Thursday, December 18, 2014

Circus of the Imperishable Star by Deborah McMillion


Deborah McMillion, Circus of the Imperishable Star, 2014,
artist book, 11.43 x 50.8 cm (open).  Click on images to enlarge.
Deborah McMillion, Circus of the Imperishable Star, 2014 (verso)

Probably it was inevitable that growing up in 1950s-60s St. Kilda, just a few blocks from Luna Park and not one, but two, motion picture palaces would have an indelible effect on my life. It spawned an enduring fascination with fun fairs, carnivals, sideshows, circuses (I saw my first circus at St Kilda) and particularly movies.


I was very young when my mother took me to see Forbidden Planet (1956) at the Victory Theatre on the corner of Carlisle and Barkley Streets. Scary (to a young child) but mesmerizing with its remarkable visuals, memorable characters and glorious saturated colours, it stayed with me forever and fostered a lifelong love of science fiction movies from the 1950s.

I am very aware that my friend, iPad artist Deborah McMillion, shares my passion for the above – one would think – diametrically opposed forms of entertainment, particularly the latter; it’s reflected far more overtly in her imagery than in mine. In Deborah’s work the worlds do not collide, they combine seamlessly, loaded with galaxies full of wit, style and intelligence, borne of a lifetime love and prodigious knowledge of the Golden Age of science fiction movies. This is particularly well demonstrated in her new artist book, Circus of the Imperishable Star. To my delight, Deborah has generously sent me a copy. Snail mail is well named; it took awhile to get here, but the stars finally aligned. The book was waiting for me in my mailbox when I returned from the Art Vault residency. With Deborah’s permission, it is reproduced above. Due to the limitations of this blog's template, it's essential to click on the images to enlarge.

The book was something of a first for Deborah. It was made with the aid of an ipad app called Felt, which, as she recognized, also has a great deal of potential for my own book art. So I am doubly grateful to her and look forward to experimenting with this exciting new app in the New Year.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Homo-insecta at the Art Vault (Installation views and some birthday treats)

Pictured in Gallery 2 with selections of my work.
Photograph by Anne Spudvilas. 

Far right: Sonja Hodge and Anne Spudvilas in Gallery 1.
Foreground: Shield Backed Katydid Woman and Spider Hunting
Wasp Woman, along with a selection of Moth Woman Press zines

Shane and I pictured with Team Art Vault. From left: Mia, Andrew, Shane
and I, Julie, Robert, Sonja and in the foreground, Anne, who cleverly
took this picture by setting the timer on her camera.
My birthday occurred during the residency. Art Vault Director Julie
Chambers treated us all to these spectacular cakes from 27 Deakin, one of my favourite
cafes in Mildura (or anywhere else for that matter). Photo: Anne Spudvilas
As if I wasn't spoilt enough, Anne presented me with this magnificent
birthday gift. I'm a huge admirer of Carter's work.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

IMPRINT feature article: The Book Art of Deborah Klein

The Print Council of Australia's quarterly journal IMPRINT is the go-to magazine for printmakers. The recently published summer edition (volume 49, number 4) focuses primarily on artist books. I was thrilled to be invited by Acting Editor Kate Gorringe-Smith to contribute an article about my own book art and the crucial role Melbourne's former Hand Held Gallery played in shaping its recent development. The article is reproduced below. Click on individual frames to enlarge.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Return of the Moth Woman Vigilantes

With the aim of providing a wide as possible context for the insect women displayed in Homo-insecta at the Art Vault, I'm also exhibiting one of my favourite mini-zines: Republic of Mothstralia - Coins of the Realm. A relatively recent work, it made its debut in May at Clunes Booktown, but hasn't had a great deal of exposure since then. Like its companion zines, it was made by manipulating my own images with iPad apps: most notably Etchings and Face on Coin.  The zine's eight panel grid was created with Strip Design.

Directly below are the front and back covers of the zine, followed by two double-page spreads.

Republic of Mothstralia - Coins of the Realm, 2014,
Mini-zine, photocopy, 10.5 x 7.5 cm, Edition: 100




































Homo-insecta opens tonight and runs until 15 December.

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Mini-Zines Part 6: Homo Insecta 2

The sixth and final zine made for Homo-insecta, my solo exhibition at the Art Vault, comprises reproductions of selected works from the show. As such, the zine will serve as a keepsake, whilst also having a lifespan intended to last beyond the exhibition's three week run. The linocuts were made between 2010 and 2014.

