Thursday, December 23, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
All the discussions on Book Art Object and especially this one by Abigail reminded me of the book again and also Gortys in Crete where I saw the Law Code inscribed on the wall. Which is a coincidence because Anna's work for Book Art Object Project II is influenced by the Gortyn Code.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Am very inspired by Melior's Open Studio day. Could be a fun thing to do next year.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Sara send me a marvellous list with lots of names of BAO participants and I thought that she was sending me just the Beynon list. I now have a different wonderful list with everyone's editions on them, but a few of you who are on the Winterson list will get a surprise package in the mail (not everyone, I ran out of envelopes!).
I guess there are two ways along: you can send them back, or you can send me something else of yours as a swap. I'm happy either way!
Sorry. It's a busy, chaotic end to a manic, chaotic year. For all of us, I suspect!
If I don't get any other chance, I'll take this moment to wish you all whatever happiness you want out of the next few weeks :)
P.S. I wrote to Claire Beynon and we've started a lovely correspondence. She lives in Dunedin! I missed out on meeting her, but I won't hesitate to visit her next time I'm there. She's excited about the edition, and should be getting her copy of my piece any day now.
Monday, December 13, 2010
It's funny how we all work so differently... Form is really, really important to me, and it often kicks off an internal dialogue about content - it's pretty much always the way in which I work. I don't know exactly why that should be the case: I suspect other people think that maybe working with the form first is overly restrictive, or reduces the possibilities of content in some way, but for me it is just as important. I always need to have a REASON for something being the shape that it is, and that form is always tied to the content. Both are equally important for me, it's just that I start with one rather than the other.
I have long internal conversations with myself about the 'shape' of things and how to express whatever it is I'm trying to express. With the Art&Lies piece it was to do with tunnelling: how to get the idea of tunnelling through the information into the final piece.
The leparello signifies something about that 'disorder': scattered scrolls, frustration, not being able to find things, disarray... and the thread is knowledge, life, the physical experience of trying to find something in one place rather than another. It is also the metaphorical expression of knowledge: the 'threads of knowledge' that come to us through time, as well as being an indication of how we move from one piece of information to the next (web browsing is a 21st century analogue!), searching or accidentally discovering things.
Now that I've wrestled (!) my way through that thought process (discarding porcelain paper clay, multiple scrolls and various complex unit-origami structures on the way) I can relax back a bit into the Stage Two internal dialogue which is about selecting text and images (or just text) (or something else entirely) to address the questions of content. Then there's a third series of questions going on about techniques, but that's a whole different story!
Because I am not good in English, I decided to put some images.
I worked a lot the shape of the book.
In the first photo, my tests-box, in the second, all my tests on the table and finally, the almost final shape of the book.
I always work with some used paper, then the final version will have no this look...
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Yes, it's true... I have actually been in the studio this weekend and spent at least 10 minutes thinking about the BookArtObject projects.
I think I've decided on a leparello form for the Art & Lies book. As you know from my previous work, I usually have to get to grips with the form of my books first, and consider content later. This may be a bit back-to-front but that's how my brain works, I'm afraid!
As usual I've been flummoxed by the whole thing, wandering round and round in my head trying to work out how I want to do things and which bits of the text are the most meaningful for me. I'm a LONG way from finalising anything yet but I have decided on two things relating to form: firstly, the book will be a leporello format, probably housed in a slipcase of some kind. Secondly, one of the things carry with me about the text is the image of the boys tunnelling through the stacks of scrolls, trying to find things and so I am fairly sure that the final piece will have holes in it, connected by string of some kind. In this very unsophisticated mock-up I simply cut a round shape out of the folded leporello and threaded a string through it, pulling the string out to the right length as I unfolded the paper. I found that I don't like the regularity with which the string weaves its way through the flat leporello, so I imagine that I might make the holes in the final piece individual to each book.
Everything else is still being worked upon!
