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Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

DOUG’S PHOTOBOOK @ Phoenix Art Museum Self-Published Show

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In Focus - banner

In Focus – banner

 

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Doug’s Blurb book ‘Proposal for New Australian Landforms’ has been accepted in to the INFOCUS: Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks at the Phoenix Art Museum in the United States. The exhibition will be on show from August 23 to September 28, 2014 in the Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography. The information that follows in this post comes from the Phoenix Art Museum’s site.  http://infocus-phxart.org/photobooks/

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About this Exhibition (From the Phoenix Art Gallery’s website)

Earlier this year INFOCUS, the Photography Support Organization of Phoenix Art Museum, called photographers to send examples of their self-published photobooks. The purpose of the exhibition is to explore the range of ways that artists are using newly available commercial technologies in order to express themselves. A jury, made up of seven industry professionals including, Founder, Indie Photobook Library – Larissa Leclair and authors of Publish Your Photography Book Mary Virginia Swanson and Darius Himes, reviewed 271 submissions from 15 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. The exhibition represents the 151 books they chose, as examples of the wide range of photobooks being produced today.

We asked for books of any subject including retrospective, project-based, souvenir albums, fictional narrative, exhibition catalogues, poetic, biographical, or children’s books, and welcomed collaborative or collective books in addition to those by a single author. We found that in a well-crafted book, the artist considers every element of the book’s design, and uses each to enhance the finished product. Among the selections are noteworthy selection of paper weight and surface; cover material; printing method and reproduction quality; font style, color and size; text placement and justification (centered, aligned to the right or left); endpaper and title page design; binding (spiral bound, hard bound, paperback); size and placement of the images; sequence of the images; and inclusion (or exclusion) of and placement of the caption information.

 

INFOCUS - Photobook display

INFOCUS – Photobook display (from the INFOCUS page)

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Read a few words from the curator, Rebecca Senf

From the earliest years of the medium’s history, photographers have embraced the book form as a way to present, organize and disseminate their work.

Books allow photographers to expand their reach to a much larger audience and to control the presentation of their work. Publishing a body of work also increases prestige and permanence; by creating books, artists know that their printed volume, in libraries and private collections, will long outlive them. Within the art field, there exists a reverence for books, a reverence that acknowledges the care and attention that went in to producing them.

Publishing photographic books has rapidly changed over the last twenty years, with the impact of technology on book publishing and photography. Costs of paper, printing and binding have increased and profit margins for traditional publishers are narrowing, creating a risk-averse climate in which unknown artists have difficulty getting books published by existing presses. The bookstores where we once browsed and purchased books are being replaced by online retailers, which in turn, changes our patterns of buying and the way products are marketed. Furthermore, many types of reading (including news, correspondence, and recreational fiction) have moved away from sheets of paper and bound books to digital displays of various kinds.

Despite these massive shifts in how they are made, the desire to produce photographic books is only increasing. Young photographers want their artwork to be presented as a book, and photographic books continue to be produced, discussed, admired, coveted, collected, and sold.

“The Process and the Page: Developing Photographic Books,” on view at Phoenix Art Museum from March 29 to August 17, 2014, presented book-making materials from the archival collections of the Center for Creative Photography, to show how photographers have participated in the creation of their photographic books over the course of the last 100 years. Now, with the INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks, we can shed light on an important new phase in the story of photographic books – the ability of photographers world-wide to produce high-quality books of their work through self-publishing.

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The Jury

The photobooks in this exhibition were selected by:

Abigail Nersesian – Librarian, Phoenix Art Museum

Jennifer Barnella – Retail Sales Manager, Phoenix Art Museum

Joshua Chuang – Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography

Becky Senf – Norton Family Curator, Center for Creative Photography

and Phoenix Art Museum

Mary Virginia Swanson – Co-author, Publish Your Photography Book

Darius Himes – Co-author, Publish Your Photography Book

Larissa Leclair – Founder, Indie Photobook Library

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Doug's Cover

Doug’s Book

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My book deals with the political scene and is a parody of the potential for government agencies and politicians to do absurd things for, as they call it, ‘the good of the people’.

SEE THE BLURB PREVIEW HERE: Doug’s Book.

