Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Moving right along

What a couple of weeks! The 100% Books exhibition is going fabulously well, looks superb and by all accounts is inspiring a new wave of artist book making in the region. Win win! It finishes this Sunday, so if you haven't been yet (and are capable of going), don't miss out. I'm working on a web presence for it on my 'working' site so that it can have an afterlife and will have downloadable bits for those who want to know more about it. I will be in the gallery on Saturday afternoon from 12 to 4, hosting the last of our three white-gloves sessions. Here's a peek at the gallery (there's more behind the camera scope too).

Another thing to share is the lovely Lady Duck, talking to the ABC about her spiritual home, the Bega Regional Museum. I keep watching it and smiling at the last 'imagine the scene' bit, which is very 'her' and gives you an idea of how I came to be me.

I have been working very hard on the initial thinking of my PhD study, and my main conclusion is that I don't have enough office space. We have a room in the house that used to be the last owner's sewing room. It has a desk that wraps around two sides of the room, long enough for all three of us to sit at with our laptops and work. We built floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on the other two sides of the room, all full now, of course. My corner is now piled with books and bits of paper that flow down onto the floor, creating a low wall across the floor to delineate my space. It's only going to get worse, and I am determined not to flow into my studio, which is full enough with bits of paper and books. Blimey, what to do? I'll have to gently force BB and B out and make them use their computers on their laps :)

Must get back to it...  *waves*

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Coming up, next week in fact: the opening of 100%: Books by Canberra Artists.
Opening Thursday 11 April, at 6pm with guest speaker Peter Haynes (art curator, writer).
Running from 11 to 28 April at the Watson Arts Centre, Watson ACT (Aspinall St) and the gallery is open Thurs - Sundays 10am - 4pm.

I'm the curator for the show, and I've asked 20 artists to give me 'early' and 'recent' work. (I'm using the quotes because sometimes 'recent' means a couple of years ago and sometimes the gap between 'early' and 'recent' isn't very long for an emerging artist).

The artists are: Antonia Aitken, GW Bot, byrd, Kirsten Farrell, Dianne Fogwell, UK Frederick, Shellaine Goldbold, Ingeborg Hansen, Nicci Haynes, Jan Hogan, Hanna Hoyne, Murray Kirkland, Maryann Mussared, Tanya Myshkin, Patsy Payne, Bernie Slater, Franki Sparke, Nick Stranks, Genevieve Swifte, Iona Walsh.

Most of the artists aren't what you'd call a 'book artist'. In fact, until quite recently there wasn't such a thing as a book artist. There were artists who made a book occasionally or frequently as part of their [insert field here] practice. In this show I have included printmakers, painters, sculptors... and many who don't like to be defined. There are objects in the show that aren't even book-like, like Ingeborg Hansen's screenprint of a book. But it's there (or will be, next week) because that's what she's doing at the moment, having made many very good books in the past, some of which will be in the room with the print. She's still thinking about the Book, and no doubt she will continue to make them, but at the moment she's in love with screenprints, and having a large-scale four-colour dot-screened image of a book in the show will look amazing, especially near Nick Stranks' bronze-cast books.

There will be altered books, installed books, huge books, small books, fine press books and zine-style books.  It's a microcosm of the artist's book macrocosm.

Can you feel how much fun this show will be? I'm 100% excited. The title is a weird progression from trying to tie the show in with the Canberra centenary celebrations; we started with C% as a play on the centenary but it all got shifted around at some point and ended up a bit off-centre, but I can happily rationalise that each of these artists puts 100% into their work, and this space will be 100% devoted to book thoughts by artists in the Canberra locality. So there.

We're also having a fun afternoon on the 20th of April with artist's talks and a zine fair (12 to 4pm) so pencil that in please... and we're also in the midst of organising some workshops for kids and adults, will let you know more soon.

I hope you can make the show if you're in the region. I'm hoping to put together (in the next few days) a downloadable room guide with annotations so that if you can't make it, you can at least read about it and see the work.

Also, if you'd like to see some of MY book work, I'm in a show at the Canberra Museum and Gallery that opens this Friday: Intensity of Purpose: 21 years of ANCA. They have one of my Book Art Object books, with an accompanying iPad to allow you to look through the book. Fun!