It was great to finally get to Sydney last weekend to see 'Without Boundaries'. A bonus to be there last Saturday when some of the artists were talking about their books.
Monica Oppen spoke about the collaborative process between Peter Lyssiotis, Theo Strasser and herself during the making of the powerful and emotive book 'Eyewitness'.'Eyewitness' is about the world we live in now and the processes include photo transfers with guache and ink on paper and handwritten text. The binding is exquisite and the book is housed in a black box inside a calico bag reminicent of the ones prisoners are often forced to wear.
It was interesting to hear Diana Brandt talk about the diversity of her arts practice and her interest in Australian native plants which led to the making of the delicate 'Banksia book'.She has used the caps of the Motlecah as covers for a collection of drawings of Banksia baxteri.
Lisa Giles and Keith Chidzey spoke about their individual books as well as the collaborative work entitled 'Now thats Bizarre'. With this work they ripped all the pages of a Bizarre magazine which contained advertising ( the first 50 pages!) and Keith also rendered a resin cover over the magazine which transformed Victoria Beckham into a plastic 3d model. A take on societies obsession with all things to do with the figure, face, fashion etc.
To listen to Rosemarie Jeffers-Palmer talk about oriental papers made me want to go straight back to Korea and the handmade paper mills! To look through the acetate window of her 'Magic forest' book really did give one the sense of walking in that serene space which is our native bush. Her work 'My book is open' had 4 sides to represent the seasons and again the hues of the paper, the silk thread and delicate pencil lines gave this book an intimate, serene feel.
It was fitting to end the talks with another book about the tragedies of war and our ongoing wars with Anne Marie Yee's
'Winners aren't Grinners'. This is a unique state book in three sections which recorded names of soldiers lost in war. A tactile work which really needed to be held and looked through to appreciate the depth of the work.
Many of the books from 'Without Boundaries' can be seen at the Art Gallery on New South Wales in the research library for the next couple of weeks.