Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What the heck?

This is a totally gratuitous picture, inserted simply because blog posts usually look better with an image, and I don't have one that's book-related! These sarong pieces are from Kuala Lumpur airport, courtesy of dearest husband who has just come back from a month in Ireland via Kuala Lumpur. The only book-related link I can think of is that I'd like to use the fabric to create divine book cloth... but that's another story.

Back to business. What do we do next? I've been admiring my burgeoning collection of Rosemary Dobson books, and it's great. The Southern Cross University Acquisitive Book Arts awards has - with very little publicity - changed from being an annual exhibition and prize, opening in August each year, to a biennial exhibition and prize, alternating with Artspace Mackay's Libris awards in autumn. I only found out by accident when I was up at Mackay in April and I swear I haven't seen any publicity about it in any of the arts-related paper or on-line publications to which I subscribe. This is good news for those participants aiming for the SCU Awards! You don't have to finish your books until the end of this year!

However... there are other exhibition opportunities earlier than that, if you're interested. For example, there's a new gallery space in Brisbane called Myrtle Street Studio. I found out about the gallery on Amanda's blog, dropped an email to Jay Dee and had a very positive response back saying our work is just right for the gallery and that we might be able to do something there towards the end of this year or the beginning of 2011. Jay Dee's website is under construction but you get a good feel for what she's doing at the gallery's blog.

Additionally I remember Ronnie talking about exhibition opportunities that she might be able to tap into PLUS we've been vaguely talking about putting together a paper for delivery at Impact 7 in Melbourne next year...

I guess my ideal would be as follows:

  • Work towards a paper at Impact 7 (I'm particularly interested in collaboration in art, of which our project is a good example) - the deadline for submission of proposals isn't until December but with geographic distance and the slow pace of my brain it might take a while!
  • Exhibit our first round of work at Myrtle Street Studio in October
  • Exhibit Round 1 again at the SCU Awards in February 2011 (probably at Barratt Galleries in Alstonville)
  • Start a second round of BookArtObject in October this year, aiming to have it finished by this time next year
  • Exhibit rounds 1 & 2 at Impact 7, to go with the conference paper
  • Rounds 1 and 2 could then go to the Libris Awards in 2012 if we wanted to... while we work on round 3!
If the idea of a conference paper doesn't work out I still think the timescales might work... but what do you think?

The real motivator for me will be finding another great piece of text to use as inspiration for the next round of books. I think it would be good to put another call out for participants: we have this blog and a growing band of followers, and if we had lots of interest we could run two streams.

I must admit I'd like to get the call for participants out soon and also ask people to look for texts to use because I really enjoyed the process of thinking about what/how to make my books and would really like to get into it again! Personally I also like the fact that we've taken such different approaches to the form of the books, and I don't particularly wish to place constraints on what we make. If you want to do a book that is a folded piece of paper, do it! If you want to do a 3-part codex binding, do it! The joy of using a text to link the works is that the text does link the works so I don't have a problem with diverse outcomes.


ronnie said...

hmmmm lots of meaty things to consider here sara - LOTS - and I doubt I'll be able to form a decent reply but I'll try to give you all an abridged indication of my thoughts...

round 2 of BAO?

yep - I'll put my hand up to have another go at a another text.... I'm in a very different situation now as opposed to when the first BAO project got off the ground (I'm smack in the middle of HDR stuff now....with no tea breaks until its done!) and I'm sure that I'd approach the next one very differently as a result.... but in essence count me in.


yep I've mentioned it before that I'm keen to explore some options - but I'd really like to hear others thoughts - is everyone cool with exhibiting or not? how? where? .... and even - with what? do you guys envisage that we have an 'exhibition collection' of works that can do the rounds.... or do you think that we should utilise our individual collections? (does that make sense? - what I mean is - say I organise something somewhere - should i send my collection of books? or sara organises something for SCU - does she then send in her BAO collection? or can/do we organise a separate set for all this...)

and I'm interested in a few exhibition options - including those mentioned by sara (love the idea of myrtle st - I just discovered this days ago!) - I'll happily put something together for impact 7 (or alternatives - has everyone heard of artisan books - melbourne - annual artists books exhibition?) - BUT I'd like to get some thoughts from everyone else beforehand... it may not be what others want to do...

as for other bits and bobs..... I'm happy to go with the flow...

ps I'm typing this as news of nasty storms (and mini twisters) are hitting the north coast - so I'm oping all is ok up your way sara!

