Colour, texture, layers and symbols have always been part of my art practice. Whether making huge urns, small figurative sculptures or books out of clay or paper my pieces are the vehicle for numerous surface treatments. I like to create the impression that they are part of an ancient narrative and numerous people and circumstances have left their mark on them. I want those who respond to my art to have a strong sense of looking into a rear view mirror and not just ploughing upwards and onwards; a sense of the past; times of importance and moments of insignificance.
I respond to the unusual textures and patterns sitting next to each other in our environments. My pieces rely on the interaction of things like newspaper print and 17th century silk designs; rusted iron and antique lace; a brick wall and the grass growing at its feet. I spend a lot of time working/reworking pieces until the right amount of interplay has been achieved to mimic this richness. I hope a story is continued through the interplay of the different textures, colours and form. I want a story to be continued but never finished, looping back on itself and always needing the reader to bring it to life
Rhonda Ayliffe (Editions One, Two, Three and Four)
When I met new folk for the first time, and they ask 'what do you do?' I answer something like this: 'well - I'm a farmer, and I have a big garden where I grow food for the family, sometimes I teach but I'm also a student trying to wade through to the end of a PhD (save me!) We've got a couple of young kids... and weaving everything together - I make ARRRRRT'
Here's the formal 'art statement' I wheel out for all occasions..... "I was born, raised and remain in a small community on the far south coast of NSW. Connection to family and place are central to both my identity and my arts practice. My work crosses media and disciplines – with a background in the traditional crafts of calligraphy and book arts, I have an enduring interest in language, text and book forms, but my hybrid arts practice has evolved to include photography, video, sculpture and installation.
Much of my creative impetus derives from an active interest in permaculture and transition culture with their emphases on sustainability.
I am currently working with salvaged books and the book form, exploring ideas about knowledge and epistemology as these relate to site, self and issues of sustainability."
Corrr! that's a bit of a mouthful wot?
You can find me here http://www.rhondaayliffe.com/
Sara Bowen (Editions One, Two, Three and Four)
I started BookArtObject a couple of years ago because I was feeling a bit disconnected having moved to Australia from the UK in 2006... and the project is so much more than I thought it was going to be. From small beginnings with eight artists responding to a poem by Australian poet Rosemary Dobson we've grown to fourteen artists responding to two different texts this year, and it will change and grow as time goes on. Artists dip in and out of the BAO Editions, and as the texts change and the work progresses we're beginning to make a name for ourselves in the world of artists' books.
I live and work in Coffs Harbour on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. I teach printmaking part-time at the local TAFE, volunteer at my daughter's school, run bookmaking and printmaking courses for adults and children in my studio, do my husband's bookkeeping, endeavour to keep on top of the weeds in the vegetable garden and continue my own arts practice in the spaces in between... I'm interested in landscape, place and memory (my PhD is currently "deferred" but deals with exactly those subjects), which manifests itself in all sorts of ways. Recent work is centred around the development of language and appears to be working its way out in the form of large chunks of text as well as imagery... I'm looking forward to seeing where it all takes me!
You can read more about life+art on my Double Elephant blog, and my adventures in arts, crafts and teaching bookmaking can be seen at my Rhubarb&Ella blog. Images of my work can be seen on my Flickr pages.
Angela Callanan (Editions One, Three and Four)
I originally from County Sligo in the West of Ireland “Land of hearts desire” WB Yeats called it, but now live in Wales. I have been interested in photography since I was about 14. The first camera I used was a Kodak Brownie 127. At the age of 16 I acquired an Olympus OM10 which is of great sentimental value. I've always loved making 'stuff' and taking photos. I also used to dabble with an old Underwood typewriter and write plays (usually involving murder) and other ramblings. This has lead to a minor obsession with typewriters.
My work has been described as biographical, storytelling, a visual narrative using familiar and semi-forgotten symbols or objects from the past and present, with the poetic use of language. I am fascinated by people's life stories and also the traces we leave behind, the marks seen and unseen, be they psychological or physical.
I struggle with the title and status of the word ‘artist’ mainly because of common misconceptions of what it means. I am very intolerant of people who say “you’re an artist, draw me a picture”, I would love to say “feck off and ask someone else to draw a picture of your cat” but am too polite. So I have decided I am just someone who likes making ‘stuff’. Whether that be a print, books, or writings (ramblings I prefer to call them). I have no idea where this will lead, all I know is I need to keep doing it.
Carol Cantrell (Editions One and Two)
As a book binder trained in Sydney and Auckland, I am currently interested in drawing, print making, and all aspects of the artist’s book. My lifelong passions have always revolved around books, both making and reading, and natural history. From 1980 until retirement in 2004 (and later on contract) I worked in the Research Library of the Australian Museum and was privileged to work with the Rare Book Collection. My interest in the marine animals depicted in 16th and 17th century natural history books has led to a series of hand made books I am currently working on, featuring my re-drawings of these animals. As a member of the BookArtObject collective I am exploring adding layers of meaning to my books in response to inspirational poetry. Wamberal, on the beautiful NSW Central Coast, Australia, is where I live and work.
