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Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

ADVANCE NOTICE: WORLD PHOTOBOOK DAY Brisbane Event

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WPBD Header

 

To mark the 175th anniversary of what is recognised as the first photobook – Anna Atkins’ Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions‘ we invite photobook lovers/collectors/makers to a Brisbane celebration of World Photobook Day 2018.

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Green Anna Logo

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This year the theme of the WPBD is ‘Anna goes green’ and is intended to focus on the concerns of:

       – Global warming

       – Environmental change and destruction

       – Books about natural history topics including plants and nature

       – Books with links to planet earth

The theme originates from Atkins’ activities as a scientific illustrator of flora and other specimens.

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At this year’s event you will have the opportunity to:

  • HEAR: Special guest speaker: Dr Paolo Magagnoli from the UQ School of Communications and Arts
  • VIEW: Photobooks from the Fryer Library collection
  • DISCUSS: “My favourite photobook”
  • BRING: Along your favourite photobook to share.

VENUE: Fryer Library University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus from 11.00 am Saturday the 13th of October.

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David Symons

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This event is being coordinated by David Symons – we thank David for taking on this task while we are away in Tasmania.

We also wish to acknowledge that the World Photobook Day has been set up as a collaboration between the organizers of Photobook Club Madrid and Matt Johnston the founder of the Photobook Club network.

PLEASE NOTE: World Photobook Day is October 14 – This event is scheduled on the 13th due to the availability of the venue.

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FOR MORE DETAILS & TO REGISTER>>>    https://www.facebook.com/events/247464655970747/

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CYANOTYPE IN AUSTRALIA @ MGA – An exhibition & Workshop

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We are excited to announce an exhibition of the work of Australian cyanotype practitioners for World Cyanotype Day 2018 has now opened.

Over the last month we’ve been working with Stephanie Richter and Gillian Jones of Monash Gallery of Art in Melbourne to bring together the cyanotype works by artists from north Queensland to Tasmania to exhibit in the MGA’s ATRIUM GALLERY.

We also presented a one day masterclass on the cyanotype and the book.

 

In Anna’s Garden: Poster

 

The exhibitors are:

Adele Outteridge, Ann Vardanega, Chris Byrnes, Christina Harding, Danielle Minette, David Symons, Dawne Fahey, Deanna Hitti, Felicity Rea, Gael E Phillips, Gail Neumann, Jan Ramsay, Janis House, Kate Golding, LeAnne Vincent, Linsey Walker, Lloyd Godman, Lynette Zeeng, Mark Lourensz, Mel Brackstone, Mollie Bosworth, Raimond De Weerdt, Renata Buziak, Robyn Campbell, Shane Booth, Silvi Glattauer, Sue Clisby, Thomas Oliver, Trevor Foon, Stephanie Richter, Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart.

 

the ‘In Anna’s Garden’ catalogue

A copy of the exhibition catalogue can be dowloaded ‘In Anna’s Garden’ CATALOGUE

 

A video of the gallery installation can be seen here…

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THE STORY OF THE EXHIBITION from Victoria Cooper + Doug Spowart

 

For around 2 years we have been members of the World Cyanotype Day Facebook page and have followed the work and comments made by cyanotypists from all over the world. When the call went out about the 2018 World Cyanotype Day (WCD) we shared the post on our Facebook page with the message, ‘wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could have an exhibition of practitioners from Australia to celebrate WCD’. Within minutes our Facebook Friends started responding with supporting comments like, ‘WOW, I’d like to be a part of that!’ Within 24 hours about 20 ‘Likes’ and comments appeared – we then thought about how we could make it possible.

In September we were scheduled to be in Melbourne so we made some enquiries with a few contacts about the possibility of an exhibition space that we could consider for the project. Things went quiet for a while and we sent out a few follow up messages. Then came a response from Stephanie Richter, the Monash Gallery of Art’s Education & Public Programs Coordinator, that the Community Access space at MGA could be available. After consultation with the Director Anouska Phizacklea and the MGA team the go ahead was granted to mount the exhibition and present a masterclass in the process. An event team was formed consisting of Stephanie, Gillian Jones – a recent Master of Arts and Cultural Management student from Melbourne University with Vicky and myself.

A Facebook Group was established and people who we knew were practising cyanotypists were invited to join. Through our contacts in alternative and traditional photography we enquired about other cyanotype workers that we should be aware of to extend to them an invitation to contribute to the show.
In time documents outlining the project, conditions of submission and important aspects of the venue and the audience were generated and made available online. Some invitees were contacted via email, as they were not Facebook users.

