We are what we remember

Did you notice that I mentioned seeing three exhibitions of work at The Centre for Book Arts in my last post?

I was reminded of that a moment ago when I picked up the catalogue for the third show there in a side gallery that lead through to the back workspace of the Book Arts studio. The title of this post is a quote from the catalogue of “Book Marks” – the work of Barbara Page, an ongoing project that traces and forms her reading history. Images are drawn, collaged and /or painted on old library cards and then filed in a beautiful wooden library card-file drawer.

barbara page flie drawer

"Book Marks" file case (c) Barbara Page

Her artist statement, in the catalogue explains how cards can be selected from the drawer for exhibition purposes,  and arranged in different ways: “Arranging the cards horizontally in chronological order of books I’ve read reflects American social history of the last sixty years…Alternatively, arranging the cards by subject matter focuses on my singular persona. What we choose to read tells a lot about who we are.”

I’ve just finished Peter Carey’s “Theft”. The next (English text) book next to the bed is Gogol’s “Taras Bulba”. I’m not sure if I want to read about lusty, proud war-loving Cossacks. Otherwise it’s Victor Hugo’s “Notre Dame de Paris” in French.

What are you reading at the moment?


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With Food in Mind

Nice shiny catalogue from the "With Food in Mind" show at The Centre for Book Arts

I had a list about the length of Brooklyn Bridge, of places I wanted to visit and things to do whilst in New York City. Walking across Brooklyn Bridge was on the wish list but I ran out of time…

However one of the first places I managed to get to was The Centre for Book Arts. After being re-directed down to the correct floor I discovered a treasure trove of printing equipment, a couple of busy artists and three different shows.

I spent some time in the main exhibition space checking out the offerings presented for With Food in Mind.

Sneak peek showing "The Art of Fruit Desserts" 2003, John Ross with Sam Joffee

I really enjoyed the interactive recipe swapping piece by Heather Hart “The Oracle of Epicure”. According to the gorgeous catalogue (containing recipes as well as pics from the show), Hart’s recipes come from her Grandfather’s self-published cookbook.

Sounds delicious!

I chose this one in exchange for my remembered version of Stephanie Alexander’s Silverbeet Frittata. (Later I discovered Americans call silverbeet, swiss chard.)

There was a also collection of work from the 2010 Artists-in Residence Workspace Program scattered around the space, diverse explorations by each artist evidencing the open approach to book arts encouraged by the Centre. I particularly liked the work of Jennie C Jones (must be the music connection) and Angie Waller.

Of course I wasn’t allowed to take any photos of the shows but nor was I allowed to take photos of anything else in the workshop, which disappointed me – they had a great display of the stages of a dirty rag before it was time to chuck it, that I REALLY wanted to snap! Hence all the links in this post. Please follow them for more info and visuals.

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From Melbourne to New York City (via Kew)

I met Damon Kowarsky at The Australian Print Workshop  – just one of the talented and friendly printmakers that one meets in such places. He is a hardworking artist who always seems to be showing in exotic locations.

However, a few weeks ago he had a show, Civitas, in Kew, right down the street from my work. As artist in residence at Trinity College he has been able to print his etchings at the school and display them in The Daley Gallery, their very nice, purpose built space. Damon is not only highly skilled in etching, his exquisite images are underpinned by solid drawing as evidenced by the two large scale drawings in this show, one of Melbourne and the other of New York.

 I loved these large (100 x 240 cm) charcoal drawings. Little did he know how those drawings would resonate for me, as I was only a couple of weeks away from landing in New York.

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Getting started

What’s been taking me so long? Getting organised to go overseas, going to work, doing all the domestic stuff that you have to do as a parent, dealing with the crap that bureaucracies throw at you and dealing with a computer dying, learning how to use a digital SLR as well as learning to create a blog… you know it was hard to juggle all those balls and the blog learning/creating one got dropped.

So now here I am actually writing a post. I’ll be back soon to fill you in on the pressing matters I’ve been seeing and thinking about.

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Hello world!

Welcome to “More Pressing Matters” a blog about the things I like – printmaking, art, books and more.


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