Saturday, December 31, 2011

Introduction: Vicki O'Shea - Iceland

I am an expat Aussie (originally from Perth Western Australia) now living in Iceland, if you want to know more about this move it can be found here. I have a Fine Art background mainly in Printmaking and after graduating I was employed by 2 universities in art/education as a Print Technician and Lecturer. As time moved forward this led to a full time managerial position, whilst I worked with a fabulous team of people at university education centres across regional Western Australia and gained heaps from the experience, the position was quite stressful and basically put to rest my art practice. The move to Iceland in part has been so that I can rekindle my practice which has laid dormant for the last 6 years.

I have previously mainly worked in printmaking creating very large prints up to 1.2m x 2.4m in size, I was very fortunate to have access to the largest press in the southern hemisphere at one of the universities I worked at. I have never really delved into the artist book realm at all and have only completed a very basic bookbinding workshop when I was a student. I did however love the workshop and filed it away as something to pursue one day. The one day has now arrived! I have a small etching press and an old nipping press that I acquired just before leaving Australia and have set up a studio space here to work in.

I feel a little daunted by the prospect of editions...because I worked with very large prints I rarely walked that road...I get easily bored and always was ready to move on to the next new I am so messy! As bookbinding and editioning are fairly new skills to me I am sure I will be hounding the more experienced BAOers for tips and hints and many thanks for those posted so far.

I stumbled upon the BAO blog earlier in the year and followed it for sometime (albeit anonymously) I am in group 5, the title that initially grabbed me was taken but after much deliberation, to-ing and fro-ing I have finally settled on #89 Other people, other rooms...I am still rolling this title around my head and have no idea at this stage where it will lead.

My art practice has always been about researching and mapping the invisible, the matter that cannot normally be perceived by the human senses. The invisible being the secret counterpart to the visible, the framework to which all life is inextricably entwined.

I wish you all a very happy New will be a fireworks spectacular here in Iceland!

Introduction - Helen Malone, Brisbane Australia

I first heard about BAO through Ronnie (thanks Ronnie). We first met in Coffs Harbour in 2007, and I have followed her projects and those of BAO since then. I used to wonder if I would really want to make an edition of at least 10 books as I usually make unique books or small editions of 3-5. However, when I saw the call for entries this time, I felt very excited about the project and the prospect of joining the group, so I put my name down to participate. I've chosen #73 That Unbearable Lightness and I am in Group 5. There were so many great titles to choose from that it was difficult to choose one, and I'm hoping to make a second edition as well. I feel I'll be able to overcome what I perceived to be the boredom of making the same thing over and over again by working smart (thanks for the tips &duck).

These days I mostly work on artists books and bookbinding but dabble in stained glass windows - I'm working my way around the house. I've already written a paragraph about my work for the Contributors Tab, so I won't repeat it again, you can find it there and you can see my work on my website at The two books pictured, 'The Pleasure of the Text' and 'Fragments of the Book Leaf' have just gone to Fremantle WA for the exhibition 'Between the Sheets' in January.

I'm a keen gardener and will go into raptures at the sight of someone's vegetable garden, and I love research and am happy to spend hours on end in an archive somewhere. I've been working on my family history for years (or is that decades) and it's led me to some wonderful people all over the world.

I'm looking forward to getting started and being part of BAO and Edition 4.

blogging with BAO (tips for first timers)

Hello there everyone
This is Ronnie coming to you this last day of 2011 
from sunny Sams Creek

It's wonderful to see so many new contributors in the BAO sidebar - as a contributor you're all now joint authors of the BAO blog - and I'm sure we're all looking forward to hearing more about you - but you might be wondering or worrying about exactly WHAT to post (and for those new to blogging/blogger - HOW you post something)  So here's a quick guideline for you

What to put in your first post

Tell us all about yourself!  tell us your name as it appears on the participants list (if you're comfortable doing so) - or let us know what group you're in for edition 4 and what title you're doing (and everyone can work it out cryptically!); tell us where you come from; tell the world a little bit about your art background - this doesn't have to be as onerous as a full bio or resume - just let us all know your passions/ interests and maybe how you came to BAO

If you have a website and/or blog and/or twitter account - here's your chance to tell all so we can link and follow and admire! If you are comfortable with blogger - you might to link these sites (it's too easy - simply highlight the word/s you want to link, click the word 'link' in blogger toolbar - paste or type the web address in the box) happy days!