The closing dates for submissions, delivery to the gallery and installation all had tight deadlines. The FB group was able to provide a rapid distribution of information, an ability to respond to questions and circulate the answers back to the group. Behind the scenes the event team connected via Facebook Messenger to plan, resolve and prepare the way for the exhibition. Early in September the works were received at the gallery and a 3-day installation took place by the event team supported by artist Deanna Hitti. The exhibition was opened on the 15th of September and will remain on show until the 21st of October.

In Anna’s Garden presents a diverse and vibrant community of cyanotype artists and photographers working in Australia. Although the exhibition is not a complete survey, it does represent a beginning in recognizing the practice of this process in Australia. Also planned is the continuation of an openly accessible ‘The Cyanotype in Australia’ Facebook page to provide a place for networking and the sharing of concepts, techniques and images with the local, national and international communities.

The growing popularity of this early photographic process could seem strange at a time when instant perfection is so easily achieved through digital technologies. Perhaps the allure for the cyanotype lies in its hand-made working methods and technologies along with the potential for capricious results that inevitably lead to an excitement in the discovery new ways of seeing. For many the emotional power of the cyanotype’s blue image continues to create new perceptions through visual expression and storytelling 176 years beyond its first discovery.

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SOME IMAGES FROM THE EXHIBITION

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Written by Cooper+Spowart

August 28, 2018 at 11:27 pm

A BOOK, A COLLABORATION & TIME – #19 Artist Survey Book

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#19 Artists Survey Book

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The story of the Centre for Regional Arts Practice’s #19 Artist Survey Book

Between December 2013 until April 2015 Elysha Rei was working on a Masters of Business Administration project to develop an artist in residence program at Sam Rit in rural north-eastern Thailand. We had known Elysha for some time as an artist and director of Made Creative Space in Toowoomba. The Sam Rit project meant that she and son Kairo moved to Thailand for over 2 years and we followed Elysha’s activities on Facebook with interest on how her project was progressing.

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In August 2014 Elysha made a Facebook post in which the comments made seemed to indicate she was missing Toowoomba and her friends. We got in contact and suggested that we collaborate on a mail art project – something that connected her experiences in regional Thailand with the familiar space of Toowoomba, Queensland Australia.

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FB-Message 14 August 2014

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Elysha said “That would be amazing count me in!” And the project was underway…

Ideas were exchanged and the project began with making photographs of our different everyday surroundings and the thought that they would be presented as comparative pairs.

Since 2007 we had made little Artists Survey books as part of our activities in the entity we founded – Centre for Regional Arts Practice (acronym C.R.A.P.). So the project that we were undertaking would be published as edition #19.  A story on earlier C.R.A.P. editions and an event celebrating the Artist Surveys can be found HERE.

. Artists Flash Mob

2015

When Elysha returned briefly to Brisbane in January 2015 we worked through the progress to date in a meeting room at the State Library of Queensland. Images were ‘paired’ and other images, yet to be taken, were identified as well as other project discussions around other project details.

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Elysha, Victoria and Doug in a planning meeting January 2016

Discussing photographs January 2016

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2016-7

Our lives became busy with work and travel so continuing work the #19 Artist Survey book lapsed although a design was developed by Elysha for the extended cover of the book. Elysha also coordinated the Thai translations for the text. And Vicky and Doug developed the design of the book. Occasional connections were made to keep the project alive but at no time was there any thought that it would not reach its conclusion.

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World map cover illustration

World map cover (in development)

Colophon texts with Thai translation

 

2018

Not daunted by huge issues at the beginning of the year Elysha connected with us to finalise the project. Final text and colour corrections were made to the InDesign document and the file was sent off to MomentoPro in Sydney for the pages to be printed. The cover was printed separately in Brisbane by us.

On the 28th of July we met again in a meeting room at the State Library of Queensland to collate, fold, sew and sign the 30 copies of the book.

Making the 30 copies of the #19 Artist Survey book

#19 Artist Survey Book – The Thai/Toowoomba exchange

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Elysha, Victoria and Doug with the finished #19 Artist Survey book

 

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Some pages from the #19 Artist Survey book

Breakfast – Toowoomba/Thai exchange

Into the studio – Toowoomba/Thai exchange

View from my studio window – Toowoomba/Thai exchange

Local art gallery – Toowoomba/Thai exchange

Where I sleep – Toowoomba/Thai exchange

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A limited number of the books are available for purchase for $25+pack&post – contact us if you would like to order a copy.

