Saturday, January 29, 2011

Its arrived!

Thank you Anna! It was such a treat to get in the post. I sat down for a long while with it; holding it up to light, loving the way the light played through the slits. I want to spend some more time with it soon; one of those books you don't quite want to put down....

Ideas transforming, perhaps solidifying this week? I hope so!


Friday, January 21, 2011

An opportunity for BAO artists..?

Early in 2010 I was lucky enough to have a piece selected for a juried exhibition at the Abecedarian Gallery in Denver, Colorado, in the USA. This week I saw a reminder from Alicia Bailey, the gallery's director, about Cornucopia II at the gallery, with electronic entries to be submitted by January 29th, which is a week tomorrow (Saturday).

If you click on the link to the gallery at you will find a link to the Cornucopia II prospectus in the left-hand column, just below the image of metal type! It mentions "additional submission requirements" for international entries so I emailed Alicia to ask about that. Her reply was that as it is a small gallery she doesn't have the resources to handle returns of international work so she asks that successful entrants whose work doesn't sell supply her with a US return mailing address.

In fact I did this myself with a different US exhibition last year: my local Post Office couldn't find a way for me to sort out pre-paid return postage to Australia and when I queried courier charges (UPS or DHL) it was going to cost me around $150 to get the (small, lightweight!) box home again so instead I gave the gallery the address of friends in California, stuck some extra money in the package and my friends had an early Christmas present!

I'm hoping to enter some work to the show and who knows, you might too! Good luck.

in the mail!

Yesterday I mailed a bunch of envelopes all stuffed up with my paper structures based on Wintersons' excerpt. I hope they all travel well and reach their destination in good shape, dry and whole!

As mentioned earlier, I will post a visual presentation of all stages of production soon, but not before all recipients get their packages. I hope I included everyone on the Art & Lies list: Amanda, Rhonda, Angela, Caren, Sara and Abigail you should all be receiving a US Priority Mail envelope soon. Please let me know when you get it and also in case my list is not complete... If I am missing anyone, I will immediately correct it; there are more "books", more envelopes, and plenty of opportunities to visit the Post Office!

Until we talk again, I hope you are all having a good week!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paper Wrestling

I thought it was about time I showed I am actually taking part in this project. I have lots of bits and pieces all over my desk and bench but this format is what I'm working on at the moment. Not the best photo but the best of a bad lot.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


It's a cold, rainy morning. The icicles succumb to their water torture... drip...drip...drip...

I pour another cup of Mocha-Java, look at the confetti'd attempts to convert one plain sheet of buff to the elegant image in my head. sigh...

The laptop signals a new message...I click the link...and am immediately reminded of Ronnie and her shed full of "rescued" books, waiting in silent cobwebs for the day they, too, will be re-formed.

So, as you see, I am still (mentally at least!) wrestling with my project. Nothing much in the "pretty pictures" line to show you, but ideas forming, melding, changing in the chroming solution of my head.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

still working on it

still working on it, the type on the cover is not final. and I have another «book» place on the other side of... the book.
I just hope I'm on the right «guiding lines» of this project...

progress report: completed!

Today the production of my version of "a book" based on the excerpt from Art & Lies was completed. In the next few days I will mail it to all of Jeanette Winterson's group. Sometime in the near future I plan to post images of different stages of production and also some notes on the thinking process that preceded my final design. 
It was very interesting for me to "revisit" the history, the hearsay and legends of the Great Library of Alexandria, and remember the related stories and lessons heard on the subject during my school years in Greece. 
I enjoyed tremendously developing this edition; it was a great exercise in many respects and now can't wait to see how these same lines of text are interpreted by the other artists. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Notes to Self

Ideas are forming. Still just notes to self, but getting there. Lots of ?