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 CLICK the link below for a list of the accepted entries and links to the books

INFOCUS Photobook Exhibition list

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SELECTING AN APPA PHOTOBOOK DISPLAY

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Doug in the APPA space working thru the books on a cold Melbourne winter's day   PHOTO: Victoria Cooper

Doug in the APPA space working thru the books on a cold Melbourne winter’s day PHOTO: Victoria Cooper

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Selecting photobooks @ APPA: A methodology and the list.

 

I was recently given the opportunity to select books from the Asia Pacific Photobook Archive for their wall display over the next month. While selecting a book to look at and buy in a bookshop can be a challenging enough, the task to review the archive and select around 30 books was daunting. I figured that I needed a methodology.

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After some thought I put my ideas to Victoria Cooper, photomonteur Peter Lyssiotis, and APPA Director Daniel Boetker-Smith – here’s what we came up with:

  • that I’d attempt to make a book array that mirrors the Asia Pacific geographical region
  • that I’d select work that was reasonably contemporary
  • that the names of the book makers would not unnecessarily bias my selection (interestingly the photographers of books from locations like China, Japan and south east Asia were quite unknown to me)
  • that where possible I would select photographers working on their subject matter relating to their own country (the books of some localities were made by visiting photographers).

 

I wasn’t just going to look at books. As I reached out for, and held each book, I’d consider it as an object, feel its presence and weight, the tactile and sensory experience of the thing. Then I’d engage with its mechanical properties of turning the pages and becoming acquainted with it as a communicative device. In this the following would be considered:

  • layout
  • typography
  • images and their sequencing
  • paper, production and binding methods
  • it as a narrative form.

 

In the final moments of engagement with the book I’d need to make a judgment call – was it successful? Whatever that may be? I am a firm believer in Roland Barthes’ proposition that the moment a written piece, I would say a book, is passed to others to read/view that the ‘author dies’ and that the ‘reader is born’. So, as the reader, I was to make the following decisions. I should note that towards the final stages of geographical assemblage I called upon Daniel and his extensive knowledge, to suggest books from, or about specific areas to be considered by me for inclusion.

 

The Doug Spowart APPA Selection

The Doug Spowart APPA Selection

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Here is selection of the geographic locations, their makers and the titles:

 

Dubai/Surfers Paradise – Sean Fennessy ‘Gold’

Iran/Australia – Katayoun Javan ‘Correspondences: A photographic journey between past/Iran & present/Australia’

India – Munem Wasif ‘Belonging’

India – Pablo Bartholomew ‘Outside In’

Bangladesh – Shahidul Alam ‘The Birth Pangs of a Nation’

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Burma – Bruce Connew ‘On the way to an ambush’

Cambodia – Isabella Capzio ‘Where the water once was: Boeung Kat Lake Phnom Penh

Thailand – Hiro Imai ‘Bangkok’

Thailand – Miti Ruangkritya ‘Thai Politics no.2’

Laos – Michael Greenlar ‘Remnants of a secret war’

Malaysia – Welan Chong ‘Please mind the gap: Singapore’

Hong Kong – Douglas Khoo ‘Be Still Hong Kong’

Sri Lanka – Nihal Fernando ‘Sri Lanka: A personal Journey’

China – Huang Qingjun & Ma Hongjie ‘Family Stuff’

 

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China – Li Kejun ‘The Good Earth’

China – Zhang Xiao ‘Coastline’ (?)

China – ‘Lens on Wesi Lake’

China – Vincci Huang ‘Eyes in the air’

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China – Wu Chenghuan ‘Street Fighters’ Beijing

Taiwan – Paul Koolher ‘Political Chaos’

Japan – Bruno Quinquet ‘Salaryman Project: Business Schedule’

Japan – Chie Murakami ‘Japanese Girl’

Japan – Sun Yanchu ‘Obsessed’

Japan – Big book Japanese cities

Japan – Saori Ninomiya ‘Requiem’.

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Japan – Shuichiro Shibata ‘Bus Stop’

Japan – Zhao Renbui & Satoshi Katnoku ‘The whiteness of a whale: a project with The Institute of Critical Zoologists’

West Coast American book

Canadian book

Philippines – Dina Gadia ‘Buxxxom Grind’

South Pacific region – Monini Chandra ‘Album Pacifica’

Mexico – Isabella Capezio ‘Feathered Serpents & Visions of the Mother’

Australia – George Voulgaropoulos ‘Children of Auburn’

Australia – [n]

Australia – Emma Phillips ‘Volcán’ (Variant ?)

