Ah, that's better. I've worked like buggery through a couple of my lists, and while I'm not through the woods, I can at least see the path again. Thank you to all the positive comments! I hate those low moods.
I like Tuesdays this year. No more Bored Tuesday posts, I hope! This is the day when I get to come into the art school and just be ME. I'm not working in any official capacity, I'm being a resident alumni artist. That's the official title, anyway. I get to tell people to go away, I'm not working today, and get on with my own projects.
My own project is the first of a series of hand-set fine-printed poetry volumes, with contributions by Australian artists. I mentioned this during National Poetry Week last year, and got no further than just mentioning it, thanks to overwhelming other commitments. This project is different from teaching book arts or making hand-made books to sell commercially. This is the beginning of what I want to think of as my life's work. Does that sound pretentious? I find it terribly exciting. I hope I get to achieve this.
I'm making a shelf series, which means they will all be the same size on your bookshelf, and look like they belong together. They won't have identical bindings, but they will be readily identifiable as my books. However, they will be quite different when you open them. Different paper, different typeface, and possibly different format. For example, the first book will incorporate embossings, so it needs to be on thick, soft paper. The second has many more poems and only two images, so it will be on thinner paper. The third is hopefully going to be a concertina book which will fall out at you when you open the covers (a long poem about a suicide by jumping off the Empire State Building). And so forth, depending on the subject matter. Each with hardcover bindings which complement the others as they progress through time and space.
I'm trying to use poets who make my spine tingle. That's the criteria for publication. And apart from the first volume, living poets. And living artists, both young and old. My first collaboration is with Jan Brown, a Canberra sculptor in her 80s, who learned to draw under Henry Moore at the Slade School. She's the same vintage as the poet, Nan McDonald (who died in the 1970s). I'm going to give her a mock-up of the book to draw directly into, then transform her pencil lines into embossed lines weaving through the pages. I'm hoping she gets to see the final product, so I have to get working!
I love the thought of my series. It sustains me when I'm busy obeying everyone else's wishes. I wake in the night and see the pages in front of me. It's not a ground-breaking idea. It's not cutting-edge contemporary art. But it's something that makes me remember to breathe. One book a year will keep me happy through the most arduous times. More than one a year will make me a very happy Duckie.
So today I'm working out the page size for the series. A momentous decision that I've been avoiding because it will affect everything, so I need to get it right. I'm such a procrastinator. (Heh. Writing a post. See?)
Time to work. [takes a breath]
[P.S. Best wishes to Zoe, getting her bionic ear today.]
TAGS: letterpress, Australian poetry,book design,Jan Brown,Nan McDonald