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Written by Cooper+Spowart

August 9, 2018 at 10:39 pm

4 PHOTOBOOK EVENTS – Brisbane August 3, 4 &5 2018

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Australian + New Zealand Photobook of the Year Finalists

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PLEASE NOTE THESE EVENTS HAVE NOW COMPLETED

FRIDAY August 3, 2018 evening

Event 1 – VIEW THE BEST PHOTOBOOKS from Australia & New Zealand

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SATURDAY August 4, 2018 ALL DAY

Event 2 – HEAR CONTEMPORARY PHOTOBOOK people talking about the medium

Both events are FREE though registration/booking is essential

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SUNDAY August 5 – Two NEW Sessions

(See Eventbrite links for session details, fees and booking details)

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Event 3 – HAVE A PHOTOBOOK REVIEW with the Doctors – Doug+Vicky

Event 4 – DESIGNING & MAKING CONCERTINA FOLD BOOKS – with Doug+Vicky

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EVENT 1: FRIDAY – August 3

An evening presentation the very best of contemporary photobooks from Australia and New Zealand from the recent Photobook of the Year Awards.

  • Meet Libby Jeffery from the Award’s Patron MOMENTO PRO.
  • Come in and look at the books from 5.30–8.00pm and Saturday 10.30–3.30pm.
  • Location: MAUD GALLERY – 6 Maud Street, Newstead, Brisbane.

TO BOOK this event do so on this Facebook page: PHOTOBOOK FRIDAY FACEBOOK EVENT

 

ANZ Photobook Awards at Maud Gallery

 

 

Event 2: TALKING BOOKS SYMPOSIUM  (free)

  • SATURDAY August 4 – 10.30am – 4.00pm
  • 6 speakers on the contemporary photobook
  • Location: MAUD GALLERY – 6 Maud Street, Newstead, Brisbane.

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Eventbrite Logo

AS SEATING IS LIMITED – ….“CLICK” THE EVENTBRITE LINK BELOW.

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/talking-books-photobook-club-brisbane-event-tickets-37573180394

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Libby Jeffery – MomentoPro

 

At 11.00am

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Libby Jeffery from MomentoPro

Libby will talk about the Antipodean experience of self publishing a photo book – from purpose through to publicity

including:

  • Purpose
  • Budget/Funding
  • Self/Publish
  • Edit/Design
  • Format/Print
  • Sell/Distribute
  • Launch/Publicise

 

From 1.00-4.00pm

MEET SOME LOCAL PHOTOBOOK MAKERS & THEIR BOOKS

Tammy Law and her book Permission to Belong being developed in conjunction with Yumi Goto and the Reminders Photography Stronghold workshop

TAMMY LAW documents stories that are reflective of her experiences of being a child of Chinese migrants, and the bubble of Asian/Australianness within which she lives. Her travels through Asia—mostly in Japan, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma—and the differences between Asia and the West propel her to focus on concepts of migration, home and belonging.

Tammy’s book ‘Permission to Belong’, explores themes of migration, home and belonging through the everyday lives of refugee families from Myanmar. Living against the backdrop of decades of repressive rule and civil war, countless families live between a place of home and homelessness, belonging and unbelonging. The negotiation and renegotiation of identities is as complex as the history and future of Myanmar.

Ana Paula Estrada and 2 spreads from her book Memorandum

 

ANA PAULA ESTRADA: I am a Mexican–Australian artist based in Brisbane. For the last seven years my art practice has focused mainly on the documentation of life stories of older Australians by combining photography, oral history, and the artist book. I am currently undertaking my Master of Visual Arts by research degree at the Queensland College of Art.

In 2016, I self-published an artist book called Memorandum in an edition of 200, which was recognized and exhibited broadly nationally and internationally. My current project consists of publishing a two-volume artist book that tells the life stories of Kevin and Esta, two participants aged over eighty, with whom I have been collaborating. Merging the fields of documentary practice, oral history and fine arts, and influenced by visual poetry, my books explore the combination of text, image and the blank space of the page.

 

Jan Ramsay and her book Toaster, and another book showing her fine binding skills

JAN RAMSAY: Being inspired by creative parents and grandparents, After a few career changes including dental nurse/radiographer, fashion design and working with special needs people using braille & sign language Jan started a professional photography business, Eye on Photography in 1996. In photography Jan found expression for her creative spirit.