SCB said...

Hi Ronnie, thanks for that... yes, we've got a LOT of rain! The dirt track hasn't washed away - yet - and the town isn't flooded - yet - but we have made sure we've got enough food etc to last a couple of days and petrol in the cars. Our building contractors managed to get in today which is great, but I'm not sure about the party we're supposed to be having on the long weekend... guests may not be able to get up here! Oh well. It's a good excuse to catch up with paperwork and read a book.

SCB said...

Oops - forgot to say anything about which books to exhibit. I don't have any more copies of MY book to sell, so any exhibition including my book will have to mark it NFS. In a way I was assuming that if I organised an exhibition I'd probably display my own collection, and if Ronnie organised something down near her then she might exhibit her collection. I think I learned something from Round 1, which is that I should specifically make a slightly larger edition so that I CAN farm out copies for shows and sell them... but this first time, I can't. If participants are interested in selling pieces, that's also fine - if I organised an exhibition at Myrtle Street, for example, everyone would have enough time to send me whatever of their other work they would like to have on display alongside the BAO pieces - they'd just have to trust me/the gallery with curating it properly. Do you think that works as a model for exhibiting our editions? I guess that if there is a cost involved in terms of printing exhibition flyers or whatever then whoever was putting additional work into the show to sell might share in the costs?

Ampersand Duck said...

Wow, lots to think about.
I'm including an exhibition copy in my edition, but like the idea of using the closest set to exhibit (although mine, as my last post intimates, might get a bit shop-soiled).

Like the idea of Impact 7, because I'm hoping to put my energies into a trade table rather than a paper, but am very happy to co-participate, or collaborate, whichever works!

A big fat yay to Myrtle Street, great idea, and thank you for explaining about the silence re. the Southern Cross. I've been encouraging students to enter & have been worrying about the lack of information out there.

My book will be finished way before the end of the year... and I'm happy to think about another. I'll get thinking about text too.

Amanda said...

I've taken a while to answer as I've been thinking about the options.

I am certainly in favour of exhibiting the works where ever we can. Multiple venues around the country would be great. The Impact thing is also something I am very keen on (bad sentence, I know).

As for Round 2, I am cautiously interested. I love being a part of this group, love the people, love the concept, love the bootie!!!, love the challenge BUT for me, it did become the only thing I've done for what will be 12 months by the time I finish.

Now I realize that is because of the type of book I made in part, so many pages, using new (to me) media etc ,but it's also the large (for me) edition thing, and of course my health. I'm keen to make a larger number of works in the next 12 months, if I can. That being said, I hope that can include BAO2.

One other factor will actually be more important to me in the final decision, and that is the text that the group chooses. It's not my intention in any way to restrict choices or subject matter, but for me, I do view my work as a whole, and the books that I make need to somehow relate and extend what I do. This isn't really a huge restriction, but it is just possible that the group might want to go with something that I just can't get my head around. In that case, I hope it will be fine for me to step back for this round, and to join in again for no. 3.

I'll think about text, but much as I am a great reader, I don't feel terribly confident in this area. I think there are definitely others in the group who'll come up with something fabulous.

As for Myrtle St, if there is anything I can do, as I am "here" on the ground, then let me know. How exciting!

Angela said...

Sorry for the long delay in answering. I would definitely be up for round 2 of BAO. I don't know if its going to be possible next time, but with the 1st project it actually fitted in with my own work and I don't see it as 'separate' from it. In fact its really inspired my own work and consolidated a lot of ideas which were just 'floating' around my head for a long time.

As regards text I can think of loads, maybe too much (bit of a poetry nut!). I really like this one by WB Yeats, but I can think of loads of other poems of his I love.

A Cradle Song

The angels are stooping
Above your bed;
They weary of trooping
With the whimpering dead.

God's laughing in Heaven
To see you so good;
The Sailing Seven
Are gay with His mood.

I sigh that kiss you,
For I must own
That I shall miss you
When you have grown.

[January 1890]

I am not saying we should use this poem just putting it out there to get things started, maybe others could post some poems/text?

Not sure about the exhibitions though, think that's going to be really awkward for me. I agree with Sara about the edition size, probably should have made 15 and then I would have more spares and I could have sent some to Australia - but the thought of making 5 more books after I'd done 10....