Homo-insecta opens on 26 November and runs until 15 December. For full details, scroll down to Blog Post Saturday, 15 November.

Pictured below is a preview of Homo-insecta 2 - a mini-zine: cover art plus two double page views.

Homo-insecta 2 - A mini zine, 2014, photocopy,
10.5 x 7.5 cm, edition 80



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New mini-zines Part 5: Homo-insecta

The fifth of six zines newly published by Moth Women Press, Homo-insecta will make its debut at the Art Vault on 24 November, on the opening night of the exhibition of the same name.

The majority of its illustrations are selected watercolours from the 2013 work A Cabinet of of Insect Women. The single exception is a more recent work, Blister Beetle Woman (2014) which appears on the back cover of the zine.

Homo-insecta - a mini zine, 2014, photocopy,
10.5 x 7.5 cm, edition 80



Monday, November 17, 2014

New Mini-Zines Part 4: Moth Women 3

This diminutive eight-page folded mini-zine is the third and final in a series of three, all of which showcase the mythological masked Moth Women, for whom this blog is named.

For more about the series, scroll down to Blog Post Saturday, 15 November.

Moth Women 3 - a mini-zine, 2014, photocopy,
10.5 x 7.5 cm (closed) edition 100



Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Mini-Zines Part 3: Moth Women 2

Following closely on the heels of our previous post is Moth Women 2 - A mini-zine, the second in a set of three. Like its two sister zines, this modest publication (pictured below with selected page views) will be launched at the opening of my solo exhibition Homo-insecta at the Art Vault in Mildura on 26 November.

Moth Woman 2 - a mini-zine, 2014, photocopy,
10.5 x 7.5 cm (closed) edition 100

Saturday, November 15, 2014

New Mini-Zines Part 2: Moth Women

The second zine made for Homo-insecta, my solo show at the Art Vault (see previous post) is the first of three Moth Women mini-zines. The images were sourced from the Moth Masks series of paintings and drawings I made between 2007 and 2010. The mythical Moth Women were not only the subject of one of my first fairy tales, they were also forerunners of the infamous Moth Women Vigilantes.

Directly below is a preview of the work, including cover art and selected page views. Directly following it is your very own invitation to the exhibition, which opens at 6 - 7 pm on Wednesday 26 November.

Moth Women - a mini zine, 2014, photocopy
10.5 x 7.5 cm edition 100















Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Mini-Zines Part 1: The Yellow Butterflies

The final works for Homo-insecta, my forthcoming show at the Art Vault, are finally at the framer and I can now devote my undivided attention to zine-making. 

To complement the exhibition, I’ve been working on several folded mini-zines, beginning with The Yellow Butterflies. The text is based on a fairy tale, which I wrote in 2013 and published on Moth Woman Press Blog in the same year. Since then, however, the story has been slightly revised; it appears in its final form in the new zine.

The story was suggested by the enigmatic figure in an oil pastel drawing I made in 2002: Untitled (Yellow). The design of the zine was developed with the aid of iPad apps, namely Strip Design, Butterfly Cam, Pic Collage, and Phoster.

Pictured below:
Under construction earlier this week in the Ballarat studio: The Yellow Butterflies, 2014, mini-zine, photocopy, 10.5 x 7.5 cm, edition 100.













Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award 2014 catalogue


The contents of a small package that arrived in yesterday’s post: two copies of the Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award 2014 catalogue. My artist book Homo-insecta – an unnatural history portfolio (reproduced in the catalogue below) was one of the finalists. The exhibition opened on 26 September and continues until 16 November.

Fremantle Print Award 2014 catalogue with reproduction of
Homo-insecta, 2013, artist book, 33 x 23.5 x 1 cm, ed. 10
















Monday, October 13, 2014

The APW Print Fair - selected highlights

What a hectic weekend it's been. After all the build-up and hard work from everyone concerned, the first APW Print Fair is over. The APW staff were on hand for the entire weekend and looked after us so well. I had some great chats with fellow artists and enjoyed meeting the many people who visited my stand to view and talk about the work.

Fellow APW Print Fair artists were: Elizabeth Barnett, Lauren Carter, Jazmina Cininas, Marisa Coral, Louise Donovan, Jonathan Guthmann, Kate Hudson, Kyoto Imazu, Nina Magee, Ellie Malin, Stephanie Rampton, Tom Sevil and Georgia Thorpe.

Below are selected highlights:

Pictured at my APW Print Fair stand. Photograph: Shane Jones.

