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. 


Helen M said...

Just discovered your wonderful book here on your blog Jack. It is one that needs to be seen in the real world to fully appreciate and marvel at your fantastic artwork.

Jack Oudyn said...

Thanks Helen, hopefully a few will get that chance.