Thursday, May 30, 2013

Artwork sent to printers!

Finally I sent the Turn Left artwork to the printers today; this means delivery sometime this week, and then I need to trim, fold and turn it into the piece I am envisaging in my head - its evolved from the last time I posted.... and for some might be a little removed from what you expect a book to be, but to me it is a bookwork through and through.

I am also moving forward with the Motorway Services piece; that may take a little longer than this one, but I'll get there soon. Feel guilty I missed the Bristol deadline....

Monday, May 27, 2013

And another one...

I'm not very good at remembering to post opportunities, so sorry about the late arrival of this one.

23 Sandy Gallery is pleased to present EcoEditions, a juried exhibition open to national and international artists.

THEME – EcoEditions asks the question: can books save the world? Can artist books raise consciousness, create awareness or change thinking? Let’s use our powers as stewards of the earth to report on the state of our environment, ecology, sustainability, pollution, climate, recycling and our planet in general.

MEDIA – This exhibit is open to handmade book and paper arts related works created as either edition or one-of-a-kind. Artist books, sculptural books, book objects, altered books, zines, and broadsides are all encouraged. Despite the confusing title, this show is open to both limited edition and unique or one-of-a-kind works.

You can find more information at the gallery's website HERE.  Good luck!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Second parcel off to Sarah Bodman

Thank you to everyone who posted me their books recently: I have now sent a second parcel to Sarah Bodman, ready for the second part of our BookArtObject Exhibition at the University of the West of England.  Huge thanks also to Sarah for making the exhibition a reality - Sarah's enthusiasm for our project has been a great incentive, and it is down to her generosity of spirit that she's turned Edition Four into a two-part exhibition in the Tom Trusky cases at UWE.  You can also read about the exhibition in this month's Book Arts Newsletter HERE (click on "82.pdf" to get to this issue of the newsletter!).  If you don't already follow the newsletter, it is a great resource for all things related to Book Arts and well worth reading.

As you know, I have great fun receiving your books, photographing and cataloguing them, so thanks to you too for letting me have a sneak peak at them before sending them off to Sarah!  In this parcel I was delighted to wrap up work from the following artists:

Sandra Winkworth, Fiona Dempster, Jac Balmer, Helen Malone, Rhonda Ayliffe, Terence Uren, Dianne Patmore, Aine Scannell, Kathy Boyle, Barbara Millman, Amanda Watson-Will, Anna Mavromatis, Penny Peckham, Gail Stiffe, Victoria Cowan, Momo, and myself.

And if you're in Group 12 and you're wondering where YOUR copy of my book "A Burning Question" is, the answer is ..."coming soon!"  I've almost finished making the edition and hope to get the books out in the post to you within the next week or two.

So what happens if you haven't yet finished your book/s and they weren't included in the first two parcels to Sarah Bodman?  Well the answer is this: a) don't worry - you still have a bit of time let to complete your edition; b) please send it to me as soon as you can so that I can photograph and catalogue it for our BAO records and then send it on to Sarah in the UK; and c) it won't be exhibited at UWE, but there may be other opportunities for exhibition in the future.

If you think that you CAN'T finish your book or that you won't be able to participate in this edition at all, PLEASE LET ME KNOW as there may be someone else who would like to take over your title.  I completely understand that life gets in the way of art most of the time, so please don't feel bad about it, but it would be really good if you could let me know so that I can reorganise the different groups within Edition Four.

Opportunity - the Sheffield International Artists' Book Prize

My brain is a bit fried this weekend, thanks to a sinus infection, and I'm not working at top speed but looking through my emails I realised I haven't shared this artists' book opportunity with you and I should have done it a month ago - sorry!

Bank Street Arts in Sheffield, UK, is holding the 4th International Artists' Book Prize and Exhibition later this year and is inviting entries now.  More information and entry forms can be found HERE, and it's worth considering as it is one of the few FREE TO ENTER exhibitions!  Perhaps your Edition Four book would be worth entering...?  Whatever you decide to put forward, good luck!

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Amanda started this, here                                       and Robyn followed with her selection.

At first, I thought I was too much of a butterfly, flitting around so many that I like and finding choice almost impossible, but I decided to go with Robyn's idea of including paper engineering.

Benja Harney does many stand-out pieces in paper, but I think the leather collaboration pretty much tops it for me.

I saw this on a Tumbler site  last week and thought immediately of  Brian Dettmer

And for almost as long as I've been blogging, I've loved Cecelia Levy's work, whether books or re-interpreted paper, often from books.

Of course, we could also cruise through the list of BAO contributors!

Who's next...?

Friday, May 17, 2013


Rather than put up a lengthy cross-post here I'll just give you a link to my blog, which features work by some of BAO's members. 

Throwing my hat in the ring....favourites :)

Detail Image - Altered Book by rObfOs
I thought I might throw my hat in the ring in response to Amanda's recent post about favourite artist books / book artists.  I must admit picking a favourite artist book, for me, is like picking a favourite child - IMPOSSIBLE.  I am a fickle and inquisitive creature and my loyalties change with each new day and each new book, but I find I tend to vintage and scultpural qualities.