Jan’s books are mix of creative play and exploration of ideas where the form of the book becomes an important opportunity to push boundaries, making mistakes and having fun. Her books are hand bound featuring artists’ book techniques and are usually published in singular editions.

 

Raphaela Rosella and her book We met a little early, but I get to love you longer

Raphaela Rosella is an Australian based artist working in the tradition of long-form documentary storytelling. She has spent the past decade highlighting the lived experience of women in her life as they grapple with the complexities and cyclical nature of social disadvantage in Australia.  Her artistic practice draws heavily on relational exchanges and a collaborative ethos to challenge tropes of victimhood and poverty. 

When my teenage twin sister told me she was pregnant, I was angry. I called her a ‘slut’ and told her to get an abortion. I thought she could have a ‘better life’. But what is a better life? It was a path we were all expected to take. For many of my friends, becoming a parent young was not a ‘failure of planning’, but a tacit response to the choices and opportunities available to us. My book ‘We met a little early, but I get to love you longer‘ documents women in my life; my twin, my-step sister, and new and old friends as they grapple with the complexities of motherhood and the turbulent and uncertain environments around them.

 

 

HEAR ABOUT RECENT PHOTOBOOK EVENTS ACTIVITIES IN New Zealand & Bangkok

 

Tammy Law will talk about her experiences at the PHOTO BANGKOK event.

 

Libby Jeffery will talk about her experiences as an observer of the PBNZ Masterclass in Wellington last August..

 

Doug Spowart’s A Compendium of AuNz Photobooks

Doug Spowart will talk about his latest edition of A Compendium of Australian and New Zealand Photobooks.

 

The Symposium will conclude at 4.00pm

 

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Maud Gallery sign

Thank You Maud Gallery for supporting this Photobook Club Brisbane event.

 

These events are coordinated by Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper

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BUNDANON Residency 2018 – WHY ARE WE HERE?

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WHY ARE WE – documentation of a page from the Island Book

 

WHY ARE WE … Here at Bundanon?

In 2007 we were successful applicants for a Bundanon residency that enabled is to realize a major component of our individual PhD research. However we still needed to resolve many issues raised by this work and to return our finished works to be documented in the site that they were created. So in 2009 we were granted a second residency to complete this part of our studies.

While we were deep in our research other interesting and unanswered questions arose that have haunted us since this time. Although our itinerant life in the last few years has been exciting and constantly changing, we have missed the opportunity to be in a studio and a place devoted to just working on our practice.

Now this latest residency will give us time to work again at the boundaries of our practice and create the new work that has been gestating in our minds over these few years.

See our COOPER+SPOWART website for further info. (Please note the content of this page are Adobe Flash driven presentations)See relevant aspects of our past Bundanon residencies relating to our PhD research here Victoria COOPER ThesisDoug SPOWART – Thesis.

FOLLOW OUR WORK over the next 3 weeks on our FACEBOOK Page

 

A SELECTION OF IMAGES

From artists’ books, photobooks, experimental projects, artwork documentation and our collaboration made during our 2007 & 2009 residencies.

 

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SINGLE MEN’S QUARTERS CAMERA OBSCURA

 

Documentation of the Camera Obscura image in the Single Men’s Quarters

 

PROJECTIONS

‘CLICK’ to enlarge

 

SOME IMAGES FROM DOUG’S WORK

‘CLICK’ to enlarge

 

SOME IMAGES FROM VICKY’S WORK

‘CLICK’ to enlarge

 

 

TO FOLLOW OUR ACTIVITIES OVER THE NEXT 3 WEEKS “LIKE” our FACEBOOK PAGE and in “Follow” – click “SEE FIRST”

 

FB-Follow

 

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Please join with us in this exciting project…

 

 

 

LIBRIS ARTISTS’ BOOK AWARD – Cooper+Spowart Finalists

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The artists’ book TIDAL by Cooper+Spowart

 

Our artists’ book TIDAL is now on show as a FINALIST in the 2018 LIBRIS ARTISTS’ BOOK AWARD at Artspace Mackay, Queensland, Australia.

We are excited to be finalists in this Award exhibition. The awards were announced on May 26 – details of the winning works and a download of the exhibition catalogue are available at the bottom of this post.

 

ABOUT OUR ARTISTS’ BOOK – TIDAL :

 

TIDAL is a montage of fragmented imprints made from the solid reality of found objects swept up by the tide–beautiful castaways from the ocean.

