Thursday, February 13, 2020

BAO5: L OO P ing through the seasons


Hi all, we've put hardly anything on here about Edition 5 work. I thought I'd kickstart us by linking to a post I've just written for my website:

Here's some extra thoughts for this post: I was feeling very pessimistic about the environment when I made this book. It was spring in Canberra, and there were birds chirping all around outside the studio I was working in (the ANU School of Art & Design Printmedia Book Studio), so while I was brooding, the city kept pulling nice things out of its hat to cheer me up. I worked fast, because I don't have my own studio at the moment (I've stored all my equipment) and that means that I can only work in reasonable, official moments.

I had set all the type while my students were working, and once I'd cut all the paper up, I just spent a couple of weekends riffing with the letterpress equipment. I turned large blocks of wood type upside-down and printed the backs of them; I pulled out trays of 20-year-old hell type (things not put away by students for longer than most of my present students have been alive!) and hand-printed snatches of the random texts as white texture on the pages. I've been working like this a lot, it feels like recycling. The thin Chinese paper is like printing on fabric.

Well, whatever pessimism I was feeling then has doubled, tripled, quadrupled now. I spent the summer in a P2 facemask, riding my bike through apocalyptic-feeling bushfire smoke and sweating through 40 degree celsius heatwaves. The studio is now inaccessible because the art school got hit by a huge hailstorm that smashed most of our heritage glass windows, and many of the birds that I'd been listening to are now dead, affected by smoke and bashed to death by huge killer hailstones. When it started raining and cooling down, I wept.

L  OO P now feels like a souvenir of the summer. I certainly won't forget it.

Finally, I want to say that BAO has been a sporadic project, but every time we run it, I make something that I love, that I wouldn't normally make. I'm grateful to Sara for resurrecting it, and putting in the time to organise it. Thank you everyone who played :)


Elephant's Child said...

Yes. I have wept oceans of tears too. And raged rather a lot too. Neither are good places to wallow in, and I am grateful to be shown creative endeavours as an antidote/distraction.
Thank you.

Ampersand Duck said...


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