Sad note: unfortunately Aine won't be with us for Edition Two, although I hope she'll be able to join us in future. She's a wonderful artist and I for one was looking forward to seeing her books but it isn't going to 'work' for her this time around. *sniff!* I also suspect that we've lost Ellen as I haven't heard from her since Edition Two was initiated: Ellen, if you're out there reading this, please get in touch as we'd love to have you on board.
Lastly, a call to our newer artists! If you haven't done so already, please could you email me your postal address URGENTLY so that Duck and the rest of us can send you your copies of our finished works as and when they arise. No address = no books = great sadness!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Please can you email me your postal addresses? I have them for the artists who participated in Edition One but I don't have ANY addresses for newer members. What I did last time was compile a list and send it to all participants so that when we get to the stage of mailing out books we have somewhere to send them. Duck did ask me about this a few weeks ago and I've been very slack and not followed it up... so please can you help by emailing me ASAP!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
OK, peoples, enough time has passed and no-one else has stepped forward as being part of the edition, so I will share with you my one-trick pony.
Colophon, tucked under the red heart.
And, when you open it all up, this is what you get:
Which is basically a broadside of the poem, but you have to pull the piece apart to get to it... and then (unless you want to frame the broadside), YOU HAVE TO PUT IT BACK TOGETHER.
Here's what I wrote in the accompanying statement/letter:
At the risk of sounding as imperious as an Old Spice ad, if you’re reading this before opening my piece, STOP RIGHT NOW.
Go and do it. Do it, and then come back here to me. Just do it.
How was that?
I worried that you’d be the wrong audience for this idea, because if you’re in Book Art Object, then you’re familiar with paper and folding. Then I realised that you’re the perfect audience – because with the BAO project we all get to actually handle each other’s work whenever we want to. So I can make a work that is intended to be wrestled with, and it won’t just be shoved into an archive box and pulled out once a decade to be displayed in a single static pose. I hope. Please handle it, and encourage others to do so, too.
I wanted, with this work, to catch that moment of dis-ease and slight panic when you’re lured or seduced into an object and then don’t know how to put it back together again. I tested it on a few punters and loved their brief panic when they realised what they’d done and shared their triumph when they succeeded in restoring it to its original shape.
So I guess for me, this work is not about the actual paper or paper quality (I had to use something sturdy and serviceable to cope with all the ink and folding) but all about process, about making and using, which is why I printed it in process colours :)
I'm pleased to report that people seemed to cope! I chose an origami shape that looked seductive and was relatively easy to undo, but had a small element of difficulty that would give someone a sense of hesitation. Including the name of the fold as I found it on the internet within the colophon also gives people a clue if they are completely stuck.
So, you see, not deep and meaningful, a true one-liner, but I'm happy with it. I learned a lot while doing it, because it took so much planning and setting (I didn't have enough type to set the whole poem at once, so each colour is printed in three stages. You do the maths). I also used monoprinting again for the yellow texture on the outside of the piece, so each one is unique while still being part of an edition. I guess that's called a variable edition or something.
A few more photos here.
Because there were so many risks, I printed a lot. It's an edition of 20, so there are extras. I'm pricing them at $100 each, if anyone is interested. They come with a hand-sewn paper envelope, decorated with a bit of CMY fingerpainting.
I'm still thinking hard about the Winterson piece. This one sprang almost fully-formed into my head, but the Winterson one will be a more difficult gestation :)
Monday, December 6, 2010
Now I'm sitting around with my dearest husband at the moment, typing away while he reminisces about programming with two old friends from days gone by and I've had half a bottle of wine so I'm not going to wander down to the studio to look at my bookshelves right now, but I wonder what inspires YOU?
Sunday, December 5, 2010
It was good just to sort and settle a few things. As I have never editioned before, never produced 15 books before, I am trying to make sure I am smart about what I choose to do and how I go about it.
Anyway, it was lovely to have a couple of trials and a couple of mock-ups to play with, write on, scribble out and start over again with.
In the spirit of progress reports, here are some shots of the muck-up doodles (transcription errors included).
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
I came across this work by Ania Gilmore over at Catherine Nash's blog and thought it would be good to share. Sorry about the size of the photos...
