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SPOWART Artists Book Shortlisted for LIBRIS AWARD

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The artists book Have you got your Chronicle Today? has been shortlisted for the 2013 Libris Awards – The Australian Artists Book Prize.

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The Libris Awards are Australia’s premier national artist’s book prize. An intitiative of the Mackay Regional Council through Artspace Mackay, these biennial awards seek to develop awareness of council’s significant collection of artists’ books and to develop the collection further through the acquisition of new works by leading Australian artists working in this field.  (from the Artspace Mackay website)

My book Have you got your Chronicle today? makes comment on how the tabloid newspaper is reliant on the advertising dollar to support the necessary communication of the daily news. This artists book is a mashup of the news with advertising. The collaged elements comment on content and the way the reader is directed by the newspaper design through the placement of advertisements, journalism texts, photography, community notices and sport. After deconstructing the newspaper, the book’s form changed as new associations of text/image/graphics determined the new structure. The flow through the book matches the newspaper it parodies as it also can also be folded flat for post-reading storage. Details and images of the book and its construction follow – Enjoy …  Doug

Have you got your Chronicle today? instalation

Have you got your Chronicle today? installation

View a video performance of the book – Click the YouTube image

Have you got your Chronicle today? detail

Have you got your Chronicle today? closed

Have you got your Chronicle today? detail

Have you got your Chronicle today? detail

Have you got your Chronicle today? oblique view

Have you got your Chronicle today? oblique view

Have you got your Chronicle today? detail

Have you got your Chronicle today? detail

Doug in his atellier making the book

Doug in his atelier making the book

Doug in his atellier making the book

Doug in his atelier making the book

The mess when making a collage

The mess when making a collage

The list of other Finalists is available HERE

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FRENZIED A.I.R. ‘PoPuP’ Exhibition @ Brisbane’s GALLERY FRENZY

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We are now in Brisbane participating in an Artist in Residence @ Foto Frenzy in Coorparoo.

On Wednesday evening we presented an artist’s talk about our previous residencies and our approach to ‘Place Projects’. The event was attended by around 40 photographers, artists and students.

The exhibition will be on show on Easter Monday April 1st and Tuesday 2nd of April – We will be in attendance at the gallery between 11.00 am and 4.00 pm on those days.

GALLERY FRENZY is in the Foto Frenzy Photography Centre

Unit 3/429 Old Cleveland Rd, Coorparoo QLD 4151

We are also presenting a series of workshops @ Foto Frenzy–for details visit the website WWW.WOTWEDO.COM.

FRENzied A.I.R. Poster

FRENzied A.I.R. Poster

Ian Poole, a Director of Foto Frenzy, opens the exhibition.

Vicky talking about her work

Vicky talking about her work

Selfie with Ian Poole

Selfie with Ian Poole

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SOME OF THE WORK ON SHOW …

The exhibition features a selection of Camera Obscura works, Projections, cyanotypes and artists’ book and photobook works.

CarCamera concertina book

CarCamera concertina book

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PLAY A VIDEO OF SOME OF THE CARCAMERA WORK

The 'Hitting the Skids' flipbook

The ‘Hitting the Skids’ flipbook

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PLAY A VIDEO OF THE FLIPBOOK

'A cyanotype by Doug Spowart 'Wooli Beach Junk'

‘A cyanotype by Doug Spowart ‘Wooli Beach Junk’

Projection - Myall Park Botanic Gardens.jp

Projection – Myall Park Botanic Gardens

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COOPER SCROLLS @ Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery

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Victoria in the 'Off The Wall' installation

Victoria Cooper in the Off The Wall installation

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ABOUT THE CURRENT SHOW

Victoria Cooper’s digital montage Stories from the Gorge scrolls, made over ten years ago are included in Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery show. The exhibition is entitled Off the wall and will be on show in Gallery 2 and Amos Gallery until 26 May 2013.

The information about the exhibition that follows comes from the exhibition room sheet prepared by Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery Exhibitions Officer, Ashleigh Bunter:

The works in the exhibition have been selected from the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery’s City Collection. They have been placed simply together due to their three-dimensional nature and to highlight their derivation from the traditional two-dimensional picture plane.

This exhibition demonstrates the way that artists manipulate physical depth within their works which can often create a greater engagement between the object and the viewer. Interestingly, many of the works in this exhibition focus upon environment, whether it is the natural, public or the domestic environment. Materiality is also a common consideration. Throughout this exhibition one can see the influence of ‘the collector’, artists who gather images or common materials, reusing and reinterpreting them to create their art.