Australia – Lilli Waters ‘She Raw’

Australia – Ingvar Kenne ‘The Hedgehog and the Foxes’

Australia – Melissa Deerson (Coordinated) ‘Docklands Field Trip’ Melbourne

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Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 6.09.44 pm

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Australia – Louis Porter ‘Bad Driving’

New Zealand – David Cook, Wiramu Puke and Jenty Valentine ‘River–Road: Journeys Through Ecology’

New Zealand – Solomon Mortimer ‘Solomon’s Travels: Volume One 2012’

New Zealand – Lucien Rizos ‘A man walks out of a bar: New Zealand photographs 1979-1982’

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Antarctica – Ann Noble ‘Ice Blink’

 

END OF LIST  (Some books are not listed here…)

 

 

Doug and APPA Director Daniel Boetker-Smith       PHOTO: Victoria Cooper

Doug and APPA Director Daniel Boetker-Smith PHOTO: Victoria Cooper

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Thanks must go to Daniel’s ongoing support of this project and making this resource available for us all — And also thanks to the photographers for contributing to the archive.

 

Cheers  Doug

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APPA Sign

 

 

 

WISEMAN ON SAFARI @ Brisbane’s Maud Gallery

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Respectfully Intruding by John Wiseman @ Maud Gallery, Brisbane

August 6  – September 13, 2014.  The exhibition was opened by Ken Duncan on August 8.

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Maud Gallery window

Maud Gallery window

 

John Wiseman’s photography exhibition Respectfully Intruding at Brisbane’s Maud Gallery presents an invitation to go on safari and peek over his shoulder while he observes and photographs wildlife on the African savannah or in the Costa Rican rainforest. Luckily for us his invitation is to the gallery and the trials and complexities of journeys to exotic places are made easy for us. He also saves us the trouble of waiting, waiting, fighting impatience and the agonies of cramped photography vehicles and observation hides. Dust, flies, mosquitoes, things that will sting or eat you are not part of Wiseman’s plan. We are also spared the burdens of travel, airports, border guards with guns and the grind of life in these exotic lands. What we are given are his photographs.

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Maud Gallery installation

Maud Gallery installation

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In the white spaces of Maud Gallery, a kind of ‘safari of wonder’ is encountered –as the visitor wanders through the exhibition of wildlife and flora images. Rhino, elephant, leopard and lion of Africa inhabit the front room. Then in contrast to the ochres, browns and blacks, there are birds, flowers, frogs and snakes in green, yellow and turquoise of the rainforest that inhabit the large inner gallery. The bridge between these two environments is the photography style and vision of John Wiseman.

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Leopard

The Lioness

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We are no stranger to subjects like these as they have adorned National Geographic magazines, a thousand Attenborough ‘Life on Earth’ TV programs and countless coffee table books. We may have become so familiar with these subjects that these new works may just become just another ‘one of those’. But I would say look again. Wiseman is no quick snap wildlife shooter – his images exhibit careful consideration for subject and the moment captured. His arrangement and design of the image and concern for lighting takes images to the perfect moment that we think only Photoshop fakery could reveal. But these are real images from single exposures straight out of the camera without much post capture treatment.

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Blue Eyes

Blue Eyes

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Individual images stand out and draw your attention to the framed photograph – for those who love cats, a stunning image of a leopard with clear eyes will hold you in it’s mesmerising and piercing gaze. In another photograph entitled, ‘Family Portrait’, a lioness and four playful cubs look off camera with ears pricked up, attention aroused – for the viewer there is an ability to take in that frozen moment. Someone with an understanding of safari photography will wonder low long and what patience it took for Wiseman to get such an image.

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Family Portrait

Family Portrait

Hummingbird

Blue Hummingbird

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In the Central American space humming birds dance and glide in many frames. Frozen in flight, something that is particularly difficult to photograph, these birds are like airborne jewels with iridescent colouring attracted to equally colourific blooms. Once again Wisemans mastery of technique gets the photo but his sense of design, moment of capture, concern for background and subject placement make these extraordinary photographs. A multiple electronic flash setup is used to create these images and in a few photos Wisemen has synchronised the flash with a slow shutter speed allowing a frozen moment, as in the other images, to be combined with the blur of the wings in the longer moment of capture. For me this tells the greater story of the little bird’s hovering capacity and the beauty of this feathered flight.