I was interested that the majority of "favourite" books chosen by the SLQ speakers were of a traditional and safe format, I thought they may have chosen books that pushed more boundaries. However, there is beauty in diversity, and I was extremely interested in their choices.

I find I am as unable to pick favourite books as I am to define them, but I would like to list a few book/paper artists whose collections of works have left lasting impressions upon me.

In no particular order (I hope you find something new & exciting to pique your interest):

Artist 1)   Daniel Essig - Beautiful wood and metal sculptural objects as vessels for books
Artist 2)   Julie Shaw Lutts - Collage & ephemera cleverly contained in book form
Artist 3)   Marlis Maehrle - Light and delicate paper vessels

PS:  Great idea, Amanda :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Helen Cole talks about the Libris Awards

Helen Cole, the judge of the Libris Awards, has written a post about the awards as a guest blogger on Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper's blog.
You can read it here

and she has also blogged about some of the books in the awards on the SLQ Australian Library of Art blog here

The webcast of the SLQ Siganto Seminar, The Trouble with Artists Books is now available on the State Library's website here

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I'm almost ready to send off the second box of books to Sarah Bodman at UWE for "BookArtObject Edition Four, Part II" - the exhibition!  Perhaps we need a more catchy title for our shows - something to consider in future! - but it is GREAT to have our books out and about and to be able to share what we're doing.

Sarah's asked me for photos of more of the books and I've had a "slight network problem" which, in simple terms, means all the photos I've taken are there but not currently accessible... luckily I'm married to an IT whizz, who is in the process of fixing things.

Meanwhile, thank you to everyone who has supported my Pozible crowdfunding campaign!  It is a little unsettling to put yourself on public display and ask for monetary assistance, but so far it has also been a very positive and humbling experience.  To everyone who has texted and emailed me, sent me a message on Pozible and pledged a donation to my project, thank you.  It gives me a very warm and fuzzy feeling inside.  Even if you don't want to make a donation, feel free to go on over to the site and watch the video my friends Shane and Jo made of me in my studio!  From far away you'll get a little glimpse into my world.

SLQ Follow-Up Fun!

As you've seen below in Helen's post and also over at Double Elephant , Sara Bowen's blog, a number of us were lucky enough to attend a seminar on artists' books at the State Library of Queensland.

I thought that as there are a few reports on the seminar floating around the blogosphere (see Helen and Sara's posts) and the talk itself will be available soon on the SLQ website to download, that I might propose something a little different.

The second part of the talk was most interesting I found, as two of the speakers shared a short list (four or five) of their favourite artists' books from the SLQ collection. They spoke a bit about what they felt made the book so successful and of course showed us some pictures.

It was fascinating to be introduced to some new books, some by artists who were also new to me, to see some "old favourites" appear, and afterwards to think of some books which did not appear that may have been expected. Of course, it doesn't really mean much, as there are some 400+ artists' books in the collection and only nine were presented by the two speakers. Nevertheless, it has occupied my thoughts quite a bit since the afternoon.

So I thought that it might be fun to ask BAO blog readers to offer up a choice or two (or as many as you like really) to share with one another. In doing this, we need to observe good netiquette, so here are a couple of guidelines.

1) PLEASE no downloading images from peoples sites or blogs to post here.
2) Instead, just provide the name of the artist, and the book, and a link to their work.
3) Please do tell us why you really love the book.
4) It's just for fun, so don't feel as if you absolutely have to work out your absolutely most favouritest AB in the world before you can join in.

And to kick things off , I thought I would share two of my favourites.

1) Cell Memory by Macy Chadwick which you can see at Abecedarian Gallery. I actually own a copy of this book, so now I can read the text which is beautiful. Initially I was drawn to it because of the interaction of the pages with light, the sense of fragility and the idea conveyed by the title. It speaks of the wonder of nature, of cells, and the body.

2) Vessels by Adele Outteridge, seen on the Uni of Melbourne site. I think this book really speaks to me because I used to be a potter, so the vessel form really hits a chord. Also, I am drawn to the delicate ephemeral effect of the transparent pages and the metaphor of the book as a container for knowledge. To me, this work has a lot of power because it is both beautiful and very strong

As you can see, I tend to rave on a bit, so please don't let me put you off. I think it could be terrific if a number of you do jump in and share your favourite ABs for others to see.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


I've been having an email exchange with some of the members who had work accepted for  the Libris  Awards and it occurs to me that perhaps I should post some of this here. Particularly since both Ronnie and Sara entered their BAO  works.

At any exhibition, of anything, there are always some who are delighted and feel that it's a vindication of their own "good taste and intelligence" and always those who feel somehow slighted that the one they liked  was passed by. I think it's one of the best markers of human differences !

So, I've had a chance to see these up close and personal, as they say.

And,personally, I like "Wave Form." I also like that the tumbling "wave" can be scrunched back into its box, looking more like a book. (That should please the woman who has difficulty with the concept of artists' books!)

Kelvin's piece is interesting, but I'd call it an installation, not a book. However, all the discs came in and can be returned to a box. In this case, not a hand-built container, tailored to the work, but a big old Kodachrome  [I think] cardboard film box. So, just as much "a book" as the first one?