Victoria Cooper’s Stories from the Gorge: Order, chaos and the story of the hillside is a Chinese-landscape-scroll inspired series that represents “the last bastion of a natural chaos and order, an anti-culture, occurring on the fringes of agriculture.”[i] Human effects on the natural environment are central to Cooper’s practice and her prints and artists’ books in various formations lead the view from a flat two dimensional plane into the landscapes she investigates. These printed scrolls rise up from handmade acrylic boxes like the tall gum trees on their surfaces.

Other artists in the Off The Wall show include; Michael Schlitz, Marieke Dench, Tiffany Shafran, Judith Kentish, and Brigid Cole-Adams and the exhibition will be on the wall until May 26, 2013.


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Stories From the Gorge triptych as presented @TRAG

Three images of the Stories from the Gorge triptych as presented @TRAG

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THE BACKSTORY OF THE SCROLLS

Cooper’s scrolls were presented for the TRAG exhibition as a triptych, however in the original exhibition, entitled Searching for the Sublime, there were five scrolls. Searching for the Sublime was a collaborative project with sculptor Jim Roberts, fellow artist Doug Spowart and curator Deborah Godfrey. The inspiration for the project was a wilderness area in the Helidon Hills a mere 20 kilometres north-east of Toowoomba. Supported by an RADF Grant, the show featured Roberts’ sculptures, Spowart’s abstract water photographs, and Cooper’s scrolls and was shown at 62 Robertson Gallery in Brisbane in August 2001.

Searching for the Sublime @ Gallery 62 Robinson

Searching for the Sublime @ Gallery 62 Robinson   PHOTO: Courtesy of 62 Robertson

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Five Stories Fom the Gorge installation at SQIT Gallery

Five Stories fom the Gorge installation at SQIT Gallery

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The images were assembled as a photomontage in the tiny, by current sizes, Blueberry iMac computer. At times Victoria juggled 200 layers in one Adobe Photoshop document to create the fiction panoramas. Seeing the whole image was a problem as most of the time Cooper’s view was no bigger than the iMac screen requiring her to ‘scroll’ the image up and down–just as you will do in looking at the images in this post. Saving the files took 20-30 minutes and the system often crashed. The images were printed in pigment inks on an Ilford Novajet printer onto Hahnemühle Japan ‘rice paper’ by IMT on the Gold Coast. Victoria worked with artist Wim de Vos to design the bespoke handmade acrylic boxes. The design featured the ability for the box to not only serve as a container, but also act as a device to display the scrolls.

The complete set of scrolls, Five Stories from the Gorge, was shown in many venues and awards (see prize list at the end of this post), including Photospace at National Art School, Australian National University, Canberra. Canberra Times arts reviewer Myra McIntyre commented that Cooper’s works are:

Most elegant and fascinating photographic objects are Landscape stories, a series of five Asian-inspired scrolls. Cooper crawls, wanders and flies through the Australian landscape gathering hundreds of objects, patterns, and perspectives that she digitally intertwines, creating a continuum of almost imperceptibly diverse perspectives and a physical sense of vertigo in the viewer.

Review, Canberra Times, May 10, 2002

In 2002 the triptych was acquired during its showing in the Toowoomba Biennial Acquisitive Award selected by Julie Ewington, then Curator at the Queensland Art Gallery. Interestingly the rules of the competition at the time restricted entries to work that had not previously won an art award–as such only the three scrolls The Story of the Hillside, Chaos and Order were entered. When purchased the two other scrolls were orphaned from the set.

So here in this blog, we reunite the Five Stories from the Gorge presented in a form for you to scroll/stroll through …  Enjoy.

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By Doug Spowart

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Story of the Cliff

Story of the Cliff

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Story of the Gorge

Story of the Gorge

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Story of the Hillside

Story of the Hillside

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PRIZES AND AWARDS

2001 The Gorge was purchased by Australian Library of Art at the State Library of Queensland

2001 – Photographer and gallery director Sandy Edwards awarded The Gorge, First Prize in the Muswellbrook Photography Award

2001 – MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor awarded The Cliff, First Prize for Works on Paper, Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum

2002 – Five Stories from the Gorge was a Finalist in the 2002 Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Foundation for the Arts Photography Award at the Gold Coast City Art Gallery was selected by Isobel Crombie Curator at the National Gallery of Victoria

2002 –The triptych was acquired during its showing in the Toowoomba Biennial Acquisitive Award selected by Julie Ewington, then Curator at the Queensland Art Gallery..

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YOU ARE INVITED: Meet the Artists Talk @ Foto Frenzy

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MEET-cooper+spowart-ADV

Meet the artists, see their work, hear them talk about creativity, invention, tinkering with art, and how to pursue personal directions in art-making and life.

The artists will also launch their Foto Frenzy workshop series and Artist in Residence.

