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Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

SCU Acquisitive Artists Book Award – February 26, 2011

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Judge: Prof Ross Woodrow

Judge: Prof Ross Woodrow

The 2011 Southern Cross University’s Acquisitive Artists Book Award was announced at the Next Gallery in Lismore on February 26. Shortlisted works represented a cross section of the discipline from sculptural books to the ephemeral oddities, readymades, recycled, sticks ‘n’ feathers and solidly traditional weighty codexes. The exhibition was a ‘something for everyone’ sampler of contemporary approaches to the art—whatever that may be.

The exhibition venue, whilst modest in size, amply accommodated the works and gave an intimate viewing experience to the books. Importantly the gallery places the works within the centre of the Lismore Central Business District enabling a very public connection to artists’ books as art gallery presentation content. This is contrary to the almost secular way in which this kind of work is presented in libraries and specialized venues.

Professor Ross Woodrow, from the Queensland College of Art, as this year’s judge was charged with the responsibility of selecting works to compliment the books already held by the university’s library that are used not only for exhibition and reading, but also for lecture discussion samples.

Woodrow listed his three principal criteria for selection; (1) the best books for the collection, (2) personal taste and (3) books that look like books and acted as books. His selection of 3 books confirms this criteria:

  • Lyn Ashby: The Ten Thousand Things, digital prints, Arches Watercolour paper, boards, 24 x 30cm closed, Edition 50.
  • Peter E Charuk: Glacies Lux, digital photographs, 21 x 34cm
  • Peter Lyssiotis + Ann-Marie Hunter: A Modern Forest, screenprint, 26.3 x 17.5cm Edition 10, Publisher: Mastertheif / Psyclonic Studios

Viewing books @ the NEXT Gallery

As usual the judge’s selections have created some contention in the artists book scene. Some commentators on the awards seem to miss the point that this is an acquisitive award that contributes to the university’s teaching library of artists books. Each acquisitive award event is presided over by a different judge and different areas of artists book practice will be represented in their selection. Ultimately the winner is everyone interested in artists books as the collection will quite possibly become one of the most diverse, in terms of examples of exemplary practice, in the country.

More viewing of books

An online catalogue is available for viewing on the Next Gallery Site

Check it out!

Cheers

Doug

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