Guylaine Couture (Edition Two)
Process, process... why have I always been stuck on drawing and pasting
On paper: New paper has always intimidated me. On the other hand, printed paper is an endless source of re-useable material.
On words: Printed words are chosen one by one, uprooted, cast aside for what they might imply. Then they're chosen again and lined up to say what I'm thinking.
On works on paper: I harvest cast-off paper. My treasures are engraving tests, printing leftovers, failed photocopies, ruined book pages, event programs, etc.
This obsession with re-using printed material, keeping bits of photos, making the most of a word is a perpetual game for me. Starting with collage and then drawing, I try to give new life and emotion to something which began as a commercial medium. I see huge amounts of paper and words used and abused to push someone's message or another's idea. My works attempt to push us to see the potential in material which we toss aside too easily
From Montréal (canada
Fiona Dempster (Editions Two and Four)
I am a calligraphic and book artist based in Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland of Queensland (Australia). I love books, words, marks and text, and my work is generally spare and restrained; seeking the essence of things rather than an elaborate and complex expression of them.
I have studied calligraphy since I was a child and I continue my love affair with words and letters, although not always in the formal sense. My work is often paper-based and takes the form of books; however, more recently I have begun working with metal, timber and Perspex to express words and texts in ways that take calligraphy off the page and into the outdoors.
I love books. They signal ‘home’ to me and I am happiest when I know I have several books to hand. I have really enjoyed being part of the BAO mob for edition 3 – and learning HOW to edition, given that I tend to make one-off books rather than larger scale productions.
Alison Fenech (Edition Two)
I attended a bookmaking workshop a few years ago and continued to do a series of them on my own at home and I saw this project as an opportunity to marry that skill with my printmaking, throw a poem into the mix and there lies another challenge.
After working on the second project I am sorry I missed the first as it proved to be very impressive.
My interest lies mainly in printmaking, especially lino prints though I dabble with woodblocks too. This project provided me with another tool to expand my creative abilities.
Since becoming involved with printing, bookmaking and drawing my appreciation of all forms of art has improved greatly. I practise by instinct, what I like and what "feels good" and try to create a feeling in each piece
Caren Florance (Editions One, Two, Three and Four)
I've been deeply in love with books since they became a substitute for seeing; once I got glasses at the age of 7, the book habit was just too hard to break. Everything I've ever done has been, for better or worse, influenced by books. I have a couple of degrees in English Lit and another in Visual Art, and the two just seamlessly merge when I work with letterpress or artist's books. I live and work in Canberra, Australia, and I have my own letterpress studio at home. I teach part-time at the local art school, and I run lots of book-making workshops for anyone who asks.
I also love sharing my passions, so when Sara suggested this book group, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Book Art Object is more than just a book swap, it's a knowledge and ideas swap, and no-one loses. I particularly like the shifting population, and the way we don't seem wedded to any particular textual rules
http://www.ampersandduck.com/ is my formal showcase web space; if you want to get all the rest of my messy, join me at my personal blog
Alicia Griswold (Edition Four)
New York native Alicia Griswold has lived and worked in Atlanta since the Carter administration. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama, where she served as editor of The Black Warrior Review. Curious about the connections to be discovered about writing and drawing, she began teaching creative writing and taking classes at the Atlanta College of Art. She now combines the literary and the visual in artist books created at the Atlanta Printmaking Studio. She also squeezes as much art journaling as possible into her Freshman Composition classes at the Art Institute of Atlanta. She is currently co-curating Wallbound, an exhibition of artist books to open February 2012 at the Art Institute’s Decatur, Ga., campus. “How to Distinguish Scents” (solarplate book) has been included in Impressive: Printmaking, Letterpress and Graphic Design, published in 2010 by Gestalten. The same book will also appear in 2012 in 1,000 Artists Books by Rockport Publishers/Quarry Books.
Helen Malone (Edition Four)
I have always loved art and books and one or the other seem to have been part of my life at any given time. I say that I made my first handmade book in the late 1980’s but in fact my sister and I used to spend our school holidays with a 100 page jotter, with the goal of filling it with drawings by the end of the holidays and our usual topic was Roles and professions of women so perhaps these were the real first books. I studied Art History and Semiotics in my BA at UQ. I had two small sons at the time and I bought them (or was it for me) wonderful pop-up books and noticed how semiotics worked in childrens’ books through images and their associations with cultural knowledge. At the same time I was also studying Medieval and Renaissance painting (including illuminated manuscripts) which prompted me to learn calligraphy and bookbinding. So somehow these things all came together. I must also be a frustrated sculptor as many of my books have a sculptural component and for me structure is often very important to the content and meaning of the book, and I love the fun of a pop-up. Whew! If anyone is interested you can see my work on my website.
I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone else and working on the project – in fact I feel impatient to get started!