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Hummingbird

Hummingbird Feeding

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

Toucan in the rain

Toucan in the rain

 

The Costa Rican rainforest also has its share of frogs that perform for Wiseman’s camera. Colours, backgrounds, movement and clarity once again reflect Wiseman’s fascination for the natural world. Other images that evoke response include a toucan in the rain, and the sinister shapes of snakes, the most beautiful of which hides camouflaged in the framework of a heliconia flower.

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Frog

The Serenity of Sleep

Snake on heliconia

Viper on heliconia.

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In an artist’s statement Wiseman states that he finds in his photography adventures: ‘The intoxicating excitement of the animals of Africa; the size, beauty and grace of these creatures and the love of the chase.’ And that most certainly is evident in the photographic works presented to us in this exhibition. And unlike many who venture, or have in the past, ventured into exotic lands in search of the hunt and big game with a gun – John Wiseman has been, and shot big and small game, and presented his trophies of the living things for us to observe and share his excitement and wonder of these things.

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John Wiseman reading up on Costa Rican birds

John Wiseman reading up on Costa Rican birds

 

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Doug Spowart   18 August 2014

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Texts and installation photos © Doug Spowart 2014     Photographs from the exhibition © John Wiseman

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ALEX STALLING’s PORTRAITS [part two]

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Alex Stalling in her Portrait exhibition

Alex Stalling in her Portrait exhibition

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Portraits: Layers of Meaning

Portraits [part two] An exhibition by Alex Stalling at Culliford Gallery, Toowoomba. July 28 – August 24, 2014

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Alex Stalling’s latest exhibition Portraits [Part Two] will certainly challenge the idea we might have of what a portrait can be. The bare white walls of the Toowoomba Art Society’s Culliford House Gallery, are punctuated by 20cm square pieces of white art paper onto which the artist has meticulously drawn and painted a ‘portrait’. Now these portraits are not of people we might know, someone famous, auntie Ethel, a sleeping child or a happy couple – they are … of animals – meta animals!

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Alex Stalling's Portrait exhibition

Alex Stalling’s Portrait exhibition

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Stalling has essentially created works made up of the shape or outlines of different animals. The animals sometimes morph and overlap – other times they are juxtaposed to suggest associations. A deer’s head and antlers adjoin a similar shape at 180o to form what looks like tree roots. A prancing deer dances with the outline of a upright bear. A moose stands on top of another, and a doe stands yet again on top! These works are like Mr Squiggle drawings gone wrong, or prints where the paper has jammed in the printer.

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Portrait #5

Portrait #5

Portrait #36

Portrait #36

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Many animals are bedecked with garlands of pink and orange flowers. This decorative element links individual artworks in the exhibition. A limited palette of flat colours of brown, orange, bright blue, pink and dark green also provides a cohesive aspect to the show.

The confusion of meaning continues. As if to create a cryptic challenge to the viewer – the animal outlines are partially filled-in often with bright and fluoro colours, but not in ways that help identification. The colouring implies another shapes or patternings which are partially obscured by the outlined edge of the animal. It is as though the animal outline has been cut out to reveal the abstract flat colour shape below on a background sheet.

 

#9

Portrait #9

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From a distance the outlines and colour shapes may appear to the gallery visitors as maps of continents, countries or localities. The colours perhaps define boundaries within those spaces. Moving up-close the another interpretation emerges – but it too, as discussed, is puzzling. Every image becomes a game, a riddle of confused meaning, a mind recognition trick, something that can amuse, entertain or stimulate the viewer to action.

Just who are these animal motifs a portrait of? The artist? A thought? And idea? A dream or muse, or influence? Or all of these…

The strength of Alex Stalling’s Portrait works is that they are not unchallenging easy-lookers, but rather works that demand the viewer to seek within themselves a resolution to a visual challenge – there, maybe they will find their ‘portrait’, and the meaning within the artworks.