Print Fair view. Personnel includes APW Workshop Assistant
Chris Ingham (centre) and Print Fair artists Kate Hudson and Ellie Malin (right)
   Photograph: Shane Jones.

DK (centre) with Print Fair visitors Euan and Catherine Heng.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Your Invitation to the APW Print Fair

Pictured top: Enchanted Hair Ornament #3, 2009,
hand coloured linocut, 30.5 x 23.5 cm, ed. 30

As previously noted, the characters dominating my prints at this weekend’s APW Print Fair, namely the moth-masked women, the butterfly-winged women and the eight sisters whose elaborately coiffed tresses are adorned with enchanted hair ornaments, all appeared in my first fairy tales.

This has prompted me to include one last work in the Print Fair: the Special Edition of There was once… the collected fairy tales, which includes a small linocut, Lace Lepidopteran. It is limited to an edition of 20. Moth Eaten, another fairy tale contained in the book, was the inspiration for the print.

To preview the rest of the work, scroll down to our last blog post, Saturday, 4 October.

Special edition of There was once... with linocut
Lace Lepidopteran, 2010,
16 x 10.5 cmed.20

My prints and I will be at the Print Fair on both days; we hope you will stop by.

APW Print Fair
Australian Print Workshop
Fitzroy, 3065
T: 03 9419 5466

Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 October
Hours: 10 am–5 pm each day.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Moth Woman Press at the APW Print Fair


In recent weeks most of my time and energy has been spent in preparation for the inaugural Australian Print Workshop Print Fair, which will run on the weekend of 11-12 October.

I’ll be showing selected linocuts from three suites of work: the Moth Masks (2009) the Enchanted Hair Ornaments (2009) and the Winged Women (2010) which were the subjects of my fairy tales The Story of the Moth Masks, The Enchanted Hair Ornaments and Swarm. These stories appeared in our maiden Moth Woman Press publication There was once… the collected fairy tales (2009).

Moth Masks, 2009, hand coloured linocuts, 15x15 cm, ed. 30

The Enchanted Hair Ornaments, 2009, hand coloured linocuts,
30.5 x 23.5 cm, ed. 30

Winged Women, 2010, linocuts, 32x32 cm, ed. 30

Mounted and packaged in readiness for the APW Print Fair


APW Print Fair
Australian Print Workshop
210 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy, 3065
T: 03 9419 5466

Hours: Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 October
10 am–5 pm each day

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PAGE.PRINT.POST. opening event


PAGE.PRINT.POST. 50 Years of Artist Books was launched last Saturday, July 19. It marked my second visit to the show. Accurately anticipating a jam-packed opening, I sneaked a peek during the week, soon after the show had been installed. I was fortunate to have the gallery entirely to myself, enabling me spend some quality time with the work. Even so, it will take several visits to absorb it all. It's an exciting, dynamic show, elegantly and cohesively presented. Curators Debbie Hill and Geoff Willis have done a sterling job, especially considering the prodigious amount of book art and, as this show bears witness, the seemingly infinite forms it can take.

The opening was enormous fun - a lively, crowded affair. It was great to catch up with several friends, including local artists Jimmy Pasakos, Loris Button, Carole Wilson, her partner Annie, and two of our favourite book artists, Melbourne-based Gracia and Louise, who have several works in the show. Our friends Tim Gresham and Gaye Britt surprised us by driving from Melbourne to attend the opening, which capped off a splendid opening event.

PAGE.PRINT.POST. runs until August 9.
Post Office Gallery
Federation University Australia
Corner Sturt and Lydiard Streets 
Ballarat Vic 3350
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 1 - 4 pm


L-R: Louise Jennison and Gracia Haby. The display cabinet directly
behind Louise displays some of their marvellous books and zines 

Shane and I with five of my Tall Tales artist books. Photograph by
Louise Jennison

PAGE.PRINT.POST. curators Debbie Hill and Geoff Wallis

From left: Jimmy Pasakos, Loris Button and far left: Geoff Wallis

L-R: Gaye Britt, Tim Gresham and Shane Jones

My artist book Women with Wings, 2010, was also included
in the show

The opening's close, when the crowd had finally thinned out 




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Updated flight information for Homo-insecta

Here at Moth Woman Press we are printing and hand-colouring up a storm as the Insect Women yet again prepare to take wing. The Homo-insecta artist book has just been selected as a finalist in the 2014 Silk Cut Award for Linocut Prints, which will be launched on Friday 5 September. Homo-insecta will also be the star attraction of an eponymous solo exhibition, scheduled for November 24 - December 15 at the Art Vault in Mildura.