And the Youth Award is, by all interpretations and popular perception, a book. A book-ish book, read left to right. And quite lovely in its simplicity.


Friday, May 10, 2013


Yes, I am still working on my final BAO title.

By now, you should all have received "Silent Wolves."  Thank you to those who have let me know it arrived.

And for the Group 10 people,  here are some progress pics. As you can see, much progress has been made... in the filling of waste paper baskets!

I am afraid I may have damaged my poor printer, but I simply don't have the time or money to haul it to a repair man (if there is such a chap around here!) right now.

So, once again, I re-jigged things, which I'll write about  later. For now, have a sneak peek and a laugh. Go on, I did. Well, no, actually, it wasn't very funny.
brimming basket

A brief summary of "Wolves" is here 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sara's Pozible Project

A week or so ago two fantastic friends, Shane and Jo, came around and spent a couple of hours of their precious time videoing me in my studio.  No, I'm definitely not famous but I have set up a Pozible fundraising project, which is what this post is about.

I feel slightly embarrassed about posting information about my project here since it has never been my intention to tie BookArtObject to money in any way, but I am hoping that you might consider supporting my fundraising effort as I try to raise the money to go to Europe later this year.

I'm taking part of BookArtObject to the Impact 8 international interdisciplinary printmaking conference in Dundee, Scotland, at the end of August.  We've been saving our air miles for my plane tickets so I can get to Europe and back.  But while I'm there I've been offered a two week artists' residency at the Scuola Internationale di Grafica in Venice, Italy.  I've applied unsuccessfully for several residencies over the years but I guess no-one has trusted me with one because I don't have a track record!  After all, they're not holidays, they're a chance to immerse yourself somewhere new and work VERY hard on your own particular art project without all the usual interruptions you'd have at home.  It feels very special to have finally been invited to do a residency and it would be great to have the chance to do it while I'm already in Europe.

But.  There's always a 'but'!  It's quite simple: I can't afford it.  The residency isn't free, and I will need to feed myself while I'm there, as well as buy a few art supplies.  So I'm hoping to raise $2,000 Australian dollars to fund the project and I've put together a Pozible crowd-funding campaign to help.  If you've never heard of 'crowd funding' you're not alone - it certainly isn't big in Australia yet.  The basic premise is that asking your friends to help you find $2,000 is unlikely to succeed, but if you can ask 200 people for $10 each and offer them something in return you might have a better chance of raising the money.  Pozible is an on-line platform that enables me to put together the campaign and show people something about what I do.  If I don't raise the whole $2,000 I get nothing at all - I only get the money if I meet my target.  There's a good reason for this: I need to present potential donors with a good case for my fundraising, and a sensible budget.  We all know there's no point in having half the money you need to do something because you still can't afford to do it, so instead of risking everyone's money on something that is bound to fail, the "all or nothing" approach means I only get the money if I can raise what I realistically need to undertake my residency.  The sweetner is that donors do get something in return and in this case the 'rewards' range from hand-written postcards from Venice to a limited edition artists' book, invitations to a private drinks party in Coffs Harbour before my solo show next year and vouchers for workshops at my studio. 

The bottom line is, I suppose, that crowd funding works.  A couple of years ago I helped to support an American-Korean artist who wanted to spend time in Korea learning traditional papermaking techniques.  She was great at keeping her supporters updated with her progress and I received some beautiful sheets of handmade Korean paper in return for my support.  Since then she's gone on to do bigger and better things, and I feel good about having helped her on her way.

Here's the link to my Pozible project!

Thank you for allowing me to post news of my Pozible project on here, and thank you for being great supporters of BookArtObject in all sorts of ways.

SLQ Seminar: The trouble with Artists Books

A huge crowd attended this seminar at the State Library of Queensland last Saturday afternoon.
  It was lovely to catch up with fellow Book Art Object members Sara Bowen, Amanda Watson-Will, Jack Oudyn and Robyn Foster, and so many fellow book artists and friends from Brisbane, country Queensland and interstate.  Unfortunately I decided to relax and enjoy the event and didn't take notes or photos to write a proper post about the seminar, but for those unable to attend these blog posts will give you some idea of the great afternoon we enjoyed.

Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper

Judy Barrass

Sara Bowen

Helen Malone

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Deadlines, deadlines!

A quick reminder to those of you currently finishing work: I will shortly (i.e. in the next week to ten days!) be sending off the next parcel to Sarah Bodman, which will contain everything I've received so far that didn't make it into the first parcel.  This is so that Sarah can put them into the second BAO exhibition at the University of the West of England.

So far over 40 of the 100 titles have been finished, which is fantastic!  Hopefully many more will arrive before I leave Australia to attend the Impact 8 Interdisciplinary Printmaking Conference in Dundee: the ideal situation would be for August to be the cut off date for the Edition as I will take any books that don't arrive in time for me to post off in this parcel with me on the plane on August 25th.

That doesn't mean you can't keep working on your books if you haven't finished by August!  That would be terrible!  It just means that I don't have any exhibition opportunities lined up for them after my trip to the UK.

Any questions, leave a comment.