In New South Wales it is the autumn school holidays and I've been trying to make progress on all sorts of things, including my contributions to BookArtObject Edition Four. One of the things I have found most interesting about the blogging aspect of being part of BAO is the work-in-progress posts. It's really intriguing to see the workings-out, scribbling, going back to square one and the sheer effort that goes into making artists' books. I'm certainly very familiar with scribbling and then going back to square one in my arts practice, as anyone who has read my earlier posts will agree.
I managed to finish the first of twelve books in this edition in time to send it off to the Libris Awards at Artspace Mackay, in Queensland. It's in the post and on it's way and my fingers are crossed that it gets there by the deadline on Saturday.
I find finally putting a piece together quite interesting: I never seem to manage to anticipate the process, despite having been around the same loop several times before. I made the prototype but when it came to the final version I realised I still had to work out some knots: the end papers didn't work the way I wanted, the yellow cover with the red lettering seemed clumsy and brash, and I was worried that the spent match could catch on the delicate cut-out lettering of the slip-cover. A week of trial and error has resulted in changes and solutions: the end papers are now an inner wrap cover that sits inside the box and folds around the book, at once providing space for the colophon and protecting the slip case from the match. I worked out how to insert the match into the cover and then light it, so that it singes the paper uniquely on each book and I smoked the covers for extra effect. I couldn't get any appropriate cover paper locally but I had sheets of grey instead of yellow, and I think they work better. So now it's just a case of cutting out an extra 11 sets of pop-ups and cut-outs and they'll be in the post to fellow group members - but not for a week or two.
Meanwhile I've been working on another project: a fundraising exercise using Pozible, an Australian crowd funding platform similar to Kickstarter in the US and UK - Kickstarter doesn't work in Australia. As you know, I'm off to the Impact 8 conference in Dundee, Scotland in August to deliver an illustrated talk and exhibition including work from BookArtObject Edition Four. Sarah Bodman will be there and has kindly agreed to lend me her author copies of your work for my talk and exhibition, so that I don't have to fight with the logistics of taking lots of artists' books with me in my luggage!
I'll post more news about the project on the blog when I've got myself all sorted out, and I hope that perhaps you will feel able to support my fundraising with a small donation - there are great rewards! So far I've funded the whole BookArtObject adventure myself, with kind donations via PayPal from some of you to help off-set postage costs. I'd really like to get to Dundee and tell even more people about all your great work as well as take up the opportunity to do my very first artists' residency in Venice while I'm in Europe but, being stony broke at the moment, I need to make the money to go.
Crowd funding offers a way of engaging a network of friends and acquaintances who will hopefully sponsor your ambitions, if you can make a good case for their support. At the very least you will get the chance to watch a video of me in my studio, with plenty of opportunities for a laugh.