Perhaps too, when an artist does a portrait, it also becomes a self-portrait of the artist themselves …

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Doug Spowart

August 12, 2014

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MORE INFORMATION 

 

http://www.alexstalling.com/

 

THIS SUNDAY in the exhibition space:

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https://www.facebook.com/bespokemarkets

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Text and installation photos ©2014 Doug Spowart     All artworks ©2014 Alex Stalling

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BOOKS AS ART: 30 YEARS IN THE MAKING – Catherine McCue Boes

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BOOKS AS ART: 30 YEARS IN THE MAKING by Catherine McCue Boes

Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery – 14 May – June 29, 2014

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An observation of artists and artmaking in the regions…

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Artmaking and artists from the regions are constantly sidelined by the power of proximity that pervades these ‘blessed’ centres of art and culture. People who make ‘real art’, it seems, come from places where populations are concentrated, like ‘big cities’ or localities where a place of learning (university) or an uber vibrant arts community exists. In Australia the place names of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart and perhaps Bris-vey-gas, are part of a roll call of significantly charged places for artmaking, presentation, commentary and critique. *[Note: artists' books have a wider community of practice that is more inclusive due to the fact that regional centres tend to present events, awards and workshops that bring the city and country together. SEE http://wotwedid.com/2013/05/13/2013-libris-awards-the-judges-view/]

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With this in mind, then consider my surprise when I recently encountered an exhibition of artists books at the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery. The main gallery held one of the largest exhibitions of artists books I’ve seen for some time. The show was more impressive because it was essentially the book works of one person with additional books by others coming from the artist’s collection. The exhibition, entitled Book as art: 30 years in the making, was by Catherine McCue Boes a local Bundaberg artist. As the title implies the exhibition encompasses a significant period of time and the life of the artist.

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Exhibition frontpiece

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Engaging with the artists books on display was a challenge – I walked around the space, glancing at and visually grazing the works on display. In keeping with the gallery display norm for artists book display the books were not for touching with many in vitrine glassed cages. Many books were the concertina form that allowed for easy reading and connection with the narrative. The artist also presented alongside the books wall works to give the reader an idea of the contents of the book.

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Exhibition installation of 'Books as art'   Photo: Doug Spowart

Exhibition installation of Books as art: 30 years in the making

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After my initial viewing, the sheer volume of the work on display and the demands that such a volume of complex and at times conceptually dense places on the viewer, I had to go away and come back to the gallery for a second viewing.

On my return I was drawn to a number of the accessible concertina books. The first of was, In Paris 2012, which dealt with the artist’s personal experience of walking in Paris and the extraordinary things experienced. The book’s plain white paper surface is inscribed with diaristic jottings, a quick unfinished drawing of the Eiffel Tower, a textural pattern element, and deep-etched monochrome photographs of sculptures and architectural details. A pink abstracted form with a pigment-bled edge repeats over many pages – is it a memory of a figure walking in the rain with an umbrella or is it a self-portrait?

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Books as Art: 30 years in the making Catherine McCue Boes Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

In Paris 2012, Catherine McCue Boes

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In another work, Preserved in Australia, an old Kodak folding camera has the concertina bellows extended ready for use. Spilling from the rear of the camera explodes a concertina of 20 or so images attached to the viewing hood. The book is derived from a period of time where the artist worked in Roebourne in Australia’s north west. The photos are from the early 1900s, loaned by their owners – residents from Roebourne as well as from the local Historical Museum. McCue Boes has metamorphosed the camera and it’s image legacy into a device for viewing history.

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Books as Art: 30 years in the making Catherine McCue Boes Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Preserved in Australia, Catherine McCue Boes

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An early book, First Revolution (Macbeth) Lithographs 1989, represents the artist’s reference to the Shakespearian theatrical character of the same name. These stone lithographs are accompanied by screen-printed texts on the verso page. In the style of the livre d’artist this large format book with it’s thick deck-edged pages and codex binding make it a strident piece of work. Whilst the book is firmly enclosed in a vitrine and opened to one page only, individual prints from other pages of the book are presented as a framed artworks on the wall.

The First Revolution is also referential to the artist’s major influence, an 1800s book of rococo etchings she discovered in the 1980s and bought at an auction. She states in the exhibition materials that: ‘this was the catalyst for me to not only collect artist books but also create them’. The binding, its construction, materials and its red covering are echoed in many works.

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A New Book of Shields 1770-1800

A New Book of Shields 1770-1800

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Books as Art: 30 years in the making Catherine McCue Boes Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

First Revolution (Macbeth) Lithographs 1989, Catherine McCue Boes

 

The hybrid mix of traditional printmaking and digital techniques creates an opportunity for McCue Boes to extend the artist’s vision and the nature of the outcome. In the 2005 book The Red Shoes, Mark 3 the artist references the Hans Christian Anderson children’s story of the same title. Seven linocuts have been enhanced through scanning into the computer, being redrawn and with text added – the result is a blending of the tradition of print with the graphic elements of typography to convey the story.