Above from top:
Emergent Cicada Woman lino block inked up for printing
Hand colouring Spider-Hunting Wasp Woman; and
Frog Hopper Woman (cover art) 

Friday, July 4, 2014

HOMO-INSECTA WOMEN FLY TO FREMANTLE



Moth Woman Press is delighted to announce that our artist book Homo-insecta has been short-listed for the 2014 Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award.

This year’s judges were Peter Burgess (NSW): Artist, Co-Acting Head, Printmaking Department, National Art School, Sydney and former FAC Print Award winner (2004 and 2011); Dr Anne Kirker (QLD): Freelance Art Consultant, Curator and Writer; and Leigh Robb (WA): Curator, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. They selected 55 works for the final exhibition from 272 entries submitted from around Australia.

Pictured above: Homo-insecta, 2013, artist book, linocuts and inkjet printed texts, edition 10
Closed book: 33H x 24W x 1.5D cm;
Cover art: Frog Hopper Woman, linocut, hand coloured 22.5 x 12.5 cm

Saturday, June 28, 2014

PAGE.PRINT.POST. 50 Years of Artist Books



My one-of-a-kind vertical concertina books A Tall Tale, Lyrebird, Quicksand, Castles in the Hair and Bluebird have been curated into the artist book exhibition PAGE.PRINT.POST. 50 Years of Artist Books at the Post Office Gallery, Federation University, Ballarat.

Curators Debbie Hill and Geoff Wallis have selected a range of works that highlight the sheer diversity of book art over half a century, including Mail Art, Printed Books and Altered/Sculpted Books. These have been sourced from far and near, including UWE Bristol (UK) Geelong Arts Alliance and Field Study International.

The exhibition will include rare publications by artist book pioneers Ed Ruscha and Dieter Rot, May Stevens, Nan Becker Nancy Holt and members of  the Fluxus movement.
Artist books and postal art by contemporary artists, including Nicholas Jones, Deanna Hitti, Angela Cavalieri, Gracia and Louise, Deborah Klein, David Dellafiora, Sarah Bodman and Guy Begbie, will also be presented.
Pictured above: Deborah Klein, artist books (unique) 2013, pigmented drawing ink and acrylic on Khadi paper with cloth binding, 80 x 15 cm (open).

PAGE.PRINT.POST.
July 16-August 9 
Post Office Gallery*
Federation University Australia
Corner Sturt and Lydiard Streets 
Ballarat Vic 3350
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 1 - 4 pm
Website: 

*(Just down the road from the Art Gallery of Ballarat)
Disabled Access
Convenient parking nearby on Sturt, Camp and Lydiard Streets
Official opening:
Saturday July 19, 4-6 pm
The exhibition will be launched by David Dellafiora, 
Co-founder Field Study International, 4pm for 4.30.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Biblio Art Awards, 2014


Recently Jo Canham, Director of Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy, invited me to be a guest judge of their 6th Biblio Art Awards, along with local artist Essie Warmuth.
 
The announcement of the Grand Prize. From left: judges
Essie Warmuth and yours truly, with Dean and Jo from
Blarney Books and Art

This year’s Biblio was launched last Saturday evening to a packed gallery. Judging an award is, at best, a hugely responsible, daunting - and almost inevitably, subjective task. The sheer range of astonishing, inventive work made the process doubly challenging.


Avril Makula, What Katy Did, 2014, artist book

The prize winning entry, What Katy Did, an artist book by Avril Makula, is playful, knowing, elegant, aesthetically and technically assured. It also ticks all the boxes in relation to Biblio’s brief, particularly in the manner its methods and materials are integral to the story, in this case a spirited re-telling of the  hoary old novel by Susan Coolidge. Avril’s altered book cheekily restores Katy’s independent “Tomboy” spirit that during the course of the original cautionary tale is cruelly - indeed, sadistically - wrested from her.

The other award winners were Polyanna Guthrie (Youth Award); Helen Fitzhardinge (Blarney Books and Art Storytellers Award); Anne-Maree Hunter (3D award – sponsored by Bluestone Magazine). Nine-year-old twins Tom and Darcy Lynch also received an encouragement award for their entry. 

From right, Essie Warmuth, my fellow Biblio judge with
her partner Susan and my partner Shane Jones

Working with fellow judge, Essie was an absolute pleasure. Jo and Dean of Blarney books were generous, thoughtful hosts, who we really enjoyed getting to know during the course of the weekend.