Pictures are ALWAYS good

If you can, say it in pictures! If you can add an attachment on an email, you can upload a pic to jazz up your post - just remember use jpg and reduce the file size... On the BAO blog, choose 'medium' for your pic size and your photo is guaranteed to fit in the post (and not hang over the edges!)...

(here's a detail pic of my BAO second edition book work
I've chosen 'medium' pic size - if you click the pic, you'll see I uploaded a larger original file...
I usually resize my pics to 20cm wide, 72dpi as this is perfect for my art&etc blog but too big for BAO )

A little bit of consistency 

Generally it's best not to fiddle too much with the typefaces/size/colour in your post (there are of course always exceptions to this 'rule'!) and I'm sure I don't need to say it - but I will anyway..... explicit content or offensive language is not appropriate on the BAO blog...

What not to post

*Administrative questions ("I've lost the address list, can you send me another one", "can I change my title" etc etc are best sent via email to Sara - she is the BAO group originator, and remains its centre, its hub, its fount of wisdom) Talking about questions - it's important to remember not everyone reads every 'comment' on every post - if you ask a question in 'comments' it may be left dangling in comment-limbo-land....

*Off topic posts ("today I went to the shop and bought milk" I suggest may NOT be BAO post-worthy... unless, of course, you are doing a book project that involves shopping for milk....) Remember this is a project-oriented book art blog - tell the world all about your BAO project - progress posts/pic are positively encouraged! Aside from your BAO work you might like to share other book art things: Been to an interesting book art event? Tell us! Got an interesting book art tip to share? Please do! Got a technical question you'd like an opinion on? Ask away!

I've had a wonderful time with BAO (I've been on board since edition one) I love the friendly, supportive and egalitarian atmosphere of the bloggy group - the books made and received have been a bonus! Kudos and big thanks to Sara for making it all happen.

Last words - If you're new to blogging or blogger I'm sure its all a bit daunting right now - Don't Panic! take the first step by clicking on the 'new post' (or the pencil icon) and type away - save things as a 'draft' and keep playing until you're happy with it (using 'preview' allows you to check your post before it's published). Even after things are published you can still make changes by choosing 'edit'. There's nothing you can do that will break the blog - so experiment, play, try things and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it - we were all first timers at one stage....

oh and have a happy new year!


(Rhonda Ayliffe - Group three)

blog - art & etc
website - rhondaayliffe
twitter - bookronnie
facebook - rhonda ayliffe


Yet another introduction – Jac

I am an Art and Design teacher from the north of England.

As long as I can remember I have been interested in reading and in making things. Add to this a more recent interest in all forms of printmaking and Artist’s books become the logical outcome.

I followed BAO most of last year and am really looking forward to being able to participate this time round

Is Jeanette W. Archival ??? !!!

Excellent Post "BAO Tips" by Ampersand Duck concerning points to bear in mind when creating an edition of artists books for BAO.  Oh how I wish this had been here when I started my edition AND that I had been more in contact with my fellow participants from the UK - I say this with particular regard to acquiring particular art materials and so forth for the project.  This ultimately affected my choices and outcome - so bear this in mind. 

One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is concerning the permanence or use of materials that are archival.
It is a factor that I'm aware of - as is the case when making my artworks generally (which are printmaking based in the main), I always use archival quality materials.  

In fact I chose to not use particular materials in my book INIMOIS as I wasn't quite sure as to whether they would be sufficiently  archival.

The other thing  was  that I remembered  that there had been a sale of a set of books from Edition One to the artists book collection of an Australian University  and felt that we ought to bear that in mind.  I mean I wouldn't want to let the side down by doing something that would jeopardize a sale, to a collector.

Yeah what was said about the size of your books in relation to postage costs is seriously worth consideration.  Mine ended up being about one point one kilos per book - which is of course ridiculous and rendered the international  postal costs  prohibitively expensive - thank the lord for the support of good friends.

Enjoy it and blog about it even if you don't publish the actual posts until after you have delivered  your books to all of your fellow participants, you will be glad you documented  all the trials and errors the research and development.