Catherine McCue Boes works with other artists in international mail art projects that are presented in another section of the exhibition. A collaborative work curated by the artist, entitled, Life Line, Flood project 2014, brings us back to the idea of the artist’s work being affected by the places they come from. In 2013 devastating floods inundated Bundaberg and upper reaches of the Burnett River. The swollen river gouged out land, animals, houses, trees and farms and significantly affected the land and people of the whole region. McCue Boes curated a collection of photos and texts from friends and assembled a concertina book that carries the sentiments of the contributors. The book is a narrative of many voices with text and image carrying the emotion and the spirit of the contributors. Art often has a dual role, that of the healing catharsis and also to present accounts that can inform those who did not witness the grief first-hand. While this work may be a little uneven in its attempt to blend the individual contributions it is profoundly successful in its purpose and outcome.

Working around to other books in the show a persistent source of inspiration is the artist’s surroundings and environment. I’m reminded of Lucy Lippard’s statement that: ‘Everybody comes from someplace, and the places we come from–cherished or rejected–inevitably affect our work[i]’. This is most notable in a body of work arranged on an island-like plinth towards the rear of the gallery. Assembled is a collection of books that relate to mining environments. McCue Boes works with photographic images, irony and conceptual play to present a variety of book forms and commentaries.

The book, Inspiration from the Artificial Environment 2012, consists of 16 photographic images and borders printed on canvas that are presented in a form that mimics wallpaper, soft furnishing and curtain material sample books. The patterns are photo elements flipped and flopped to form plausible, although somewhat 1960s dated looking designs for decorating your home. The reality of the source images is that they are the detritus of mining workspaces and consist of rusting drums, cable, pipes waste and pondage.

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First Revolution (Macbeth) Lithographs 1989,

Inspiration from the Artificial Environment 2012, Catherine McCue Boes

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Other books, some that are more book-like sculptural forms, are part of this body of work. Presentation includes commercial boxes, simulated strips of black and white negatives, abstracted photographs and industrial labels – one stating, ‘Danger – This energy source has been LOCKED-OUT’.

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Books as Art: 30 years in the making Catherine McCue Boes Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Fragile 2012, Catherine McCue Boes

 

.A major contribution to this environmentally themed piece is the book/s, Fragile 2012, which is a collection of 12 small concertina books each containing 10 photographs. When assembled the covers create a full-sized image of flaming torch-like structures. The unsuspecting viewer may encounter these little photobooks as a pleasant visual wander through shapes, forms and colours. However the artist has seductively blind-sighted the viewer – these are not pretty and benign subjects. The accompanying didactic explains the photographs were made while participating in an artist in residence in a gas mining plant in Queensland. The artist adds to the didactic that: ‘The work demonstrates my concern for the environment and the depletion of the country’s resources.’

A position pervades many works in the show and I’m reminded of Lucy Lippard’s closing comment in the catalogue for the exhibition Weather Report: Art and Climate Change, where she speaks of the artist as a commentator, communicator and as one who acts as a provocateur. Lippard proposes, ‘… it is the artist’s job to teach us how to see.’ (Lippard 2007:11) Through these works McCue Boes is as an artist ‘teaching us to see’. The strength of her communiqué in these political works is achieved through with irony and humour, and the association with reality of the photographic image.

Books as Art: 30 years in the making is not an exhibition about art, or about making, or even about books. It is an exhibition about the very stuff of life and the human experience of the world – an experience that needs to be shared.

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Portrait: Catherine McCue-Bowes

Portrait: Catherine McCue-Bowes

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I’ve made a note also about the importance of proximity in regional centres as well – the ‘big city’ should come visiting sometime. They may be amazed!

 

Doug Spowart

July 28, 2014


VISIT CATHERINE McCUE BOES Website: http://catherinemccue.blogspot.com.au/

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Reference:

[i] Lippard, L. R. (1997). The Lure of the Local: Sense of Place in a Multicentered Society. New York, The New Press. P36.

