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ADVANCE NOTICE: WORLD PHOTOBOOK DAY Brisbane Event

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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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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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WORLD PHOTOBOOK DAY: Toowoomba Oct 14, 2013

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WORLD PHOTOBOOK DAY – CELEBRATED IN AUSTRALIA

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The city of Toowoomba in Queensland Australia celebrated World Photobook Day with a group of around thirty attending a Photo Book Club meeting. The event was held at TheGRID: Hybrid Arts Collective. The participants were from a wide range of photographically interested people: some from the local TAFE college, The Toowoomba Photographic Society, professional photographers, artists and academics. Each brought with them a favourite photobook to share and talk over with others. There were some precious books, some funky contemporary publications, and some of the more traditional coffee table tomes.

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Toowoomba Celebrates World Photobook Day

Toowoomba Celebrates World Photobook Day

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Event coordinator Doug Spowart welcomed the group and gave some background on the history of the photobook and the amazing place that Anna Atkins has within that history. On hand was the Badger and Parr The Photobook: A History Vol1 opened to the page of the Atkins Algae of the British Isles. Doug announced that an acquaintance of he and Victoria Cooper’s – Gael Phillips, was a distant relative of Anna Atkins and that whilst be unable to attend she has provided a commentary on the times, life and family.  Gaels words are as follows…

… I thought I might give you a few details of the family of Anna Atkins, nee Children, which may help to explain the setting in which she produced the world’s first photographic book. My cousins, Elizabeth Parkes and Jean Doggett, with input from other family members, have published an account of our family which includes chapters on the Children family. At their family home, “Ferox Hall”, in Tonbridge, Kent, John George Children, Anna’s father and George Children, her grandfather, had built the largest electric battery the world has ever seen at their private laboratory. They were collaborating with Sir Humphry Davy on electrical experiments. It was because of her family’s experience with battery technology and electrochemistry, and almost certainly with the help of her father, that Anna would have had access to sufficient ferric ammonium citrate to produce cyanotypes.  Her publication of “Photographs of British Algae” first appeared in October 1843 – British Algae – Cyanotype Impressions. Fox Talbot, a friend of the family, and from whom Anna had obtained her first camera, published “Pencil of Nature” between 1844 and 1846, in several parts. In 1979 Professor Larry Schaaf brought the attention of the world to the fact that the author of the world’s first photo book, AA, was Anna Atkins.

Anna Atkins, nee Children, was born in 1799. Her mother, Hester Anna Children, nee Holwell, was the grand-daughter of Governor Hollwell, one of the survivors of the Black Hole of Calcutta in 1756. Hester never recovered from the birth of Anna and died in 1800.

Anna also wrote a biography of her father, partly concealing her authorship under the initials, “AA”, as she did with her “Photographs of British Algae”.

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Anna Atkins 1861

Anna Atkins 1861 [Source Wikipedia}

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Anna and her husband, John Pelly Atkins, had no children of their own. Anna died in 1871 and her husband a year later. Their home, “Halstead Place”‘ has since been demolished.

A photogram of Algae, made by Anna Atkins as part of her 1843 book, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions

A photogram of Algae, made by Anna Atkins as part of her 1843 book, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. Courtesy of The New York Public Library http://www.nypl.org.

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Naturally my favourite photo book (or books, because the Cyanotypes of British Algae by AA run to three volumes) – “Photographs of British Algae – Cyanotype Impressions” by Anna Atkins, my distant cousin. In 1992 I had the great privilege to view copies of the volumes at the Library of the Royal Society in London. The edition ran from between 10 to 12 copies and a few of the plates from one of the copies are held in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

I wish you all well for this celebration of the world’s first photo book by Anna Atkins.

Doug thanked Gael for her insight into the lady whose premier photographic pursuit we celebrate today.

Guests were then invited to continue their looking and talking about books, photography and other worthy matters. It was a remarkable event and one which will no doubt repeated in the future –– but it will be sooner than the next time we gather, once again, to celebrate WORLD PHOTOBOOK DAY.

..A PHOTOBOOK CLUB EVENT

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HERE SOME IMAGES OF ATTENDEES AND BOOKS …   A detailed list of books presented for viewing and other contributions submitted online will be added to this post in the near future.

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Report and photographs: ©2013 Doug Spowart.  Anna Atkins’ story © Gael Phillips. Images of Anna Atkins sourced from Wikipedia and acknowledged appropriately.

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