral book art works
that I (rather quickly I must say) referred to as
my 'bound knowledge' series 

 the series spurred two assemblages and an initial postcard set
but mostly I shared the series over the year
somewhat sporadically and haphazardly on instagram

in case you don't do the insta -
here were a few of my favourite moments:


I made and uploaded the last of that series yesterday

but it struck me that aside from a few words
(and mostly from just a couple of days ago)
I haven't really mentioned much about the series anywhere


'Bound knowledge' - the extra bits

Regular bloggy visitors will know of my long held interests in all things booky and ephemeral art-making (often biblioclastic in nature) and that I've long been intrigued by knowledge and epistemology (the fancy word for 'theory of knowledge'): What does it mean to 'know' things? how do we learn? what are the differences between knowledge and wisdom and intelligence? what is tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge, empirical knowledge? how does knowledge affect ethics? what can we learn from indigenous knowledge systems? can there be universal truths?

For this collection I took books from my (ok I admit it --- LARGE) stockpile, stripped them of their covers/identity, wrapped them in various materials; some natural and found in situ, some from my fabric stash, then I placed the bound books in the environment. I quickly settled on a simple 'cross' wrapping for most books as, for almost 2 millennia, the book, knowledge and the church were intimately intertwined or bound to each other. By binding books with and to natural elements I was interested in honouring different knowledge systems. Each time I posted two pics of the work on instagram -- an up close and personal shot and an additional image taken from a distance. Having a photo of the work in its environment allowed me to add a pithy little philosophic musing on knowledge into the mix --- Plato, Kant, Hume, Nietzsche, Emerson, Socrates, Dewey, Russell all got an outing. I am happy to admit that I don't 'get' large chunks of philosophy (all the post-modern folk just make my head hurt) but in small pieces it seems to make more sense!

The bound knowledge series unexpectedly became a highlight in a challenging year.

tomorrow I'm excited to be commencing
a daily posting of the full 'lookUP' project to instagram
(at the LookUP.project

If you are on IG you might like to follow
I must say - the micro-poems of Melinda Smith are something to behold
I don't think you'll be disappointed

I'll see you on the flipside of 2016

Happy New Year everyone



Tuesday, November 22, 2016


  oh gosh

so slack

spending time hanging out in instagrammaland

instead of here

and then there have been Very Big Life things to deal with

but I managed to get a couple of things completed for this group show...

 which is still open at Spiral Gallery in Bega
(I think? see... I'm not paying much attention)

I put together a box of double-sided printed postcards
from what I'm referring to as the 'bound knowledge' series

(yes I'll post all 8 designs shortly -
hint - they have all been posted on my insta feed if you'd like to take a looksee)

 I also created 2 sculptural booky pieces for the show....

 (a wee detail)

  (another wee detail)

'Tacit Knowledge'

 Tacit Knowledge: repurposed bible, hand-twined string, crocheted cotton,
found feather, dried seed pod, cows tail hair, metal sprocket, glass.

"Tacit knowledge is the kind of knowledge
that is difficult to transfer to another person
by means of writing it down or verbalizing it."*
Riding a bike, knitting, making bread,
playing a musical instrument, speaking a language
are all examples of tacit knowledge.

'Explicit knowledge'

Explicit knowledge: repurposed bible, hand-twined string, found feathers, 
satin ribbon, metal washers, metal sprocket, glass.

 "Explicit knowledge is knowledge that can be readily articulated,
codified, accessed and verbalized.
It can be easily transmitted to others.
Most forms of explicit knowledge can be stored in certain media.
The information contained in encyclopedias and textbooks
are good examples of explicit knowledge."*

 installation plinth view


opening night pundits at 'interwoven'


*(thank you wiki)

Monday, October 3, 2016

reading matters...

Newest additions to my (heaving) book pile(s)

Dark Emu is small gem
all about indigenous agriculture in Australia (pre-colonisation)
I suspect it will become a part of the national curriculum
(its that important)

when I bought/read the title you can see it was shortlisted for
the Vic Premiers award which it subsequently won


The author, Bruce Pascoe, lives 'just down the road'
(ie a few hundred kms away)
He is the author of numerous fiction and non-fiction works
His children's books are rather special
(EJ recommends 'Fog a Dox')

If you are an Aussie you need to read Dark Emu

Talking of Aussies -- this one is quite a sweet delight...

full of evocative photos and reproductions of Joshua's work
(and yes - there are lots of lovely owls)

Not long after I devoured this book
I stumbled over an interview with Joshua in Dumbo Feather
he's what you'd call a real individual... 

I'm a total sucker for beautifully made books
(I joke that I only had kidlets to justify buying children's picture books!)
I recently encountered some images from 'The Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue-Eagle'
and just had to bring it to my stacks

Yes, its a work of fiction
but its so beautifully and sensitively done

and given their heritage,
I thought this was important to pass down to our kidlets

(this title was originally released in the 1990s but there are reprints - obviously!)


Indeed I love collecting those books that made a big impression on me
like these two titles by Leonard Koren

I first read these titles when completing my MVA
(which was before my MFA) --- ooo how I miss my university library...

Again, these date from the 1990s so when I saw two sparkly new copies
in the bookshop at the MCA in Sydney
I took it as a sign - into my bags they went!