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Review text © 2014 Doug Spowart

All photographs  © 2014 Doug Spowart

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Creative Commons-by-nc-nd.eu

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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COOPER+SPOWART EXHIBITION: Speaking About Place

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Gallery-layout JULY 2-72

Speaking About Place gallery layout

 

Speaking About Place: the Nocturne Project

Victoria Cooper & Doug Spowart

Cam Robertson Gallery, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, 19 July – 17 August 2014

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Our arts practice is informed by our ongoing and evolving connection with Place. Our Place-Projects are influenced by the context and the consequences of living within a constantly changing landscape. We work with a range of photographic concepts and techniques, from the camera obscura, through analogue processes to the digital forms of the medium. Our work is presented as visual narratives in artists’ books, photobooks, exhibition images and, more recently, blogs and social media.

Through our Nocturne documentary photography and Facebook social media projects, we have explored connections with Place in urban and regional communities throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. For us the phenomenon of nocturnal light transforms these everyday spaces. Buildings, busy street corners, quiet alleyways all become filled with the dramatic light of a movie scene. In 2013 and 2014 we were given the opportunity, through funded Artists-in-Residence (AIR) programmes, to undertake Nocturne projects in the regional communities of Muswellbrook, Grafton and Bundaberg.

In this exhibition we present a selection of images from three years of our Nocturne Projects. The work shown here adds to the recent Childers Art Gallery exhibition of this project, by the inclusion of social media elements. Therefore in this gallery we invite viewers to connect with the work in a forum outside the virtual space of Facebook. To enable this connection to take place we have created folios that contain transcripts of Facebook/Place/Storytelling from each of the three AIRs.

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About the photographs

We photograph in the early evening nocturnal light, a time of day where the afterglow of sunset and the glow of streetlights transform the everyday experience of place for the viewer. Images created at this time require long camera exposures and therefore produce photographs that can capture blurred movement of people and vehicles. Another important aspect of the Nocturne aesthetic is the effect of colour and the juxtaposition of coloured lights in the different situations of ambient daylight, artificial lighting, car head and taillights.

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Exhibition viewers reading Facebook responses

Exhibition viewers reading Facebook responses

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More than photographs

The photographs in themselves have no intrinsic meaning – it is the viewer, with their experience and memory that brings life to the image. In this moment of connection they may recount a personal narrative or connect with the historical significance of the place. This collaboration between photograph and viewer is exciting and vibrant – expanding the potential for the documentary image to go beyond the vision of the photographer.

As the Nocturne project has evolved, we have discovered the importance of sharing place stories through images, words, in person and online. Through Speaking about Place we have extended the potential for this project to share the transformative nature of lived experience and everyday life in each community.

The Western Downs town of Miles is scheduled for a social media Nocturne project later this year.

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CLICK HERE To download a PDF of some of the Facebook narratives Catalogue-Comments-interact-FP3

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Community comments about the photographs on Facebook

 

 

The online Nocturne Projects can be accessed at http://nocturnelink.com

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Link to The Toowoomba Chronicle online news story:

http://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/showing-cities-in-a-new-light/2323064/

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A selection of images from the opening and associated events

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Toowoomba Chronicle photographer get a Nocturne reverse-photo with us - From The Chronicle Instagram feed

Toowoomba Chronicle photographer Kevin Farmer gets a Nocturne reverse-photo with us – From The Chronicle Instagram feed

Exhibition invitation featuring the Toowoomba Town Hall Xmas 2012

Exhibition invitation featuring the Toowoomba Town Hall Xmas 2012

The opening of 'Speaking About Place by Ashleigh Campbell

The opening of ‘Speaking About Place by Ashleigh Campbell

Some attendees at the opening

Some attendees at the opening

Maureen Trainor and Kevin visit the show

Maureen Trainor and Kevin Scattergood visit the show

Jess Martin's 'Nocturne Cup Cakes...

Jess Martin’s Nocturne Cup Cakes…

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Visit http://nocturnelink.com to connect with our Nocturne Projects

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Installation photos and documentation of the artworks and text  ©Doug Spowart

Instagram photo and news story © The Toowoomba Chronicle and Kevin Farmer

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My photographs and words are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/au/

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MEMORY COLLECTIVE: Super Moon + Phoenix

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Eighteen months ago Toowoomba artist Damien Kamholtz began a project that was to bring together a team of local artists to participate in a conceptual artwork that would have many states and private and public iterations. The first public presentation of the The Memory Collective was at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery in August/September 2013.

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Two weeks ago a key element of The Memory Collective project was altered yet again into a new state. This took place near Cabarlah at a symbolic time for Kamholtz, the recent super moon…

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Here is part of the document made on that July evening.