I plan to do that this time around.

best wishes


P.S. excuse silly post title 

 I am wondering whether Jeanette has been sent her set of "Art and Lies" books ?

-  it would be nice to have some feedback from her. 


Trying not to be 'unknown' (any more than usual, anyway). Still haven't found out where/how one signs in as an author. Checking to see if this posting makes on an author automatically. If so, I shall be glad to post an introduction. In the meantime, Happy New Year from me and "My Ancestor." (Group 7) Victoria

Friday, December 30, 2011

Elisabeth Omdahl, group six.

I am a printmaker based in Norway, an absolute beginner in bookmaking.Doing an edition scares me, but the challenge was too tempting!
I was lucky to get my first choice of titles, so I will be struggeling with "Silent Wolves".

Another Introduction

Just a short first post to introduce myself and my bookworks practice to other Edition 4 BAOers.
I am a bookbinder and book artist working out of a small but comfortable and well equipped studio in Canberra (Australia).
I first became involved with the book arts as an architect, looking for a ‘side project’ that could be realised in weeks or months (rather than the years required for large building projects) and, once hooked, trained as a fine binder for several years with one of Australia’s leading contemporary book designers. With this background, my work is as much about the detail of containers for content as it is about the content itself.
I exhibit regularly with Artbound, Australian Bookbinders’ Exhibitions and the Canberra Craft Bookbinders’ Guild (photos of pieces from a current and recent exhibition above) and teach traditional bookbinding skills to artists and others through a local community organisation.
I first became aware of BookArtObject just as Edition 1 was wrapping up but too late to sign-up for Editions 2 or 3 so am looking forward to finally being part of one of its projects, rather than just an envious onlooker.

BAO Tips

As a seasoned veteran of BAO projects and also as someone who has been teaching book arts with non-booky students for a while now, I thought I'd add to this wonderful flurry of introductory posts with a bit of (hopefully) helpful advice. Sorry if I'm mentioning the bleeding obvious, but it's always good to have some sort of checklist, or even reality check!


paper folding

Something to keep in mind when planning your edition is just that: it's an edition. You are making multiple copies of your one fantastic idea, so make sure you are prepare to do whatever your process is multiple times. So don't be too ambitious, keep it relatively simple.

Also, think about ways to make the editioning easier. Break the process into chunks or steps, and batch various tasks. Make jigs to help you. Jigs are tools and templates, often temporary (like a corner made of boxboard so that your page stays square), sometimes permanent (like a bookbinder's piercing cradle {snaps to Paper Chipmunk!}). Using jigs is not cheating, and you'll be surprised how many binders and artists use them. In fact, if you have a favorite one, no matter how simple, please share!

I also highly recommend making a maquette copy before editioning. This is a trial run using exactly the same materials and process as the final edition. It's no use doing tests on cheap paper only to find out during editioning that the more expensive paper runs or fluffs. Test things like paper grain and whether your paper cracks when folds before you get too invested in the process to change anything. This particular point will save you TEARS, people. In the sad sense, not the ripping sense.



In the first project, we all merrily made a only copy for each person in the group, with maybe an artist's proof copy for spare, and suddenly there were opportunities to exhibit, and a few institutions were interested in buying a set. GAH! You'll find that people will want to buy a copy of your work outside of the general project too. So what I'm saying is: make the edition a little larger than just your basic eight copies.

Let's break it down:
  • the group, which Sara B(owen) has kindly kept to 8 people
  • the author, who in this case is Sarah B(odman)
  • at least one exhibition copy
  • if you add another two for external group sales, that also allows for extra exhibitions!
  • You may find that you want to swap works with people who are in the project, but not in your group. Say, an extra 3.
That comes to 15 copies, and I'm being conservative. You also need to allow for mistakes: I'd normally make 20 to aim for a perfect 15. Or you could make 18 to aim for 15, if you're really confident. And if you do make 18/20 perfect books, HUZZAR! More for the world at large. And a BIG pat on the back for you.

So this, of course, leads back to point #1. Have fun, don't be too ambitious.


brown paper packages

Remember also that this is essentially a mail art project, so that you are posting your masterpiece all around the world. If you make a big, heavy book, you will be paying the postage and it will add up on top of all those lovely materials you used to make it. That's usually ok if you're selling the books, because you can factor these overheads into the book price. But we're swapping, so you only have the extra copies to sell.