Saturday, January 8, 2011

progress report: update #2

The holidays are over, the new year is progressing faster than I would like, my flu like misery illness symptoms seem to be on their way (I hope for good!!!!) and the date I set for the BAO project completion is right around the corner! 
As you have probably guessed, I am totally immersed into finalizing my edition effort, or said in a simpler way: I am moving towards completing my 15 books or so, I hope soon! And although I thought I had planned everything super thoroughly, when time came to start production… I decided to go through more stages than I had originally anticipated.
You see I have never done before this kind of multiple originals edition; I usually create one of a kind structures, and my few works that required a number of copies were executed over a period of time and/or on demand. This time I planned to approach the assembling in a rather simpler way, I had decided to take some short cuts from my usual nerdy handling, but when time came I reverted to my old ways and standards. Having worked in the fashion industry, I cannot help but use fashion terms: I was planning a “mass production” approach, but ended up using haute couture techniques and processes.
Enough said; I have been enjoying every moment of it and hope to have everything ready, on time and shipped to the appropriate participants before the end of the month! So… stay tuned for the final details and views in the very near future!
Happy New Year to all, healthy, happy and successful times!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Southern Cross University Acquisitive Artists' Book Awards

We made it! Congratulations to everyone who took part in Edition One last year: our group entry has been accepted into the SCU Acquisitive Artists' Book Awards 2011! These are images of the two pages BAO will be taking up in the exhibition catalogue:

My individual entry also made it (phew, I have a couple of lines on my CV for 2011! Always a relief...) and I imagine that there are others in the collective whose individual entries were also selected, in which case congratulations to you, too. Eventually a list will be posted up at the Next Gallery web pages but I've just checked and nothing's gone up yet so I don't know who else is in the awards.

This good news means that Edition One members have to SEND ME THEIR BOOKS ASAP! I'll email you with the details but essentially I have to get all of the books up to Lismore by 4th February... aargh! If you can get the work to me as soon as humanly possible I think it will be safest for me to drive the work up to Lismore (a good excuse to catch up with some friends!), because there's no way I'm trusting all eight books to a courier...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, change of mind

I'm suffering from change-of-mind-itis, which is linked (medically speaking) to anxiety about my New Year's resolutions/everything and can probably only be resolved by a brain-ectomy, which I hope isn't happening any time soon. I guess I'll just have to live with myself, as usual. On the bright side, it's only January 2nd and I've clocked up hours in the studio! Hurrah!

While I was there I realised why my earlier idea of making a leporello sadly won't work: my darling Epson printer takes maximum A3 sized paper, and an A3 sized sheet of paper folded down into a leporello results in a few folded pages measuring approximately 7.5cm x 10cm which is very small. Even doing something on A3 etching paper such as 280gsm Hannemuhle will result in something fairly unsubstantial - hardly worth bothering with and definitely too small to fiddle about making a hard cover or a box.

Hmmm. So what should be Plan V? I've been through so many! And then I took a look at my bookshelf and noticed the fortuitous alignment of the Lark book of 500 Handmade Books and Carol Barton's The Paper Engineer, Volumes I & II.

I really, really want the form of my book to convey something about the physicality of the ideas within it. As mentioned before I struggle with the structure of my books before anything else (although content implicitly gets a mention in my thought processes along the way). What intrigues me most about Jeanette Winterson's text is the image I have in my mind of the boys crawling round among the scrolls, making tunnels and running up and down ladders to find things. And the second thing that intrigues me is what might have been included in the library.

I wondered if I could adapt an accordion structure with a folded cover to represent the tunnels through the greatest collection of knowledge available in the world at that time. This afternoon I played with a sheet of A3 paper, slit lengthways and joined together at the thin end to make a long strip that I could fold into an accordion book. Then I made "ladders" from tapered strips of paper and began to attach them to the pages.

I tried many variations, most of which were too complicated, before I settled on three ladders and one tunnel.

Yesterday I was playing with text, discovering that Aristotle's Metaphysics was written sufficiently far in advance of the library's construction that one might reasonably speculate that it would have been included in the collection. I learned New Testament Greek while at university and it was good to know that the Reverend Morgan-Wynne's thrice-weekly lectures retain some benefit because it turns out I can read Aristotle's Greek! I'm not saying I understand what all the words mean, mind,. After all, the New Testament has a somewhat limited vocabulary so while I'm fine with loaves and fishes I need a dictionary to help me with words like 'art' and 'experience'.

At the moment I'm thinking of printing the text from Art & Lies on the paper first, then blind embossing it with the Greek text before making and attaching the ladders.

It may all change again, of course, but as of this evening I feel a quiet satisfaction with the idea, at least!