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Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

BOX of BOOKS Event – Toowoomba!

with 3 comments

Looking at the books – Cobb+Co Museum, Toowoomba

Looking at the books – Cobb+Co Museum, Toowoomba

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Around 35 photobook enthusiasts gathered at the Cobb+Co Museum on January 27 to view the Photobook Club’s Box of Books and talk about photobooks. The event brought together local photo identities John Elliott, Graham Burstow, David Seeto and Victoria Cooper. Eric Victor, Ian Poole and Qld College of Art Masters student Maureen Trainor came from the Brisbane side of the Range. The meeting took place in the gallery space of the ICON on ICONS photographic exhibition that also concluded on that day.

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Convener of the event Doug Spowart opens the Box of Books

Convener of the event Doug Spowart opens the Box of Books

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The seven books were viewed and discussed at length. Comments about the books included the following:

“Each book is a very personal communiqué”

“The books demand viewing at many different levels – the narrative, the design, the production, the conceptual nature of the work…”

“This is a very Eurocentric view – I wonder what the American view would look like?”

“How do these books compare with the Australian photobook scene?”

A great deal of discussion took place over the comment – “Where are the captions … the works that help me to understand what the photographer is trying to say?” One respondent commented on Roland Barthes’ concept of ‘The death of the author and the birth of the reader’ – meaning that the reader needs to connect with the images and draw on their own life experiences.

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Donald Webber’s Interrogations drew quite a few comments – tension and the power of the portraits made in such a circumstance.

Linda Seeto, Victoria Cooper, Hardy and Alison Ahlhaus looking at Interrogations

Linda Seeto, Victoria Cooper, Hardy and Alison Ahlhaus looking at Webber’s Interrogations

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The crowd favourite was Anne Sophie Merryman’s Mrs. Merryman’s Collection … a superb design, delicate paper, the see-through of texts and the amazingly bizarre collection of post card photographs and comments.

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Merryman

Mrs. Merryman’s Collection

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Paul Graham’s The Present and its gate-fold format presented a viewing challenge as each image or group of images needed to be revealed by folding-out the page – an extended haptic experience, and considering the size of the book, it slowed down the read and brought the busy street scenes to a slowed motion.

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Tony Coonan, Linda and David Seeto look at Paul Graham's book

Tony Coonan, Linda and David Seeto look at Paul Graham’s book

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The Box of Books will be in Brisbane on Monday the 3rd of February and then be off to New Zealand for the next stage in its journey.

Thanks to the Cobb+Co Museum for providing the venue. The Photobook Club and the publishers who donated the books for the opportunity for us to see, touch, and read these books.

Until the next Photobook Club event in our area….

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This Photobook Club BOX OF BOOKS event was coordinated by Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper of the Centre for Regional Arts Practice.

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Other images from the event…

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Looking at a book…

Ann Alcock and Bev Lacey

Ann Alcock and Bev Lacey

Toula, Ian Poole and Louise

Toula, Ian Poole and Louise

Tony Coonan, Victoria Cooper and Anne Howard

Tony Coonan, Victoria Cooper and Anne Howard

Judi Neuman and Phillipa Hodges

Judi Neuman and Phillipa Hodges

Graham Burstow and Maureen Trainor

Graham Burstow and Maureen Trainor

Looking at some of the ephemera from the Box of Books

Looking at some of the ephemera from the Box of Books

John Elliott and Eric Victor

John Elliott and Eric Victor

Helen Gibbs and Lucy Robertson-Cunninghame (on Right) with Webber's book

Helen Gibbs and Lucy Robertson-Cunninghame

Gerry Saide looking closely at a book

Gerry Saide looking closely at a book

Doug Spowart opens the box

Doug Spowart opens the box

Room view at the Cobb+Co Museum

Room view at the Cobb+Co Museum

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The Cobb+Co Museum panorama

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The Photobook Club's BOX of BOOKS arrives in Toowoomba

The Photobook Club’s BOX of BOOKS in Toowoomba

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3 Responses

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  1. What a wonderful day this would have been. So sorry I couldn’t make it. It would have been like Xmas opening up the box of goodies. Thank you for educating and bringing out the creative in many people.

    jan ramsay

    January 28, 2014 at 7:35 pm

  2. Doug! Tell me you didn’t use that Stanley knife!
    Sorry to miss it though.

    Helen Cole

    January 28, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    • Helen, Kekeke…
      I used the knife in a method compliant with WH&S site approval in full view of my advisor on all matters safety – Victoria Cooper. She documented the box opening process as a control measure should something go wrong – there would be evidence. You should know “No books were harmed” during this procedure. Some bubble plastic burst – something to do with the altitude differential between Melbourne and Toowoomba. Cheers Doug


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