Anna Mavromatis (Editions Three and Four)
Anna is an artist illustrating her “stories” through numerous mediums and formats. Her work incorporates elements of traditional eastern and western printmaking practices, as well as digitally generated imagery; she applies these techniques in the design and construction of one of a kind and small edition artists’ books, whose structure and assembling is greatly influenced by her studies and training in architecture and fashion design. Anna's works are found in private and public collections around the world.
Anna was born in Greece, educated in Italy and Great Britain and lives in Houston, Texas.
Anna's Art Portfolio
Anna Mavromatis: Artists' Books Blog
Diane Patmore (Editions One, Two and Four)
I have, for many years, made small albums and sketchbooks which, more properly, would be called altered books since I often chopped and changed purchased books to suit my purpose. But I’m a newcomer to this wider field of book-making, with this collaborative venture being a first.
On reading the Dobson poem (the chosen text for Round One) I was struck by the many meanings of being alone. A vivid image of a close friend slowly losing physical capabilities and with that, the encroaching loss of other, more cerebral contacts, led me to represent the text in childlike images.
contact firstname.lastname@example.org or http://moreidlethoughts.wordpress.com/
Michelle Ray (Edition Four)
Currently, I'm a second year graduate student in the Book Arts program at The University of Alabama. I approach creating artists’ books in the manner of a Victorian naturalist: by attempting to name the unnamed and gain an understanding of the world through documenting, cataloging and connecting ideas. Largely influence by my previous profession as a librarian, my work explores a range of topics including systems of thought associated with document collections, natural history artifacts and the rituals of organization.
My work can be found at michellerayart.com
Aine Scannell (Editions Three and Four)
Barbara Simler(Edition 4, Group 3)
I'm a book artist and bookbinder living and working in British Columbia, Canada. I grew up on a cattle ranch in mountains in the northwestern U.S., and was a solitary child, roaming the woods and reading over and over all the books (mostly 19th century novels) in the tiny library at my one-room school. More than anything, the intensity and richness of those early experiences have informed my work.
Some of the books I make are like meditations -- a way to explore memories I have of growing up in the mountains, so trees, rocks, fossils, mica, bugs, volcanic rock, rusting farm machinery, worn wood, cows, horses, and many, many other things are part of (some things more specifically than others) my books.
I’m interested in the Japanese aesthetic principles of Wabi Sabi and Shibui, and my Coptic books in particular reflect an interest in making books that are simple, imperfect, and natural.
I’m also interested in the history of the book, and some of my books explore the idea of the book – the history, meaning, and symbolic value of books and literature in western culture.
Abigail Thomas (Editions Three and Four)
As an artist I am a collector, a hoarder, an accumulator of things. In my day job I am a library worker, a cataloguer, a preserver. These daily actions have seeped into my artistic practice throughout the years making me passionate about the display and curation of book art and also interested in concepts of preservation of both physical and digital works of art. I am also drawn to many different types of making work; printmaking, small sculptures, installations, photography, collage, text, painting and textiles, all of which I frequently use in combination, and which often culminates in a book work.
BAO (Book, Art Object) Edition 3 started from a piece of text in Jeanette Winterson's Art & Lieson the Library of Alexandria. The text excerpt is humorous and has an interesting narrative within it. I have taken this story further to create my own fiction, a fiction within a fiction. The Robinson Papers is an archive bookwork. Instead of using archives to create a piece of work I have created the archive as the piece of work.
I am due to start my MA in Book Arts in the October 2011 and will be aiming to explore the association between the book art world and the world of display and cultural preservation; and explore the relationships between artist and curator, between book art and repository, between artists' books and 'the white cube'
I am an Australian book artist and bookbinder with a passion for ‘the complete book’ - content + container + construction. My studio, BEMBindery, produces unique or small editions of both artists books and contemporary design bindings. I exhibit regularly with Artbound, the Canberra Craft Bookbinders' Guild and Australian Bookbinders’ Exhibitions and teach traditional bookbinding skills to artists and others through a local community organisation.
Amanda Watson-Will (Editions One, Three and Four)
After a discouraging introduction to art in my childhood, I came to realize the joy of making objects during my training as an occupational therapist. When I became unable to work due to health problems I took up ceramics, studying at Southbank TAFE in Brisbane and winning the Craft Queensland Prize on graduation. In 2008 I completed a Masters of Fine Art through RMIT University, Melbourne, and it was there, while exploring the idea of change as a central theme in life, that I made my first artists' books.
Although I often find myself leaning towards the creation of conceptual artworks, the process of handmaking objects and interacting with materials (such as wax, paper, clay, thread, hair) is crucial to me. I am currently focussing on making artists' books, although my past work includes ceramics, digital printmaking, photography and installations.
Being a member of Book*Art*Object has both demanded and supported the extension of my skills and my art practice, providing a network of colleagues who share my enthusiasm for the book, for fine writing, for printmaking ;and art in general.