STOP PRESS: Di made a great comment below that I feel compelled to include here because of its importance:
One thing that some folk may not be aware of: Australia quarantine laws are very strict and if they find anything containing feathers, seeds, bones or the like they will do one of two things: destroy the whole package or offer to fumigate it at the recipient's cost.
So do be mindful of what you include in your books!

Incidentally, it's totally worth it when everyone's book arrives in the mail, truly. I just want to get you thinking about size, because it matters. In fact, it matters also with your editioning process. Something very small is as difficult to produce as something very big... just saying.

I'm not in any way trying to tell you to make a small, simple book. I am trying to get you thinking about the parameters of this project and the challenges that it throws at you. It's a fabulous challenge, and I'm sure all the other former participants will agree with me that it makes you think about the practicalities as well as the more fanciful creativity.

Look at Sara B's first book: it was a very cool rotating tetrahedron, a complex folding thing of beauty, and it needed protection for transit. She made a wonderful box to go around it, and included a lot of the necessary features (title, poem, colophon) into the box structure. Ah! Which leads me to:

4. COLO...what?


I wrote a post about this right back at the beginning, and I encourage you to read it. We don't have to be quite so stringent with this particular project, but it will be worth acknowledging and including the provenance of the title you're using, since this project is, excitingly, an artist's book about an artist's book about an artist's book.

And I know this is a really BASIC point, but I have to say it, just as I say it to every student I encounter: make sure your name is somewhere on the book, even if only in the colophon, as well as your signature. I hate looking at a book or even just a print and having NO IDEA who the artist is, because the only information is an illegible signature. If you're proud of your work, own it, and make it easy for the reader/collector/institution to know who you are. They might even buy your other books as a result.

I hope that all helps!

Feel free to ask questions of me or anyone else who has been through it, and if you have additional tips, add them to the comments or write your own post... that's what this blog is all about, isn't it?


Sara has done a pretty good job of assigning us our groupies, but I have a question and thought others may be thinking the same, so I'll put it out here.

Some of us are doing two titles. (Thus far, only Caren has her two listed. Could we know what others have chosen, please?)

My question is: do we remain in our allotted groups (I'm in #4) for both titles or were you planning to mix it up for the second run? Surely not! You and your girl would be housebound for ages!

My second title, by the way, is "Just Add Water."

Oh, yes...the "dinahmow" link in the sidebar comes back here to Blogger, but my comments link should take you to, my blog.

Note from Sara - hope you don't mind me jumping into your post, Di, but I thought it was easier to add to what you've said rather than do a comment which people might not see!

My plan is to sort out second books once everyone has had a chance to choose their first title. I'm keeping all the first, second and third choices in a spreadsheet, but not everyone wants to do a second (or third!) title, and there are still another 8 - 10 people who expressed interest in participating in this round but who haven't told me which titles they would like to use. Once the first groups are all off and running I'm going to email everyone to ascertain who is doing further titles. Duckie is a bit of a special case because she's doing a dos-a-dos binding which means the two titles she's using will be in the form of a single physical book, so she's straddling two groups and making twice as many copies of her book so that participants in both groups get a copy. Otherwise she wouldn't have got a second title yet!

When I know who wants to do a second book title I thought I'd mix up the groups again so you're with different people (I'll get darling daughter to put the names in a hat again!). Hope this makes things clearer... any comments, let me know. If they're specific questions probably best to send me an email.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Silly Video

I've had fun and games posting off my books for Edition Three Art & Lies: I got to the post office armed with customs declarations and remembered I hadn't actually addressed the envelopes... then I realised that it might not be completely obvious how to open the darned book, once you get it. That's my excuse for spending an hour or so putting together a video - my first YouTube upload! - for your pleasure. Editing, audio and credits are all down to my husband, who understands the technology. There is a soundtrack to the video: The Jags "Back of my Hand" from way back in the late 1970s, which I loved when I first heard it, and once I found it on a compilation CD which was my Christmas present to myself I realised I still love it.

Anyway, for those of you in the Art & Lies group, this is how you open and close my book! Of course, it could take anything up to two weeks for some of the books to get to you...

