Friday, July 23, 2010


Isn't it lovely to have the completed set of our Absences books?

I took my collection across town to show my booky friend, Alison. And I left them in her care so she could have a "jolly good look" and photograph them.

She has sent photos to a sister who has worked in galleries and her sister was delighted with the images and wishes she could see the real thing. Hmmm...a trip in the offing, methinks!

Yesterday, Ali and I had an "art day out" (don't you just love such days!) and drove up to a little whistle-stop hamlet about half an hour from Town where a friend runs a gallery.

We'd gone to look at an exhibition of prints by co-members of Printbank. Neither of us had work in this show (busy on other projects!), but it was good to see what friends are producing.

We were sitting in the sunshine, drinking coffee and talking art...and I remembered that my Absences collection was in the car!

"Oh! Wonderful!" cried Lesley and she and Ali cleared the table, Lesley produced a clean cloth and some cotton gloves and I opened the package. And, again, that little frisson.

It is so helpful to stand aside and judge the reactions of viewers. In a gallery you can often do this anonymously. More difficult with people who know you, of course!

But Lesley, a painter and printmaker, looked with knowing eyes at each piece. And I was surprised and delighted to see even more new "angles" as I looked through her eyes.

I suspect that, over the years, I'll continue to see more in these books.

Jane's book
Lesley and Alison with the collection.

And I feel I should have said more to BAO members about my approach to my own contribution.

It was seeing a close friend begin to "slip away" from everyday things that led to my simple drawings.

Mary, a strong, practical woman who reared four children on a farm in the days of do-it-yourself has suffered several small brain seizures.

As I read the poem I had a vivid image of Mary drawing, free-hand, a border of pansies on a piece of linen which she then embroidered. Now, her hand shakes and writing is difficult and any attempt to draw has a child-like wobbliness.

An alone-ness she has to learn...


ronnie said...

what a lovely tale di

I suspect that each of our little collections will have many adventures in the time to come..... and it would be mighty nice to read about them wouldn't it?

thanks for sharing this one...

SCB said...

You can almost make a book out of the travels of the set! My book has been to the UK and the USA this year, and the whole set will hopefully go to Melbourne next year. Who knows where they will end up? I'm really glad your friends enjoyed looking at them, Di, adn thanks for sharing. Sara

Carol said...

Great to hear that your friends appreciated the books, Di. And that you had an art day out - very necessary for the soul. If I haven't already said that I'm fully in favour of those four new BAO members, then please take it as said.

Ida said...

Lovely, thanks Di. I am so impressed you made them wear the cotton gloves. I must admit mine need to be a little bit more tenderly tended. I am still agonising over making a box for them (i really don't like making boxes - but they need something)
I too Carol, am in favour of the new members and would love it if the group could stick together for at least one more project, but no pressure please, if you want 2 smaller groups I will just have to be in both!!! most importantly I can't wait to get started on the next one.
And any text will do - they are all wonderful but I think I like the Claire Benyon(?spelling) poem the best.

Angela said...

What a lovely story. It seems fascinating that my book is traveling around and so far away too. Its so nice to share, and I suppose that's what this whole thing is about, sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou,people. And, Angela,yes, the sharing part seems to be what impresses everyone. The fact that we did not all know each other and were prepared to share, warts and all.

Amelia said...

what lovely ideas, and a gorgeous book here. I am so tempted to join, but suffer form over comitting myself all the time *sigh*

It is strange how things in life make us put own life into perspective and seize the moment. A toddler very nearly ran under my car the other day. I was frozen in terror as I screamed and swerved and realised that a different outcome could have been a life-changing moment for many people if things had turned out differently - do glad it didn't!