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SLQ – 2016 SIGANTO FOUNDATION ARTISTS’ BOOK SERIES

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Post event resfreshments on level 5 of the SLQ

Post event refreshments on level 5 of the SLQ

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CELEBRATING ARTISTS’ BOOKS @ THE STATE LIBRARY OF QLD

The Program: The Siganto Foundation Fellowship artist book series 2016 – April 17

 

From 10am-1pm – White Gloves Room, level 4. The Siganto Foundation Fellows presented a display that featured their research and creative works which included research papers, artist books, drawings, letterpresses and prints. The Fellows spoke with attendees about their work and research outcomes. Participating in the Fellows White Gloves event were Peter Anderson, Lyn Ashby, Julie Barratt, Victoria Cooper, Marion Crawford, Jan Davis, Clyde McGill and Doug Spowart.

At 1:30pm on the Knowledge Walk Stage on level 1 – Clyde McGill presented Looking for Place, a performance for his artist book.

At 2pm The lecture component of the event was opened by Chief Executive Officer and State Librarian, Sonia Cooper. This was followed by a presentation by guest, UK artist and designer, Guy Begbie who talked about his current interdisciplinary arts practice. Following on – Dr Victoria Cooper, the 2015 Siganto Foundation Fellow, talked about her research into the use of montage in the State Library of Queensland’s artists’ book collection.

From 3.30pm attendees enjoyed refreshments in the SLQ Boardroom on level 5.

 

HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS AND OTHER DETAILS OF THE EVENT:

 

Siganto Foundation Fellows in the White Gloves Room

Siganto Foundation Fellows in the White Gloves Room

 

Clyde McGill performing Looking for Place @ SLQ Sigantio Artists Book Series 2016 event

Clyde McGill performing Looking for Place @ SLQ Sigantio Artists Book Series 2016 event

 

CLYDE McGILL: Looking for Place, a performance for artist book (an extract)

Crossing the river under the Goodwill bridge, knee then neck deep in the warm water, not too salty, navigating around the mangrove roots, expecting to hear mud crabs clanking and whistling, curling my toes just in case, alloneword, who calls me fictivefriend, if only he knew, shows me another pressed flower (soggy) and a leaf. Then a pterodactyl feather he says was floating down from Mt Bartle Frere last night, I suggest it was the southern end of the Glass House Mountains. It looks like it’s from the ibisosaurus between GOMA and SLQ. We are dodging the rivercat (aow carrying our bag of sandwiches above his head), the tide is running. Finally making our way over to HMAS Diamantina to borrow her (alloneword thinks we’ll have to pay), in our bid to sail her along the Diamantina River (there is water). It’s an incredible resonance of names and place, isn’t it fictivefriend, he asks. Soon we’ll picnique (no replacements found, typeahead here) on the shores of the Inland Sea. We drip mud as we tell the man at the dock entrance about our project, it’s exciting, he raises his eyebrows, says what(?) looks away and closes the gate.

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SLQ VIDEO of the performance: http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/audio-video/webcasts/recent-webcasts/clyde-mcgills-performance

Clyde McGill performing his artists' book Looking for Place

Clyde McGill performing his artists’ book Looking for Place

Clyde McGill performing Looking for Place @ SLQ Sigantio Artists Book Series 2016 event

Clyde McGill presents a fragment of his presentation to Dr Marie Siganto.

 

 

Christene Drewe from the SLQ introduces the program for the day

Christene Drewe from the SLQ introduces the program for the day

 

Guy Begbie presenting @ Siganto Seminar Series 2016

Guy Begbie presenting @ Siganto Seminar Series 2016

 

THE GUY BEGBIE PRESENTATION

 

Guy Begbie is an interdisciplinary artist, bookbinder & university associate lecturer.

As an artist, he makes book works influenced by a core interest in parallels between bookbinding structures & architectural forms.

He works in a variety of media, that includes traditional bindery materials, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculptural casting and filmmaking.

His work uses non-linear narrative and sculptural forms to investigate further innovative structures for the book and the potential in its transition from a closed two dimension to an opened three dimensionality.

The notion of a contained space in the book is of particular interest, both conceptually and physically, with book works alluding to spatial qualities in architecture and the built environment.

Filmic and time based qualities are also examined in other book works, using painterly printmaking media to present visual distillations of memories of place and the the fleeting moment.