Foto Frenzy
Unit 3, 429 Old Cleveland Road
Brisbane, QLD 4151
Australia

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EST)

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The event is FREE but seating is limited. Please book through Eventbrite

Click Here Eventbrite-logo

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Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart of Photographers of the Great Divide, are visual artists working in the fields of photoimaging, books as art, cultural research and education. They have collaborated on many art projects and exhibitions of book works that have featured their room and car camera obscuras.

As part of their PhD studies research and artworks produced were in the form of Photobooks and Artists Books. Both are Masters of Photography and Honorary Fellows of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.

Spowart and Cooper have both lectured in Australia and New Zealand on the topic of the photobook and artists’ books and their book have been purchased for the rare book and manuscript collections in the State Libraries of Queensland and Victoria, and the National Library of Australia.

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Visit <wotwedo.com> for the Cooper and Spowart Workshops.

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WOTWEDO.com

CODEX 9: ARTISTS’ BOOK DISCUSSION MEETING

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Queensland, it seems, is the place to be if you are interested in artists’ books (ABs). Queenslanders have one of the countries most significant collection of artists’ books in the State Library of Queensland, another significant private collection held by Noreen Grahame, herself a major contributor to the AB in this country. Other collections and events coordinated by Artspace Mackay including the Focus on Artists’ Books Forum and Libris Awards. There are also major practitioners of the art living and working in Queensland including Katherine Nix, Adele Outteridge, Wim de Vos, Ron McBurnie, Stephen Spurrier, Helen Malone, Jack Oudyn, Judy Barrass, and many more.

CODEX Event graphic

CODEX Event graphic

In this fertile space for ABs a small band of interested practitioners recently met to discuss the idea of forming a special interest group dedicated to the discipline. The invitation came as an email under the auspices of a CODEX 9 event with the following statement:

books by artists / artists books

printmaking, letterpress, papermaking and more

artists interested in making books are invited to

join an Impress Printmakers discussion group

located in Brisbane to foster and promote

contemporary artists book practice

Meeting on level 4 of the State Library of Queensland the 10 attendees represented a broad range of artists many of whom have had significant activity within the AB discipline, some had experiences of working as teachers using the book as a learning tool, some had academic links to ABs apart from their practice of making books, all had a definite interest in the discipline and wanted to engage in the idea of the discussion group as proposed in the invitation.

CODEX Event + Impress Printmakers AB discussion meeting

CODEX Event + Impress Printmakers AB discussion meeting

During the meeting many topics were raised including:

  • The dogged question of ‘what is an artist’ book?
  • What is not an artists’ book?
  • Where does the apostrophe go in the term artists book and why does it move
  • The Duchampian view of the ‘found object’ as art and his often cited idea that ‘it’s art because I say it is, and I’m an artist’
  • If it has a colophon then it’s an AB(?)
  • Scrapbooks as AB and the silent ‘s’ in the term scrapbook
  • Ideas of sharing knowledge about the gamut of the discipline

One participant presented a polemic to the group, proposing that a freestanding 3D object on the table before us could be an AB – how would we know? The object was a folded “No food or drink allowed” SLQ sign. Discussion ended and reinforced the group’s interest in being challenged, as through such knowledge and understanding emerges.

a polemic for an artists book

a polemic for an artists book

Other structural matters relating to the group’s future activities, meeting schedule, email and communications methods were discussed. Some requested a degree of anonymity at this time. It was noted that the SLQ will be hosting the next Siganto seminar with the topic being the trouble with artists’ books. It was agreed that it will be a ‘must attend’ event.

The meeting concluded in a convivial mood with most attendees going for a coffee, and we guess, some more conversations about the idea of the artists book …

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Doug and Victoria

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LAUNCH: WOTWEDO.COM – the Cooper+Spowart workshops

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For over 30 years Doug Spowart and 20 years for Victoria Cooper, have participated in training for creatives including artists and photographers. The pair has lectured in art and photography at TAFE colleges, universities, workshops, conferences and seminars for students, amateurs and professionals alike. Now, during April, May and June, through WOTWEDO.COM @ Brisbane’s Foto Frenzy, they offer a range of specialised & bespoke training and consultation services.

Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart

Both Doug and Victoria are Masters of Photography and Honourary Fellows of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). Throughout most of the 1990s Doug was the Chairperson of the AIPP Professional Photography Awards. In the mid 2000s both Vicky and Doug were involved as AIPP representatives in writing national photography TAFE level curriculum for Certificate and Diploma of Photography programs. In the last 10 years Victoria and Doug have engaged in part-time university study in photography and the world of artists books and art.

in 2013 Doug and Victoria are taking a sabbatical from TAFE teaching to pursue post-doctoral research and to re-engage with their arts practice. These workshops are part of their ‘Leap of Faith’ initiative that was introduced in their earlier blog post.

Do review their WOTWEDO workshop program and see WOT-THEY-CAN-DO for YOU!

