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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.




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:






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.



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




Frontpiece: TIDAL





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’













A BOOK for AUSTRALIA DAY, January 26, 2014

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It’s Australia Day!! We have a photobook on display in the Two Doors Gallery in 85 George Street the ‘Rocks’, Sydney that is a commentary on Australia Day, that we created on Australia Day in 2010.


The collaborative book, called Australian Banquet, January 25/26, 1788 (variant #5), is a double-sided broadsheet cyanotype in rice paper, 37.6x77cm. There are 7 unique state variants of this work.


The Australian Banquet -Two Doors

The Australian Banquet in the window @ Two Doors … Photo: Dawne Fahey


The artists’ statement for the work is as follows:


Across Australia on January 26, people consume food in celebration of a free and dynamic Australian culture. This work comments on the ‘turning of the page’ in Australian history that Australia Day represents. One day — January 25th 1788, Indigenous people feasted on a diverse banquet of bush tucker (as they had for thousands of years). The next day —a new paradigm arrived with the table setting of the First Fleet. Australia Day importantly is a time to re-examine the status of the Indigenous perspective and their knowing of land, culture and history and how it underpins all that is celebrated in the diversity and identity of post-colonial Australia.



How the work is to be viewed/read

1.        At a tabletop setting view and contemplate the 25th of January side of the broadsheet.

January 25,1788

January 25, 1788


2.        Then, pickup the broadsheet and turn it over as if reading a book – Contemplate.

January 26,1788

January 26, 1788


3.        Finally hold the broadsheet up to a light thus enabling the interrelationship between the two
images to be considered.   (Image shows variant #4)

January 25+26,1788-combined - Today's view

January 25+26,1788 (combined) –Today’s view


Drop in to the gallery if you’re in Sydney.

If you happen to be in ‘The Rocks’ on Monday 27th, the public holiday come along to Two Doors and see Picturing the Orchestral Family – and a selection of photographs by Dawne Fahey – and hear the Carreon Family Quartet performance – Tango from 2 – 3. They will also perform February 2nd – same time. Performing daily @ 5.30 pm is flautist Chloe Chung – Two Doors is very lucky to have these young people from Sydney Youth Orchestras helping us celebrate this exhibition !

Have a Great Australia Day…!

© 2014 Dawne Fahey (gallery image) and ©2012 Doug Spowart+Victoria Cooper.


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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