The relationship of the book juxtaposed with the solid non-paper based artifact is also of concern and is tested through placement and the filming of constructed books and cast objects that both share some common aspects in media and construction methodologies.

This dichotomy of the kinetic book structure and the static cast form, is re-scaled in projection and further informed by the sound of the book, captured through recording the making and placement processes, then configured to provide audio soundtrack supporting the moving visual image.

http://www.guybegbie.com/Pages/default.aspx

SLQ Video of Guy’s presentation: http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/audio-video/webcasts/recent-webcasts/guy-begbie

 

Dr Victoria Cooper presenting @ Siganto Seminar Series 2016

Dr Victoria Cooper presenting @ Siganto Seminar Series 2016

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DR VICTORIA COOPER’s PRESENTATION

A segment from Victoria’s presentation follows:

 

Montage Readings: Informed by History

 

There is a long tradition of artists and designers creatively combining images.

Photomontage or combination printing has its origins in late-nineteenth-century pictorial photography, most notably in the work of Henry Peach Robinson and Oscar Rejlander.

Then in the early twentieth century, Russian filmmakers, notably Sergei Eisenstein, pioneered the practice of montage in motion picture films to present animated visual concepts and to record the passing of time. Also in the first part of the 20th century, there was the work of the German and Russian visual artists including Hanna Höch, George Grosz, John Heartfield, El Lissitzky and Alexander Rodchenko used the “cut and paste” mediums of photocollage and photomontage to create political and social commentaries.

The surrealists such as Max Ernst, and Salvador Dalí and many other artists of this movement used the montage/collage to create visual contradictions referencing the uncanny connection between psychology of dreams and familiar experiences of the world.

Bauhaus teacher, pioneering designer and experimental artist László Moholy-Nagy became well known for his creative use of photomontage with text and image to construct innovative posters and page designs for his visual narratives. In a 1925 text, Painting Photography Film, Moholy-Nagy described this work as photoplastics.

 

My Project

Rather than see the concept of montage limited to that of a special case of film editing, he argues that the montage … is a principle to be found underlying artistic construction of all kinds

Eisenstein’s original concept of montage was that meaning in the cinema was not inherent in any filmed object but was carried by the collision of two signifying elements.

Geoffrey Nowell-Smith Eisenstein on Montage, in Towards a Theory of Montage, 2010 pp. xiii-xvi

From the research I was drawn to the montage as a way of thinking and making. In this Fellowship I am now engaged with the montage and its ‘reading”. In this project I intended to investigate the montage through the Reading the elements… their Edges, Borders and Intervals.. or their ‘collisions’ The act of cutting and splicing in the creation of the collage/montage assigns new meanings and readings to the individual fragments. Each element, fractured by tearing or careful cutting (whether physical or virtual) before the blending, overprinting, or collage construction phase, forms the basic structure, a mise-en-scène, or syntax, of the final visual composition and narrative work.

I am interested in the differences of reading that is created through of the visible edge As opposed to the Fused and the seamless edge of the elements in montage.

These edges, whether seamless or visible, always refer to the nature of its original content, as in the grafted fruit tree where the origins of the elements are still evident. The narrative then becomes embedded or montaged inside the reading of the image or the page.

 

More to follow in a subsequent post on this Blog. The SLQ will post a video of the presentation shortly

 

SLQ Video of the lecture: http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/audio-video/webcasts/recent-webcasts/victoria-cooper

 

We offer our thanks to the SLQ team: Christene Drewe, Sharon Nolan, Bec Kilner, and Janette Garrard and also to the Dr Marie Siganto and the Siganto Foundation for their support of this event.

 

A BOOK ABOUT DEATH: Now in Australia

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Book-about-death-72

Doug’s contribution to A Book About Death

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A new exhibition at the Tweed River Art Gallery presents an exhibition of mail art contributed by artists from all over the world which that deals with the topic of death. Entitled, A Book About Death (ABAD), this exhibition is the most recent iteration of the concept that began in 1963 by Mail Art ‘father’ Ray Johnson – The difference on this occasion being that most of the artists represented in the show are Australian. The coordination and curation of this ABAD exhibition has been overseen by Julie Barrett and Heather Matthew.