Book Art Object, My Experience

Welcome to all the new people who have joined Book Art Object. It is really exciting and I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone and seeing all the work.

To all those teetering on the brink of joining up I have put a post on my own blog about my experience of Book Art Object. It may just encourage you to take that leap :-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Big Thanks

I would just like to say a BIG thank you to Sara for organising all of this and
being gracious enough to let new people sign up and join in. It's a great opportunity.
Looks like it's growing like Topsy! Congratulations.
I am really looking forward to this new (for me) creative adventure and the chance
to create with other artists is just fabulous, since for most of us, the endeavour of creating
is usually a solo effort.
I have already had some very friendly artists from Blogland get in touch with me, and I can't wait to hear from more.
Below are a few of the books I have created for my upcoming exhibition "Ex Libris Olim (from the books of the past)"in January. They are titled "Cloudland", "Coglock", "Ghost Book".
The only real boundary for these works has been that they are created from books which have been discarded by others. They also hark to things which are no longer useful or existent.
I have a strong feeling that books are becoming less central to our everyday lives and so I treat them like an endangered species which needs care, protection and attention to survive.

For those in Group 3 (or anyone else - all most humbly welcome!) -
here is a link to my blog - rObfOs blogspot

A first-timer Introduction

Hello! Where do I start? The reason Sara started the BookArtObject experiment,
"I started BookArtObject a couple of years ago because I was feeling a bit disconnected having moved to Australia from the UK in 2006"

is familiar and a disconnect I have been thinking about for a while. Not that I've moved to a different place, but that there is really no art community that I am consciously a part of. Last spring, I seriously entertained the idea of entering the new Master's in Book Arts program at the University of Iowa. After much soul-searching and looking at the logistics involved, I had to conclude that it was not to be. I live about 2 hours away, with a six year old daughter and husband. I have a press, my little shop is getting pretty well-equipped, and I have been teaching myself what I need to know for years. I have the basic background in fine art (Maryland Institute, College of Art), and became interested in artist's books, and especially printing letterpress as an intern after college at Pyramid Atlantic, Center for Book Arts and Papermaking. I've made books of poetry like this one:

Out of the Blue by Aaron James McNally

Letterpress printed

In the last few years I have been moving my thinking and conceptualizing back to artist's books and getting really excited about the possibilities of a medium that I have a strong affinity for. I like writing, words, printing, making multiples, and I'm just a bookworm at heart. Books have really given me a mental life. As a girl growing up with a hearing loss, mainstreamed as they say, into regular schools, I could almost pass for normal with my hearing aids on. That little place, "almost" is a tough place to live. "Almost" understand, "almost" heard, "almost" got the joke....Can you see why books with their complete accessibility were a life saver for me? A door opens....

Anyway, last year I made a little piece that addresses the hearing loss concept a bit. Very few people have seen it; it still has not made it's way out into the world. Here are some images:

Here is my description I of the work:

“She Didn’t Know” is a subtle exploration of the experience of having a hearing loss. Rather than reading a straight-forward text, viewers interact with the fourteen pages or packets, which become progressively larger. Each translucent packet has an illustration painted on the front, with faintly visible backward reading text inside. As the viewer turns it over in puzzlement to read the text, small glass beads swish inside, providing a curious sound and another layer of sense that must be deciphered. Only with effort, by pressing the packet, can each line of the fourteen line sonnet be read. In this way, the viewer gets a sense of how hard a person with a hearing loss must work to understand conversation in a group.
The poem’s content and visual imagery utilize metaphor, and the typography references fairytales, complete with drop cap paragraphs, as the speaker’s (and viewer’s) imagination strains to build a story around snippets of heard


I was really intrigued to find this group of book artists who exchange work and presumably get to know one another while working, who can follow each other's work while it is being created through blog posts. I am taking a leap of faith that I can measure up to the caliber of these artists! I feel ready; I'm excited about this and I can't wait to be a part of this community!

