My doppelganger sister-in-law (whom I am proud to look like, since she is extremely lovely) is travelling solo around the world for a while. She's a veteran traveller, but the urge to travel alone came on strongly a couple of years ago when she turned 40, and I guess she's now got the bug. And her fabulous family is happy for her to go forth and be happy while they maintain their normal daily routine of school and work. Isn't she lucky?
Anyhoo, she's started a travel blog, based on a pair of pants that she gets people to wear and photographs in different situations. She's always got fun projects like that on the boil, sometimes many at once.
I'm travelling myself, tomorrow... all the way to Bega. Not solo, but with Colonel Duck, who has kindly come up to Canberra to give me a lift down to the far south coast. In return I will give him a personal tour of the bookbinding exhibition. (Gee, thanks, Ca, I can hear him say sarcastically when I tell him that.) And then I'm going to the Bega Library to sit around a table and do a bit of a show & tell with some of my books.
I had originally started writing a much more elaborate and general talk about books in art and art in books, starting way back with papyrus and Iraqi illuminated manuscripts and working my way through to now, exploring how books started with structural concerns, moved to a generic structure (the codex) and how most artistic challenges to the book form concerned experimentation with page design up to the late 20th century, when suddenly there was a major shift back to structural experimentation. I was really getting into it, had found all these great images on some of the databases we have access to at the ANU, when I talked to the Bega library staff on the phone, and asked them what they actually wanted me to say.
'Pretend you're a book,' they said. 'Describe yourself.'
Ok, maybe I'll save that other talk for something else, like the Sturt Winter School.
So I've packed a box of things I don't mind being handled, and I'll stick to what I actually know about. Myself.
In other news, the workshop is totally booked out. Fun!