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The following background information comes from the ABAD website:

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The Australian exhibition is is the 27th exhibition of A Book About Death. Paris based artist Matthew Rose instigated the first A Book About Death exhibition in 2009 in New York. Five hundred artists submitted five hundred copies of their artwork to the exhibition in the Emily Harvey Gallery. On the opening night people came with plastic bags and collected the free artworks and so were able to create their own (unbound) book about death. Many people then went on to exhibit their collections at other galleries and so the exhibition grew into an international phenomena with artists curating their own exhibitions and calling for new artworks to be created for the new exhibitions. Matthew Rose created the exhibition as a tribute to the ‘father’ of mail art Ray Johnson.
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Here’s what Mark Bloch from New York who knew Ray Johnson wrote:
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First and foremost, the American artist Ray Johnson (1927-1995) the founder of the New York Correspondence School deserves all the credit for creating the concept of A Book About Death because he was really onto something when he came up with the concept in 1963. Between March of that year and February 1965, he sent out 13 pages or so of something he called A Book About Death. In framing one piece of a paper as one page of a conceptual book, he anticipated many literary developments of the four decades that have followed. Ray Johnson’s A Book About Death connects to hypertext, cyberpunk, the internet, as well as devices like the Kindle, a device that is an accumulator of electrons that shows its user pictures on a screen of what can be thought of as a book. But the Kindle, one of the possible signposts of what the future of reading will be like, cannot show us an entire book. It can only show us one page at a time.
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Vicky's contribution to the ABAD exhibition

Vicky’s contribution to the ABAD exhibition

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Vicky’s statement about the work:

Through the microscope I saw the death of a leaf as a metaphor for the forest.

In this leaf I could see

The searing flames of a bush fire,

The decay and recycling of its flesh and bones,

The crystallization of time

A fossil

The past and the future

The story of the forest

In the death of a leaf . . .

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AN EVENT ASSOCIATED WITH THE EXHIBITION

Death Cafe Event

Death Cafe Event

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FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://abadaustralia.blogspot.com.au/
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FOR AN ABC INTERVIEW WITH HEATHER MATTHEW: http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2013/10/17/3870941.htm.
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© 2013 Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart….ABAD Website and ‘About Us’ text Copyright ABAD Australia.

Creative Commons-by-nc-nd.euThe Cooper+Spowart text and work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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2013 LIBRIS AWARDS: THE JUDGE’S VIEW

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As a departure from our usual format of WOT WE DID, we invited a Guest Blogger – eminently qualified Helen Cole, to comment on an event that we were unable to attend. Helen was the judge for the 2013 Libris Artists Book Awards and in this post she talks about WOT SHE DID, and  provides insights into the awards and selects artists books to add to her commentary:

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Artspace Mackay Libris Artists Book awards… some thoughts

2013 Libris Awards  .........Photo: Helen Cole

2013 Libris Awards installation ………Photo: Helen Cole

2013 Libris Awards installation  .........Photo: Helen Cole

2013 Libris Awards installation ………Photo: Helen Cole

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The Libris exhibition, as always, looks fantastic in the Artspace gallery. The works are very varied, from codexes, scrolls, altered books, and boxes to woven and sculptural pieces.

 

Julie Barrett's Book

Julie Barrett: The mourning after …….Photo: Helen Cole.

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The first thing that struck me when presented with the ninety books for the judging of the Libris Awards at Artspace Mackay was something that came up in our Trouble with artists’ books seminar last week- the inadequacy of the digital surrogate. Anna Thurgood, Director of Artspace Mackay had sent me images of each of the entries. Seeing them in the flesh mad me realize I had wildly mis-imagined the size of some of the works. For example, Julie Barratt’s The mourning after, perhaps 50 x 70 cm, I had imagined as a small hand-sized book. Conversely  Julie Bookless’ (interesting name for a bookmaker and a potential title for her book as it had neither image nor text but was still a very interesting work) Audrey was a tiny 10 cm tall  when I imagined it to be at least octavo size. Size does matter and it does have an effect on the impact of a book.

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Julie Bookless: Audrey - Photo Helen Cole

Julie Bookless: Audrey ……..Photo Helen Cole

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A noticeable difference between this and past awards was that, because there was no associated forum, very few of the artists who had entered attended the announcement of the award. This connection of the artists’ book community was such a wonderful part of the previous Mackay events and is perhaps the reason we had such a large attendance at The trouble with artists’ books seminar.