Julie Russell-Steuart

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I was looking for a photo of myself but couldn't find one on this computer so I've uploaded some recent work and some favourite books.
I come to the book arts through paper-making which has had me enthralled for around thirty years so much so that I've been very involved with Papermakers of Victoria (yes I'm a Victorian, have always lived in the suburbs apart from the year I spent on the overland trail back in the early 1970's I only got as far as India but that's another story!) and now am President and Editor for IAPMA, the International Association of Paper Makers and Artists. I have been blogging for about three years but am very occasional. I use the blog as documentation of my work and occasionally to promote workshops and exhibitions. I have a couple of workshops coming up 'Sculptural Books' in Hartwell (January) and Accordion Play in Meeniyan (February).
I have had a web presence for many years, starting with a geocities site in the mid 1990's where I taught myself very basic html, I still use it to maintain my base site but I don't make changes there very often.
Here are some books I made last month for PoV's Christmas book swap they are recycled archival board that has been embossed with lace.

One of my favourite books, it is called Greetings from India and is a flag book so the hands wave when the book is manipulated. The hands are cyanotypes on handmade paper and are backed by scans of letters I wrote home from India (in the early 70's, my mum kept them all!). A copy of this is in the Artspace Mackay collection.

This is probably my most recent work, it is a pulp painting on canvas, it is just called Vessel 1.

I have chosen pulp fiction for my theme in the exchange, it seemed an obvious choice, I don't know what I'll do yet but it is bound to have some pulp involved.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Groups! The story so far...

I wanted to make the process of putting the artists in groups for Edition Four as fair and impartial as possible so I enlisted my daughter's help!

I wrote all the names on one side of a small piece of paper and the artist's country on the other side before folding them up and putting the pieces of paper in my hat, country side out. Darling daughter had only two rules to follow: ensure a good mix of countries and no more than eight names per group! Even she didn't get to find out the names until after the groups were put together.

So here is the grouping for BookArtObject Edition Four. It isn't entirely finished: if you can't see your name on the list it's probably because you haven't responded to my email to let me know which title/s you would like to use for your books. As more names come in I will either add them existing groups (ensuring no more than eight people per group) or add more groups.

Group One (now closed):

Ama Bolton (UK) - #95 Paradise Lost
Rachel Marsden (China) - #17 No 43
Jack Oudyn (Australia) - #85 Transparent
Anna Mavromatis (USA) - #64 Counting
Caren Florance (Australia) - #12 It's Raining/#58 Stilled Lives
Celeste Hansel (USA) - #65 To See What He Could See
Anne Pelikan (USA) - #29 Who Knew?
Anne Lydiat (England) - #27 White Lilies

Group Two (now closed):

Jac Balmer (England) - 351 Rapunzel
Momo (USA) - 380 A Work in Progress
Katy German (USA) - #75 Night Work
Fiona Dempster (Australia) - #34 A Subversive Stitch
Lauren Faulkenberry (USA) - #6 Last Night
Tara Bryan (Canada) - #5 Making Bread
Terence Uren (Australia) - #41 It's Beginning to Hurt
Lynn Skordal (USA) - #88 The Clearing

Group Three (now closed):

Jennifer Vignone (USA) - #18 The Locker
Rhonda Ayliffe (Australia) - #96 Knowledge
Kalmia Strong (USA) - #19 More Volcanoes
Robyn Foster (Australia) - #69 The Missing Typewriter Key
Angela Callanan (Wales) - #1 There was an Old Lady
Meg Madison (USA) - #3 A Boy Waiting
Barbara Simler (Canada) - #92 Ghosts
Rebecca Chamlee (USA) - #93 Now I'm a Cowboy

Group Four (now closed):

Gail Stiffe (Australia) - #83 Pulp Fiction
Gillian Neish (Scotland) - #47 While Memory Lasts
Bertie van der Meij (Netherlands) - #74 Dust
Libby Barrett (USA) - #36 Caterpillars
Diane Patmore (Australia) - #71 The Daisy Chain
Amanda Watson-Will (Australia) - #4 A Day Just Like Any Other
Shawn Simmons (USA) - #100 An Exercise
Genevieve Nordmark (USA) - #53 Protein

Group Five:

Vicki O'Shea (Iceland) - #89 Other People, Other Rooms
Michelle Ray (USA) - #39 Three Ships
Helen Malone (Australia) - #73 That Unbearable Lightness
Julie Russell-Steuart (USA) - #99 Throwaway
Sandra Cowan (Canada) - #9 Pulling Up
Trace Willans (Australia) - #31 The Earth
Aine Scannell (Scotland) - #84 The Birds