These objects as image elements, no longer in their original form, are woven together as if a poem, song or dance. In many ways TIDAL relates to a ‘desire for that melancholy wonder that is the blue of distance’ from Rebecca Solnit’s A field guide to getting lost.  Or just simply it could be about the artist and their art.

It is book of double-sided cyanotype prints, when held to the light, allow for the montage of the images front and back, thus merging and unfolding the space and time of the page and the book. Reading becomes the blending of the fragments through the spatial divide of the turning page.

The video that follows gives a basic view of the TIDAL book:

 

 

 

ABOUT THE TIDAL BOOK PROJECT:

 

This project began with the collection of beach detritus at low tide after the super moon at Wooli, north coast New South Wales.

We worked collaboratively in the intense heat of Christmas Day 2016 to hand coat the cyanotype emulsion on ricepaper, expose the ‘found objects’ to the paper in the sun, and then wash-out in running water with a dash of lemon juice to create the double-sided cyanotype folios.

Over the next year we developed the structural form of the book, and finally returned to finish it at Wooli, as this state, over Christmas in 2017.

The double-sided cyanotype prints, when held to the light, allow for the montage of the images front and back, thus merging and unfolding the space and time of the page and the book. Reading becomes the blending of the fragments through the spatial divide of the turning page.

 

THE BOOK:

A unique state book of 6 double-sided cyanotype images on rice paper.

Book size 49.5x30x1 cm

The text was written by Victoria Cooper and includes a quote by Rebecca Solnit.

Folders and text:
Canson Stonehenge and Arches paper with rice-paper collage elements.

Garamond font family in pigmented inks on Arches paper.

This book is another work created in an ongoing series relating to the locality of Wooli and we acknowledge the support provided by Dr Felicity Rea

 

BOOK TEXT:

 

Frontpiece: TIDAL

 

 

OTHER INFORMATION INCLUDING THE WINNING BOOKS:

 

Category 1. Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal National Artists’ Book Award

Winner: Clyde McGill for his work ‘Witness’

Category 2. Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Altered Book Award

Michelle Vine for her work ‘Contested Biography I (quadrat)’

Category 3. Mackay Regional Council Regional Artists’ Book Award

Jamian Stayt for his work ‘Tagged’

Category 4. Artspace Mackay Foundation Tertiary Artists’ Book Award

Jenna Lee for her work ‘A plant in the wrong place’

 

LIBRIS CATALOGUE

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE CATALOGUE

Libris_Awards_2018_Catalogue_of_Entries_brochureA4

 

SEE OUR POST ABOUT THE 2016 LIBRIS AWARDS HERE

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WISHING PHOTOBOOKS A ‘HAPPY 174th BIRTHDAY’

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WPBD Header

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Each year World Photobook Day is celebrated by members of the international network of Photobook Clubs. Since it’s inception 5 years ago it has been organized by The Photobook Club Madrid. The date for the World Photobook Day is October 14th which has been selected as it was on this date that Anna Atkins’ Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions was accepted and catalogued by the British Library in 1843.

 

The British Library catalogue entry for Atkins’ book

 

Each year we try to coordinate our own event at the Photobook Club Brisbane – (See past year’s events at the end of this post). This year’s (2017) WPBD project was a request for photobook people to send to us  “A Birthday Card” to celebrate the occasion.

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Here are some of the contributions to this project:

Gael Phillips – The undifferenced arms of the Children Family

 

Gail Hoger-Neumann – A cyanotype made in Greece

 

Lou Gilbert

 

Stuart Murdoch

 

Julia Borrisova

 

Victoria Cooper– Χρόνια Πολλά Photobooks A cyanotype made in Greece

 

Maureen Trainer and Kevin Scattergood

 

Julie White

 

David Lee

 

Erica and David Lee

 

Dane Beesley

 

Doug Spowart’s 174 candles book

 

Thanks to all the contributors…..

 

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD A COPY OF WPBD CARD ALBUM 2017

 

WPBD-ALBUM PDF PIC

Some past WPBD Events we (Victoria and Doug) have coordinated include:

2016 WPBD – PHOTOBOOK SHELFIE Facebook Page

2015 WPBD – ‘READING PHOTOBOOKS’ @ Maud Gallery

2014 WPBD – GAEL PHILLIPS PRESENTS ANNA ATKINS @ The Edge Brisbane

2013 WPBD – A ‘MY FAVOURITE PHOTOBOOK’ MEETING @ The Grid, Toowoomba

 

Graphic for 5th WPBD

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Written by Cooper+Spowart

May 23, 2018 at 9:08 am

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