  It was a delight to see some familiar faces.
From left: Jazmina Cininas, David Frazer and Fiona

For more about the winning works visit Blarney Books and Art HERE.

For a detailed account of the Award Night, read the article in Bluestone Magazine HERE.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A new fairy tale



There was once a dark, small, narrow girl whose life was also dark, small and narrow. This was hardly surprising, as she had lived most of it in the same dark, small, narrow house. The head of the household was her father, a widower with five strapping sons. He was very rich, but also very miserly. Naturally, he thought it completely unnecessary to hire a servant when he had his daughter to cook, clean the house and sew, mend and wash all their clothes.


In the afternoons when she was in the garden hanging out the laundry, the girl would gaze longingly at the yellow butterflies at play. Because of them and the flowers they loved to visit, the garden was the only cheery place on her father's property. The girl was not given to complaining. Still, sometimes she fairly ached to be able to fly away like her beloved butterflies. 

One day she noticed that there were hundreds of the yellow, swirling insects in the garden. She lifted her weary head, smiled broadly and opened her tired arms in a grateful gesture of welcome. All at once they flew to her, like moths drawn to a flame - although on this occasion it was more like flames drawn to a moth. Stranger yet, it appeared that each time a butterfly settled, a tiny fragment of her earthbound self disappeared. A cocoon began to form. By the time all vestiges of the girl had vanished, the chrysalis had miraculously metamorphosed into the biggest and brightest butterfly of them all. Still the butterflies swarmed. Soon all you could see was a shimmering golden cloud. Seconds later, it spiraled upwards into the sky. Higher and higher the butterfly cloud flew. It put the very sun to shame. Then, in a blink, it vanished from sight. The girl's dumbfounded menfolk witnessed the entire spectacle from the window of their dining room, where they had been impatiently waiting for their afternoon tea to be served.

From that day, her brothers were forced to fend entirely for themselves. At first their efforts were abysmal failures, but in time they learned to manage. They didn't exactly enjoy their household chores, however, and they developed a grudging respect for their erstwhile sister. Even with five of them sharing the workload, they had little time left to pursue their former adventures. They came to regret deeply that their selfishness had made it impossible for her to have any adventures at all. They missed her cheerful disposition and her clear, bell-like song as she uncomplainingly, unceasingly worked. They also missed the yellow butterflies. But neither they, nor the girl were ever seen again. Without their sister's singing and the yellow butterflies that had pollinated the flowers, the garden was a dead, deserted, dismal place.


Their father, however, was unrepentant. He was furious to have lost an unpaid servant. There was now scant opportunity for his sons to hunt and gather and fill his coffers. "Stupid girl!" declared the father. "Didn't she know that most butterflies only live for a few days?"

"Maybe it was worth it to her," answered his sons.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Biblio Artist Books at Clunes Booktown


After an eventful month in London (more about that in later posts) we returned to Australia just in time for Clunes Booktown on the weekend of 3 & 4 May. As reported in our last post, Moth Woman Press were proud to be invited to participate in Booktown’s inaugural Biblio-Artist Books, which was curated by Nicholas Jones. Fellow Biblio artists were David Frazer, Angela Cavalieri, An Kyunghee, Gracia Haby, Louise Jennison, Deanna Hitti, Tai Smith, Dianne Longley and Nicholas Jones. The State Library of Victoria and Melbourne University’s Baillieu Library also had impressive displays.

There was no time to acknowledge the inevitable jetlag or the nasty dose of flu that accompanied me back to the Antipodes. Over an incredibly hectic but exhilarating weekend we had hundreds of visitors, many of them new to artist books. There was much positive response to our own work and to Biblio in general.

Click on images to enlarge.

Tired but happy at the end of Day 1
Moth Woman Press artist books and zines

Birthday drinks for Des Cowley. From left: Des, Angela Cavalieri, Robert
Heather, Shane Jones, Steven Kafkarisos, David Frazer and Dianne Longley

Just before the crowds arrived. In the background: Biblio artist Tai Smith,
Susan Millard of the Baillieu Library, the State Library of Victoria's
Robert Heather and Des Cowley and Biblio artist Louise Jennison

From left: Louise Jennison, Sara Gubby,  Gracia Haby, Dianne Longley,
Shane Jones and David Frazer

Angela Cavalieri and Gracia Haby


We even got a mention in the Ballarat Courier. To read the article, Art speaks louder than words by Kara Irving, click HERE

Photograph courtesy the Courier

For more about Biblio, visit my Art Blog.