I'm always on the lookout for titles to add to my library
I'd love to hear your recommendations
what's the best book you've read this year?


Friday, September 23, 2016

a post of few words

I haven't had time or the emotional energy

to post things that I had meant to post long long ago...

being (t)here treasures, recent additions to my library, current projects and events

I'm STILL unpacking workshop goodies
(I have one piece still to unwrap - its in the freezer of a 'being (t)here' friend)

so much has happened since going (t)here
mostly stuff that I can't really throw into a blog post

community grief, personal challenges

and of course still more sport than you can shake a hockey stick at

rather than wait until there is a moment free
I thought I'd share some recent pics (without the talky-talky)
from 'being (t)here' and being home...


xxx for Noa xxx


Thursday, July 28, 2016

(t)here, here, and all...

I'm just too busy to post a few more pics or whatsits from my time
being (t)here

mmmmmm pretty pretty scotts head - click to embiggen

(kiddies sport, more kiddies sport, still more kiddies sport, and a bit more kiddies sport currently has me chasing my tail)

India posted some delish pics
and an hilarious reply to an email that greeted her upon her return  

upon my return I received word that my 'all the...' booklets

(which were hurriedly finished hours before the deadline)

have been shortlisted for the Libris Awards

(yay team 'LookUP') 

and the Libris Awards will be on at the same time as Queensland Poetry Festival
where the LookUP project projection work will have another showing

(yay team 'LookUP')

so all roads seem to be leading back up to the north country

(including more sport sport sport sport sport sport sport SPORT) 

before I rush off to the studio
(ummmm ... yeah... about finishing those 'all the... ' booklets before the deadline
yeah.... nar... 
I didn't - I just managed to complete and to photograph one
so now I must hurriedly get the other two folded into shape)

here's a sneak peek of something from being (t)here before it entered the magical cauldron...

oooo the suspense eh! 


Sunday, July 24, 2016

being (t)here....

This time last week
I was driving/flying/driving
my way from my home by a small creek
to this home by a bigger creek...

to spend 4 days (of a 5 day workshop) 
with the amazing prophet-of-bloom herself

India Flint

in a workshop with the title

'being (t)here'
a site-specific masterclass about being in place 

now anyone who knows anything about India would know
that 'workshop' is not really the best way to describe
what spending time with this natural wonder really entails ...
its more 'multi-faceted experience' than simply a workshop.

and anyone who knows anything about me would know
what an extraordinary feat it is for me to get anywhere these days ....
and to go far far away doing something just for myself is....
unheard of!

I'll share a few pics of my time in the next wee while
because I'm mindful that words and pics don't really capture
what is at the core of art-making and word-wrangling in place
with a gathering of what India calls 'stitch sisters'

I'm still digesting the feast

and rather than describe every morsel in detail
I think I'll just give you a small taste of things

I've been on quite a journey this week

 it has been the best way to launch myself into the next half-tonne of my life


Saturday, July 9, 2016

'all the....'

At the risk of boring folk who connect with my bits on multiple platforms
I thought I'd share with you a recently completed project
(I've already shared many of these pics and info on insta and farcebook)

here is the first booklet from the 'all the....' series
based on work from the LookUP project

'all the sixteenths...' 

(all finished)

here's where things began...

like many of my book projects --- this project started with teeny tiny scrap paper models....

it took a few scrappy bits until I hit upon the form that I thought might work

   its a variation of a pocket concertina

then slowly

 I move from tiny models to larger more detailed versions.... 

folding folding

thinking thinking




trialing paper choices

much more careful folding ...

then slowly the final form emerged....

'all the sixteenths' from the LookUP project

 concertina booklet with pockets and paper covers 

folded from Magnani Vergata Avorio 145gsm laid paper

contains 12 offset print picture/poems/postcards from the LookUP series

 from the 16th day of each month in 2015

The postcards slide in and out of their little pockets 

that reveal the picture on each while hiding the poem

The pocket concertina form encourages the viewer to remove the picture/poem/postcard,

to contemplate the image/words

and to reorder the postcards in the pockets
so they form new narratives

a paper band holds the concertina closed and also acts as the title of the work

'all the sixteenths...'
is the first in a series of 'all the...'
folded concertina books for the LookUP project

mind you -- you may need to wait to see some more:
it takes

F....O... R ... E ...V ... E ... R

to fold each one of these!

Monday, June 27, 2016

tura marrang now showing...

 I have loved bringing some of my booky works (old and new)

to the opening of the beautiful new Tura Marrang Library and Community Centre
in Tura Beach - far couth coast NSW
(ie just down the road a bit from my creek home) 

The new space is featuring some of my book-boat images


and little book boats I've made
as well as a book boat building site
for library patrons to make some little paper book-boats
to add to the display

I've cheekily popped a few boats in odd places... 

my video work looked FAB in the AV meeting room for opening day ceremonies...

but without a doubt my favourite thing
is how my 2 loooooooooooong books look
in the funny little wedge shaped display cabinet...

the looooooooooong books and boat installation
will be on display for a couple of months

( I think they like hanging out in this space...)

I love it when a plan that seems good in theory
actually comes together as hoped in practice

"To build up a library is to create a life.
It’s never just a random collection of books."
Carlos María Domínguez