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Michele Skelton: Wave form .......Photo: Helen Cole

WINNER Category 1. $10,000 Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal National Artists Book Award,
Michele Skelton, Wave form, woodblock print, unique. …….Photo: Helen Cole

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The quality of the entries this year was very high and any of a dozen works could have won the major prize. The winner Wave form by Michele Skelton looks simple (in a photo) but as I said a photo can be deceiving; the book is deeply thought out and faultlessly constructed. It appears sculptural but is actually a traditional codex form with spine, cover and pages. The cover represents the calm of the sea and the shore when the book is closed and when it is opened the pages sewn into the spine spill out as waves which can be arranged and twisted to represent a raging sea. The choice of paper is perfect to allow this. The waves are printed from a woodblock and this choice of technique works beautifully with the colour and subject to evoke the classic Hokusai image The great wave. It has the advantage that it is an artist’s book that can be seen as a whole while on display without handling.

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Caren Florence: WYSIWYG .........Photo: Helen Cole

Caren Florance: WYSIWYG ………Photo: Helen Cole

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Another work that does that is Caren Florance’s clever WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). To enable the viewer to see the whole book without having to touch it, Caren letterpress printed a sheet multiple times then cut and bound the pages so that one line from each page is visible. They build up to a witty text written to the reader from the book’s point of view, stating that it understands the viewer’s problem and hopes it has solved it.  And it has.

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Helen Cole  Coordinator, Australian Library of Art, State Library of Queensland

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Thank you Helen for this commentary 

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SEE THE OFFICIAL AWARD WINNERS AND IMAGES OF THE OPENING AND THE BOOKS FROM THE ARTSPACE MACKAY WEBSITE:

http://www.artspacemackay.com.au/whats_on/news/libris_awards_photo_gallery

http://www.artspacemackay.com.au/whats_on/news/and_the_winner_is…

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SEE ANOTHER BLOG WITH ENTRY PICS AND LINKS TO ARTIST’S PAGES.

http://moreidlethoughts.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/more-from-the-libris-awards/

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All  photographs  © Helen Cole 2013.    Copyright in the artworks resides with the artists.

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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MEETING JULIE BARRATT@Grafton Regional Art Gallery

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Julie Barrett on the Big Chair @ Grafton Regional Art Gallery with Victoria+Doug

As part of her role as Arts and Disability Manager for AccessibleARTS Julie was visiting GRAG to review proposals for an exhibition that is designed to cater for people with a disability. The exhibition, scheduled for later this year will feature works from the gallery’s collection that will be reinterpreted by local artists with the twist being that the new works need to be ‘viewable’ by visually impaired people—sounds like an interesting project.

We did lunch at the gallery and discussed a range of topics—it has been a while since we’d connected (SEE Wotwedid post JUNE 2011). We shared updates on our art projects; Julie spoke of another amazing project working with Aboriginal women from Central Queensland working with textiles and print techniques on silk that stretch for many metres. She is curating a show of this work at the Rockhampton Regional Art Gallery. Julie has a work in the upcoming Democracy exhibition @ Grahame Galleries in Brisbane and recently she was the recipient of the Alumni Award for the Arts and Social Sciences Faculty at Southern Cross University.

Julie was presented with a copy of our most recent Artists Survey book that deals with the encroachment of mining on farming lands in Queensland. She opened our booklet, read a few of the ‘signs’, appreciated the irony of the text and put it aside to review at length later. She then recounted the story of her childhood in North Queensland where the family owned the Blair Athol Station. Well, the property and the school that she attended were mined, disappeared—a huge open cut mine. At school the students were warned of blasting by a siren. They would then go and press against the library shelves to stop the books being vibrated out onto the floor. This and other memories of this mining encroachment are still strong for her and are being somewhat relived by CSG activities that are gaining ground in Northern NSW.

She needs to make art about it. Maybe we all need to whether or not it will change anything. We’ve recently come across a quote from Gerhard Richter that alludes to the circumstances of being an artist—the words may have resonance for any artist in any medium. He states,

“Painting is consequentially an almost blind, desperate effort, like that of a person abandoned, helpless, in totally incomprehensible surroundings—like that of a person who possesses a given set of tools, materials and abilities and has the urgent desire to build something useful which is not allowed to be a house a chair or anything else that has a name; who therefore hacks away in the vague hope that by working in a proper, professional way he will ultimately turn out something proper and meaningful.”

Gerhard Richter Notes1985 in The daily Practice of Painting edited by Han-Ulrich Obrist and translated by David Britt. London, 1985 p121 (note from 18.5.1985).

Written by Cooper+Spowart

September 27, 2012 at 9:46 am

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