Group Six (now closed):

Abigail Thomas (England) - #16 Turn Left
Barbara Milman (USA) - #77 Not Quite Drowning
Scott McCarney (USA) - #38 Suicide
Sara Bowen (Australia) - #33 Maps of the Invisible World
Elizabeth Omdahl (Norway) - #7 Silent Wolves
Penny Peckham (Australia) - #48 A Girl Waiting
Ellen Gola (USA) - #87 Superstition
Caren Florance (Australia) - #12 It's Raining/#58 Stilled Lives

Group Seven (now closed):

Gene Epstein (USA) - #42 Delicacy
Alicia Griswold (USA) - #24 Rowing Boat
Victoria Cowan (Canada) - #30 My Ancestors
Laura Rowley (USA) - #81 Hope
Michele Olsen (USA) - #40 Equations
Amy Spencer (USA) - #20 Bright Orange
Rhonda Miller (Canada) - #60 Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
Lisa McGarry (Italy) - #67 Mise en Place

Group Eight (now closed):

Jane Horton (UK) - #35 A Fork in the Road
Alicia Bailey (USA) - #91 I make my Wallpaper from your Postcards
Marion Pearson (Australia) - #21 No Rainbow
Cheryl Penn(South Africa) - #50 Authenticity
Kathy Boyle (New Zealand) - #94 Just Add Water
Katarina Hruskova (Ireland) - #8 Nothing
Xizhi Li (England) - #28 That's Life
Maureen Piggins (Canada) - #37 The Darkness

There is still time to join up! Just use the form in earlier blog post or drop me an email, or even just post a comment on this post and include your email address... I will be emailing all participants so that you each have the contact details for the other members of your group.

Thanks everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Another big reveal

I think it is finally safe to show you images of my contribution to Art & Lies (Edition 3). I believe that all the overseas recipients must have their copies now – I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for them.

So over on my blog I have posted a little video I made to give you a bit of a feel for my book, “The Great Library of Alexandria”. It’s a structure where handling is a key part of engaging with the work and coming to understand it, so I thought video was the best way to overcome distance. Unfortunately you won’t have a sense of the texture the papyrus has, but I haven’t worked out how to manage that!

I’ve decided to include the letter I posted off with the copies going overseas, so you can see a little more about the way the book came together.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Edition Four update

Wow! 32 people have signed up for Edition Four so far and I had a look at the geographical spread this time: we've got artists from England, Scotland, Wales, Iceland, Norway, China, Canada and the USA as well as Australia... a cosmopolitan selection!

Titles are beginning to fill up with most people making three choices. There have only been two clashes where someone's first preference has already gone, which is good. If you've already signed up you will probably have had one email from me already asking you to choose your titles. In a little while I'll be back in touch to confirm which primary group you're in, and establish whether you wish to take part in a second group.

If you haven't already signed up, the form is still active and we'd love to have you!

Meanwhile, best wishes and I hope you have a great holiday,


Thursday, December 8, 2011

BookArtObject Edition Four - Call for Entries!

Yes, it's that time of year again folks... No, no, nothing to do with elderly men squeezing down chimneys, snowfall or reindeer with cold noses, but the time when BookArtObject slides gracefully into a new project! Building on the experience of Edition One (Rosemary Dobson's Learning Absences), Edition Two (Claire Beynon's Paper Wrestling) and Edition Three (Jeanette Winterson's Art & Lies), we're about to start Edition Four, based on Sarah Bodman's An Exercise for Kurt Johannessen.

Those of you who are keen readers of this blog will already have noticed the conception of this project, which came out of the Impact 7 international printmaking and artists' book conference held in Melbourne at the end of September. Sarah Bodman inspired many at the conference with her suitcase full of wonderful books, and also her tale of writing a book of 100 short stories based on one of her favourite books, Kurt Johannessen's Exercises. One of Kurt's unlikely instructions is to "Write 100 stories and bury them in the forest", which Sarah duly did. The book of stories is now quietly decomposing in the soil and leaf litter of the forest floor near Limfjordscentret, where the Doverodde festival is held in Denmark. You can see beautiful photographs of Sarah's book and the place where it is interred here, but Sarah carefully arranged it so that she doesn't know exactly where the book is buried and therefore can't be tempted to dig it up! Luckily, even though the finished book is out of reach, the story titles are still available and can be downloaded from the University of the West of England's Centre for Fine Print Research here.

