Tuesday, August 28, 2007

books for Bundoora

I have been working on a series of books for the Bundoora Exhibition. The brief for the exhibition is that the works explore the house and it's history. I'm doing two series one is a combination of casting or pulp painting with cyanotype and these will be glued to canvas stretchers.

The books are from recycled paper and I started with concertinas which incorporated the words Bundoora Homestead interspersed with objects from the history of the house like the house itself, a horse to represent the early history, a bed to represent the time the house was used as a mental hospital and easels to represent the current use as an art gallery.

I've made the books from recycled cotton card and joined the pages with glue, then I've coated with rabbit skin glue to give added strength then sprayed through stencils with metallic acrylic paint then sprayed with paper dyes and coated with satin glaze.

I have made two concertinas with the symbols and words and one with the symbols and the house.

I then decided to do two concertinas representing then and now. One has the house in the middle of bush and the other the house stuck in suburbia as it is now.



Then I decided to move to a different format and make a piano hinge book using the sticks left over from Child's Play firstly to show the house through it's history and then

The horses. And then

The house itself!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

book disaster

I had an email from Daniel to say that my wht book had gone mouldy and was starting to smell. I picked it up yesterday and replaced it with Child's Play. No more growing books! The last two times worked fine but I'm left wondering if there was not enough air or if there was too much water. We ended up with four lonely grass spikes and a range of coloured mould, very disappointing.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Child's Play

At last I have finished the first in an edition of three books which I've called Child's Play. I have been thinking about this book for several months. It started with the book I just called 'Piano' which was made as part of a series of piano hinge bindings and used some wide coloured icypole sticks with holes which came with other sticks that fitted into the holes. The pages were various examples of antiqued paper that I'd prepared as part of the class I taught last year at the Geelong Forum. I found the recipe on the web here http://members.optusnet.com.au/vanviola/paper.html
Here is a picture of mark 1 'Piano'

My intention had been to use the same type of sticks for the new books but I wasn't able to find them again so I had to settle for narrower longer coloured sticks. I won't run out of those since I bought a giant packet from Zart Art. Since I had decided to make an alphabet book I needed 14 sheets for each book. I made thick A3 sheets and used up lots of pulps that I had around including some the remains of the white paper with seeds and flowers that I'd made for wedding bonbonerie, denim and some green cotton that I made from the remnants of faded, rotting curtain lining which Katy had dyed. The sheets ranged from white through green to blue. I then painted them all with rabbit skin glue and instead of using wax as a resist I sprayed on some bronze acrylic paint and once that was dry sprayed with a range of paper dyes. I did half the sheets warm colours, red, yellow, orange and the other half blue and green. I then gave each sheet a coat of thin shellac. The sheets in the pictured book were not treated any further but one third of the sheets I rubbed brown shoe polish on and gave a further coat of stronger shellac. It took me ages to come up with children's games/toys for each letter of the alphabet but I got there eventually with a little help from my daughters. Then came punching all the holes. I arranged the chosen words in publisher and printed them out so that I had half an A4 for each game. I then used my Japanese punch to punch out all the words, it took me nearly a week because I could only do a few pages before my arm started to ache and I've still got 2 books to go.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

India books and cyanotypes

A few weeks ago when we were tidying up for my daughter's return from the US I found some letters that I had written home from India more than 30 years ago. Coincidentally I'd also found a book of Dover mehindi designs which were copyright free (up to 10 of the designs). I printed some of these onto acetate and used them for cyanotypes and I also made some cyanotypes of photos I took in India when I was there. I scanned the letters intending to use them with cyanotype but later decided to print them direct onto my papers. I have glued some of the letters and some plain papers onto canvas as a background for the two cyanotyped photos (the one with the two children is on a pulp painting of the same image made with denim and white cotton.)

I used the mehindi designs in a flag book where the hands wave backwards and forwards as the book is opened up and I've used the letters on the back of the hands and for the covers of the book.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Books for Noosa exhibition

These are the books I'm sending to Noosa for the 'Imagining the Impossible' exhibition. I made them initially for a show about Pattern at Lumina earlier in the year and have just sold the companion framed piece through the Contemporary Art Society. I've decided on the strength of that sale that I probably should apply for membership to the Contemporaries.