String Books, Braidwood

There’s a new gallery in the country town of Braidwood, called The Left Hand. It’s located at 18 Lascelles St, the blue house on the right if you’re heading there from Canberra (after the left-hand turn to the coast) or on the way into town if you’re coming from Batemans Bay. It’s only open on weekends, and by appointment at other times.Julian Davies, artist and writer, is the proprietor, and he’s had a couple of exhibitions since opening the gallery. The next exhibition is a group one in which I am a participant. It’s called String Books, and is inspired by printmaker Franki Sparke’s tales of South American (I think specifically Brazilian) books that are small and light and hung on washing-line-like strings.

String books 1

string books 2

I love these themed exhibitions, because it makes me think outside my box, so to speak. Like with Call of the Small, or The Hankie Project.

In this case, I’d just finished printing my second Book Art Object piece, in cyan, magenta and yellow, and had a whole pile of offset paper in all three colours. Cyan is such a marvellous sky blue, and the idea of a hanging book made me want to think about why it would be hanging from above.

I don’t know about you, but if something awful or embarrassing happens to me, I don’t want the ground to open and swallow me up — imagine the weight of all that earth. No, I’d rather something or someone plucked me upwards and allowed me to float in the clouds for a while, above all the problems, until they went away.

And that’s why this book was made. It’s called Skyhooks.

Skyhooks, a string book

The orange line you can see is my makeshift hanging line from when I tested the look of it hanging.

I had enough of the offset paper to make two of these, so it’s an ‘edition’ of two, but they’re quite individual.

Catch them at The Left Hand, for three weekends through December 2010.