So the brief for Edition Four is this: there are 100 story titles in Sarah's book, and at the bottom of this blog post is an interactive form you can fill in to send BookArtObject your expression of interest in being part of the project. Participants will be allocated one story title from Sarah Bodman's book, and will use that title as the kick-off point for producing a small edition of artists' books.

BookArtObject is a friendly group of artists, some of whom have been part of all three editions produced so far. We've developed some general "rules" as to how the editions work, and I'm setting them out here so that anyone new to the way we do things can work out what's involved! Artists taking part in Edition Four will be grouped together, with no more than 8 artists in each group. Participants are asked to make enough copies of their own personal edition that they can send one finished book from their edition to each of the other participants in that group, free of charge. In addition, participants are asked to make at least two other copies: one for Sarah Bodman and one for exhibition. The copy for Sarah Bodman will be sent to BookArtObject and then forwarded to Sarah once the project is completed. If you would like to make more copies and sell them yourself that's absolutely fine! From time to time BookArtObject tries - but can't promise - to arranged exhibitions for its projects and participants may be asked to send a copy of their book in if they would like to take part in an exhibition opportunity. Participants pay all the costs of making their own edition and sending it out to other artists in their group. Exhibition costs for exhibitions arranged by BookArtObject are usually shared between participants.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


There's a new journal out, focused on artistic research, called amazingly, Journal for Artistic Research. My friend Ursula Frederick sent me the link. She's an amazing artist, Ursula: a fully trained anthropologist doing a visual arts PhD, treating her subject (cars) in an artistic yet anthropological way. Fling into that her artistic obsession with popular music, especially music and cars, and it all makes my brain hurt.

Speaking of brains hurting, check out one of the articles from this journal, called Taking the Book Apart. It's a very interesting read, except that it takes my brain apart with the way it's laid out. There's a reason why single-column codex layouts have survived so long, peoples. It's because you can actually take information into your brain properly without being overwhelmed.

If you want to look around the journal a bit, the orientation is pretty spiffy. Hover your mouse over the top margin, just below the URL line, and a little menu pops down. Quick, catch it before it goes away again! Dammit, there it goes.

Enough whinging! Maybe I'm just getting old (get off my lawn, you pesky kids!). I thought Ronnie especially might like a bit of the hot glue gun action happening in some of the images...

Hey, when are we going to start talking about the next project? The one with all the story titles?

Um... could someone just pick up Sara and dust her off a bit? I'll go find a stiff drink for her...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's true

I really am working on the books!

For some reason Art & Lies has thrown up problems for me at every turn: how to make my first reduction lino cut, how to support the print, how to bind it, what text to use and how to include it, creating the title, 'closing up' the book by finding a way to make the covers that would add to the overall structure... So much for all my early angst about form versus content! This time the form and structure have been not so much dictated by the content as evolved from a wish to bring various elements of my thinking about the Winterson text together: the owl (symbol of Athene, goddess of wisdom), ladders (library ladders) and text (from Aristotle's Metamorphoses, probably included in the Library of Alexandria's collection).

So there you have it, an update on a book that has been exercising me for a year... I had a lovely plan to get this book out to all the Art & Lies participants as a Christmas present, with - for some of you - the catalogue from the Southern Cross University Acquisitive Artists' Book Awards that I promised you earlier in the year. Well, I can dream. It's probably more realistic to say that I will be posting these books in early January, so you can expect them a week or two after that. If I manage to get them out earlier I will, but I seem to recall that stressful deadlines are NOT supposed to be part of BookArtObject, so I'm trying not to get stressed by imposing a deadline on myself! Meanwhile, those of you who are part of the Paper Wrestling group are allowed to be amused at the idea that I am simultaneously grappling with Claire Beynon's poem... The good news is that I've already done the print AND decided on the form of the book. The bad news is that I haven't progressed beyond that in any important way, for lots of reasons that you can read more about over on my other blog.