Monday, September 19, 2016

"one way ticket"

Helen Malone and I have been working for what seems like ages on our new collaboration and finally seem to be getting somewhere although it could be a while yet before we finish. It has been amazing how well we bounce ideas around and get the best out of each other but it also can be a much longer process than working on your own.
We always research and explore ideas and media and usually make trial exploratory pieces to test our ideas and search for the best materials and media that lends itself to making artist's books.
This time I have decided to be more systematic and keep my explorations of different media as a reference for later and even other books. By using similar sized sheets and focussing on content and composition I have been able to try lots of processes and media and keep them together bound in a little book. As well as being useful to the final process, I've become quite fond of the little book as a piece in its own right and will share some of the pages with you.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

"keer weer -turn again"

I am very excited that "Keer Weer" has been selected to be part of this years books for the Libris Awards at the Mackay Artspace and to be included with  such an esteemed company of book artists. As many of you may not be able to make it to Mackay to see all the books, I thought a blog of my entry may be good before the show opens and a possible site for all the participants work is established.

I like to use stylised imagery and text to  make artist books that examine our social and political anxieties. “Keer Weer – turn again” is informed by my concerns with the Australian Government’s treatment of asylum seekers who use boats to come to our island continent looking for freedom from persecution and a new life as migrants in Australia

The title of the book comes from the name of the spot in north Queensland where the first European landed in Australia. Capt Willem Janszoon from Holland arrived in his tiny vessel the Duyfken in 1606. He “turned back” of his own volition because he found the place unfriendly. The current, recent “turn backs” are more sinister and shameful.

The design is driven by layered word and image repetitions that change in tone as the book progresses from a darker to brighter more optimistic one. The individual pages of the book involve intense manual labour. This manual stressing and layering of the materials give the paper its special tactile quality.

The images of simple boats and the treatment of the Vietnamese paper with basic materials such as wax, turmeric and bitumen reference the cultural and hazardous conditions of the journeys. The resulting surface texture of the waterproof paper is soft and skin-like, pliable, despite its stressed treatment.

I have posted more pages and details on my Weebly site for those interested in detail and will add a few more here.

I made a wooden keel for the book so that it can be read and displayed in a wave like position. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

the journey continues - (stamping in Japan)

On previous travels in Japan, I had noticed that local travellers love to collect ink stamps from all interesting sites and collect them in a little paper book. These are usually quite large rubber stamps in bright colours mainly red but also in other colours including blue, purple, green and black. 

On our  journey to Japan last year I decided to collect some of these myself and combine them with my other images in my travel diary. We found the stamps everywhere, they even have a special stamp for every JR station somewhere hiding on the platform. As the trains are so frequent , we didn't always have time to find them but at the larger stations they are quite prominent.

This first stamp was a target for one of the beautifully fine pens I picked up. The Japanese write so finely. As I get older my writing and drawing seems to be getting smaller.

It took a little while and some experimentation to work out how to include these strong designs into my diary pages alongside my tickets and other travel ephemera. They are quite different to some of my previous travel diaries from Japan and elsewhere. I am getting quite a collection of them but they don't take up much room in my drawers. I did show quite a few of them in the "Mind Mapping" exhibition several years ago. Who knows, the new ones might also get an airing sometime in the future.

As I used the same diary for our travels in Tasmania earlier this year, some of the unfinished drawings from Japan were finished in Tassie and the journey continues.

Monday, June 6, 2016

KART magazine of multiplicity

KART magazine is an assembling publication created to promote artistic and cultural diversity. 
issue 68

I have been contributing to KART for several years now and I'm always amazed at the contents of the little cardboard box that David sends us when he has enough artists' work to complete an edition. Here is a sample of some of the postcards I have made for this collaborative project.They are made using old photos I have taken stitched together with added collage elements and text.

queen of colonies

radical change

KART is an ongoing project with no deadlines, and work is accepted on a continuing basis. 
KART is produced in limited editions of 40, each box containing works by 15 artists. This is a bumper issue with 21 makers contributing! 

mysterious doctor

over 21

KART is published as a collaboration between Karingal Participate and Field Study International. You can preview images of KART as they are published on
David Dellafiora (curator)

on sale

impossibly happy

If you are interested please visit David Dellafiora's blog to see the other contributors that come from many countries including Italy, Norway, Spain, Ukraine, USA, and Germany as well as Australia.

Can you make up a story using one of the cards as a idea starter? I'd be happy to send you the original if I can find it or at least one of the edition.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

suddenly life was more than french fries,gravy and girls...walk on wheels

Getting cooler in Brisbane and more time indoors. A sample from another small 20 page booklet just finished for the collection of small works at Micropress. 
Once again as in "The whole day through" I have used the perforated pianola paper from the roll I bought at an antigue shop. 

I hope these few are sufficiently intriguing to whet your curiosity. 
Let me know if you want to see more images and I will post some.

Monday, May 16, 2016

"sleeping with a princess"

"sleeping with a princess"

A spare couple of hours and a  new little collection of mixed media drawings, when I should have been working on more "serious" projects. 

"according to custom"

But I can't help myself. Like food for my head.

"like anger"

"moving shadows"

 These roughly A5 sized drawings use mainly a range of collage, linseed oil, wax, turmeric, china graph, graphite, ink and gesso. Some tasty ingredients that smell good too.

"peace for me"

"woman on the platform"

cover for loose drawings

Just a neat little cover to keep them together. You can see it was quite a restless night as usual. 
Enough for a little snack. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Re- Written

One of the most difficult decisions we make as artists is knowing when enough is enough or what would have happened if...? Recently I "finished" "Written" and blogged about it here. I'm working on another boat book and wanted to try out some images and revisited my earlier book to make the changes. Now that I've completely redone the original, I'm still not sure which works better. I think they both work but in different ways. One, the more spare economical mark maker and the other more worked and forceful. I had scanned the original for editioning if necessary so still have that copy as well.
I'll pop up a few more images and would be very interested in hearing your views. To revisit or leave alone??

And a few more....

So what do you think? The exercise was worthwhile because it freed me up to take more risks and make new discoveries. My new book is related but nothing like this,  I've used a lot of wax and bitumen this time to make the paper seriously waterproof.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

"The Future of an Illusion"

"The Future of an Illusion" open

Helen Malone and I have just finished our collaborative book "The Future of an Illusion". This book is about death and the processes our bodies go through as they decay and some belief systems that surround this often taboo aspect of our lives.
Helen has blogged in wonderful detail how we approached our collaboration and our thinking around this topic. She has also outlined some of our research and books we both read and how this has informed our book. Please visit her very informative site if you are interested in these aspects of our first tunnel book together..

Some early experiments with decaying the paper were not successful as they seriously compromised the structural strength of the paper. However, adding straw to the wet coloured paper allowed some of the paint to be absorbed into the straw and create an uneven colour which I think showed the early stages of decomposition.

unsuccessful decay effects

very unsuccessful decay effects

getting there with straw

trying leaves

adding decay

dead end tunnel
Helen's outside tunnel

Jack"s outside tunnel

a look inside

close up inside

looking down inside

a side view

open box

closed with a skull

close up skull fastening