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THE WORKSHOPS

Tinker_Logo-Eventbrite450x200

SERIES 1: TINKERING WITH PHOTOGRAPHY

Is your photography becoming formulaic (predictable) and more about digital technology and post-production than about the hands-on experience of taking photographs? Do you want to investigate possibilities of making a personal style beyond Instagram, Lomography and Hipstamatic filters?

This series is crammed full of projects and ideas that will present you with challenges, weird stuff, things you’ve heard about but never had the chance to try, and things that require a rush of the creative thought juices. Use this workshop to reconnect with your love of photography.

Dates (Tentative) 6 Sessions: Monday, April 15, 22, 29 and May 6, 13 & 20, 2013.

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SERIES 2: LOOKING GOOD IN PRINT–PHOTOBOOKS

By now everyone has made a photobook and in many ways current technology makes it easy to make one. But a photobook can be so much more – it can be a hand-made artwork or a super-slick prestige trade styled publication.

The Looking Good in Print: Photobook introductory session and workshop series will connect participants with concepts and techniques on how to personalize and create photo-stories in the form of the bespoke self-published photobook.

The range of options for making photobooks will be discussed and samples of hand-made, inkjet printed and hand-bound artists’ books, print-on-demand books will be available for viewing.

Dates (Tentative) 5 Sessions: Wednesday, April 10, 24, and May 1, 8 & 15, 2013.

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SERIES 3: INTEGRATED SOCIAL MEDIA

When you Google yourself, or your business, what kind of response do you get? Is your online presence a bit thin or based on content from Facebook, a website maybe, and a few social mentions?

This introductory session and workshop series is designed to help you to start developing an integrated online presence. It will illustrate how an integrated approach to using platforms like Linkedin, WordPress Blogs, YouTube and Behance Folios can create a ‘wall’ of search engine locatable, quality references and social media mentions as to who you are and what you do.

Dates (Tentative) 5 Sessions: Tuesday, May 21, 28, and June 4, 11 & 25, 2013.

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MORE INFORMATION & BOOKINGS

VISIT <www.wotwedo.com> for further details and bookings or contact Doug and Victoria by email info@cooperandspowart.com.au

Bookings through:

Eventbrite-logo

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WOTWEDO.com

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GETTING iPAD’ed’ for the future of education

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Over the last two weeks we have attended free Apple iPad lectures and demonstrations at the State Library of Queensland. Offered as part of their Digital Skills workshops the SLQ run them in partnership with presenters from the Apple Distinguished Educators program.

SLQ Apple Distinguished Educators – Digital skills workshops   Photo: Doug Spowart

Attending the first session of the SLQ Digital Skills workshop, February 20, 2013Photo: Doug Spowart

Whilst I’ve been around classrooms in the higher education area for most of my life, I now see an edu-game changing revolution emerging, based on opportunities provided by emergent digital technologies–most significantly the Apple iPad. Once we sat in front of desktop screens and towers enslaved by the size and weight of the technology. This scenario morphed into a mini, almost-mobile laptop phase where function and use usually mimicked its larger desktop brother. Now small portable tablets, in particular iPads, are replacing the computer behemoths of the past, and seem to be filling gaps in technology, social and human behaviour, centred on education.

It’s not just the iPad that’s made this possible, as it is merely the machine that acts a stage for the action. Everything about accessibility and functionality with the iPad ultimately comes down to apps. While we are familiar with conventional computer software and the near monopoly on applications for purpose, and their attached expense, apps are often free or modestly priced from $2~$10. And there are literally 1,000s and 1,000s of them, essentially an app for whatever you may want to do. This is why the iPad has such an intoxicating effect in the education interface of student and, perhaps also, those who teach.

Doug's hand+iPad  Photo:Doug Spowart

There are other considerations. The realm of education is essentially a place of youth, they want to subvert existing paradigms and most importantly they want to play games. The now ubiquitous iPad has transformed the learning space from chalk ‘n’ talk, and cursor ‘n’ mouse, into a gamified experience. Gamification, as Wikipaedia suggests, ‘is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems.’ The iPad provides a rich ‘game-like’ experience for users and much like a Trojan horse, it acts as the ‘hidden’ carrier of a teaching strategy for knowledge, skill acquisition, problem solving, creative expression and communication. Finally we teachers have found out that we can let kids have fun in the classroom.

The SLQ Digital Skills workshops and the presentations by the Apple Distinguished Educators have for me clarified this concept. The edu-evangelistic approach of the presenters and their vision for the future, has inspired me to get on board the iPad education facilitated experience, for both my students and I – we ‘wanna have fun’ …

Dr Doug Spowart

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More information of upcoming sessions:

SLQ’s Digital Skills workshop series is presented in partnership with Apple Distinguished Educators.

SLQ-photo24px

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