Ania Gilmore, Lexington, MA & Warsaw, Poland
Library of Alexandria
Altered book, burned pages, wax, shellac. One of a kind. 5 x 7.5”
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Apologies for not putting up a more advanced image of my Claire Beynon piece, but I have misplaced my camera cord. I have a whole lot of almost-finished shots, but no way to get them to you until the pesky little thing reappears.
Yes, I said ALMOST FINISHED. I just have to take them off the drying racks and do the finishing touches, and they will be wending their way to the appropriate people. And then I need to think about the Winterson piece, which I'm not so confident about.
So. If you are one of the appropriate people, please send me an email to ampersandduck at the gmail.com and give me your address. I would be most grateful. I can then compile the edition list and send it back to you for when you are finished (no pressure!). And then I can send the books, and that is one big TICK OFF MY LIST.
If you are not on the edition list but think you might want a book anyway, I will have some left-overs, but I may charge a reasonable sum for them, if that's ok. I'm not making a lot of dosh at the moment, and if I give one more thing away, my husband will keel over. Register your interest at the email above, or just wait until I show you the results & see if you're still interested. And then get in touch.
Here's another teaser though:
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Okay so perhaps building sculptures with books isn’t my forte, but I wanted to show you this first purchase of materials towards my BAO effort.
For this project, I’ve decided to work on my first altered books. I picked these up for $2 each from the recent Rotary Book Fair, enough for the edition and a couple to practise on to get me started.
And I shall have absolutely no guilt about drawing, cutting or whatever all over these – they are all Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, so that makes them “altered” already!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
The library itself was set up in Nineveh by King Ashurbanipal of the Assyrian Empire. It was where the Flood Tablet upon which the Epic of Gilgamesh was discovered. It was a library of thousands of clay tablets with cuneiform writing. The guys who discovered it however were definitely not librarians and not particularly professional archaeologists either as they managed to jumble all the tablet fragments up together and didn't make any record of where exactly they were found. This has made the efforts of archaeologists and scholars much harder now, and some of the fragments may now never be reunited with their other halves.
Nineveh is where modern Iraq now stands. I have been recently asked to be involved in another book arts project that relates to a certain street in Iraq; Al-Mutanabbi Street. You can find out more about the project here. I am telling you all this as ideas for both BookArtObject and Al-Mutanabbi Street are becoming intertwined. I think I will be making different books for each but the ideas will be linked of course.
I have a few days off next week so hopefully I will knock out a few ideas in my studio and will progress a bit in both projects. Until then!
One of the complete joys of our new house is that I have a quiet sitting area with no television but lots of books. The TV is down the other end of the house so in the evenings this is mostly my space, where I can sit and read/knit/tat/plot/do whatever I want without a flicker in the corner of my eye from the idiot box (although I should say that I do watch TV now and again...).
I didn't buy "The History of Farting", in case you're wondering... it was given to us by our lovely friends Elsbeth and Linda and I'd forgotten it was on the shelf until I uploaded this photo! Never mind.
So what's this got to do with our book project? Nothing, really! It is a completely opportunistic post inspired by the photos of other people's libraries on the MyFrenchKitchen blog that Dinahmow referred to in the previous post! Very inspiring and totally unlike anything I shall ever achieve... I am, however, beginning to consider the form of my Winterson book and I keep coming back to the scroll. It's very obvious, given the subject matter, but it also gives me the chance to tunnel through the words. I'm still thinking, while getting used to working in my new studio space, but at least I can sit here in the evenings knowing that my subconscious is getting on with things.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Just thought I'd let you all know that I'm back in the saddle again, working on the Claire Beynon poem. Here's the first layer of my idea. One down, five to go. Once I've finished this, I'm going to tackle the Winterson piece, since it was my idea :)
I'm not quite sure of final edition numbers (how many do I have to make for the participants of this particular batch?) but I'm printing lots to make sure I get things right, so I should be ok. Woops, I just read the last post -- see, always check before you open your mouth. Sigh. Good, I will have *plenty*.
Trespec, man. I'm having so much fun. It's great having a semester away from my normal job.