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Damien Kamholtz @ the burning  Photo: Cooper+Spowart

Damien Kamholtz before the burning Photo: Cooper+Spowart

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The super-moon rising and the embers of the phoenix rising

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Aftermath of the fire

 

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Damien's Ash-Burn

Aftermath: ashes of the painting the next morning. Photo: Damien Kamholtz

 

…. this is not an ending for the Memory Collective…

 

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 THE BACKSTORY OF THE MEMORY COLLECTION

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An exhibition of the collaborative artwork as a singlarity

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Memory Collective image from the exhibition @ Toowoomba Regional

Memory Collective image from the exhibition @ Toowoomba Regional

 

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A painting and a performance

 

 

The Memory Collective painting by Damien Kamholtz

The Memory Collective painting by Damien Kamholtz

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The Memory Collective is a multi-disciplinary collaboration orchestrated by artist Damien Kamholtz. Kamholtz states: The Memory Collective Project is a creative collaboration between 12 artists across eight artistic disciplines exploring concepts and themes relating to the human condition such as change, constants, history, refection and memory. The artworks created during the project will make up an exhibition to be held at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery in September 2013.

There are different stages to the project. First Kamholtz created a large 2.2 metre square painting, while sculptor, Jessie Wright constructed the large vessel to hold the water. Kamholtz’s painting is embedded with personal meaning in the form of fragments of his past art, the ashes of diaries. In the presence of this artwork we are drawn into a poetic landscape where faces emerge; symbols and totems slip from passive dark spaces and come into conscious awareness.

The second stage of the work was the performance in the form of 9 responses to the painting by Kristy Lee. The painting and the pool created the reflective and reflexive performative space and the transformative process of the original painting then began. Integral to the space were David Usher’s delicate pots; these vessels contained the pallet of shades that then shrouded and clouded the memory of the work. Over the course of the day the painting’s physical form was transformed into something different loosing its current visual form as only a memory.

Our part of the collaboration was to witness, respond and record the transformation of the work over the day. The next stage of the Memory Collective’s work will continue over the next month our component will be to create 9 large collaged photograph memory states of the work for the show in September. Works by others include; a video art piece, a documentary video, a soundscape, interviews, prose and poems. It is a significant project and is being funded by the RADF and supported through the exhibition at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery.

 

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A fragment of photographic memories made by us for the MEMORY COLLECTIVE

 

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Kamholtz in the performance space with the painting and pool

Damien Kamholtz in the performance space with the painting and pool

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A performance

 

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Kirsty Lee and painting – in the early state…

Kirsty Lee performs before the painting

Kirsty Lee performs before the painting

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State 3 Kirsty applies paint to the paining...   Photo: Cooper+Spowart

State 3 Kirsty applies paint to the paining…

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Hand paint

Hand paint

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Kirsty Lee and her interaction with the painting   PHOTO Cooper+Spowart

Kirsty Lee and her interaction with the painting … around Stage 6

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Blue hand...

Blue hand…

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Kirsty Lee in a frenetic stage…

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Kirsty Lee and brushes before the pool

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Paint fluid in the pool…

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Towards the final state…

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The final state …


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Additional material

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Damien discussing movement with Kirsty

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Kirsty Lee towards the end of the performance

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Another creative work from the performance by Jason Nash…

Jason Nash - Time lapse video

Jason Nash – Time lapse video

CLICK HERE to see Jason Nash’s ‘Memory Collective’ time-lapse video

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The Team: Front Ashleigh Campbell, Julio Dunlop, Kirsty Lee, Victoria Cooper, Doug Spowart Back: David Usher, Jason Nash, Jesse Wright, Damien Kamholtz, Zac Rowling ( weakling). Not present: Craig Allen & Jake Hickey

The Team: Front Ashleigh Campbell, Julio Dunlop, Kirsty Lee, Victoria Cooper, Doug Spowart
Back: David Usher, Jason Nash, Jesse Wright, Damien Kamholtz, Zac Rowling ( weakling).
Not present: Craig Allen & Jake Hickey

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Toowoomba Chronicle 17 June, 2013 by Kate Dodd PHOTO: Dave Noonan

Toowoomba Chronicle 17 June, 2013 by Kate Dodd PHOTO: Dave Noonan

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© 2013+2014 Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart for The Memory Collective

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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