My second Ampersand Duck EASS Broadside Residency recipient is Peter McLean. He won the residency in December 2009, and for various reasons known to all emerging artists, he’s only got around to it 18 months later. I don’t mind, it’s always worth the wait. Continue reading
After saying that I would never produce cards or other commercial stationery, I have succumbed to the dark side… not by money, although that would be awfully useful in these tense and tight commercial times, but by the concept proposed to me. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
When I first discovered that I’d misprinted an entire section of my fine press book, Poems to Hold or Let Go (by Rosemary Dobson), I was really cranky at myself. It was a lot of paper to waste, and it was/is very lovely Magnani Vergata book paper, an Italian mould-made fine rag paper. Luckily I’d only printed one side of the sheet (I’d transposed the poems, so that they were on the wrong pages), so I could do something useful with the other side. Continue reading
Craft ACT in Canberra has two galleries and another, smaller space that they call the Crucible Space: essentially just two shelves set into a wall in the foyer outside the gallery. Miniaturist and collector Anna-Maria Sviatko, while doing an internship at Craft ACT, hit upon the notion of turning the two shelves into a two-tiered miniature craft gallery at 1:12 scale. The result was Call of the Small, an exhibition of (to quote my personal blog) teeny-tiny craft works, made very seriously by serious craftspeople. Continue reading
Book Art Object is an ongoing project bringing together book artists around Australia to respond to a set text in the form of an editioned artist’s book. Each participant gets a copy of everyone’s work.
Learning Absence, 2010. Artist’s book of letterpress and monoprints on Kozo washi. Text is the poem Learning Absence, 1986 by Rosemary Dobson. Handprinted and bound in a hardcover Asian stab binding with either handmade denim rag endpapers (made by Katharine Nix) or blue commercial momigami endpapers. Edition of 15, made for the Book Art Object project. The poem is reproduced with permission from the poet and is taken from her Collected Poems (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1991). Continue reading
Feel the Fell. Unique artist’s book of letterpress and offset letterpress ink on Chinese roll paper with handsewn whirlwind binding. Text by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Design and production by Ampersand Duck.
Held in the Artspace Mackay Collection, Queensland, Australia. Continue reading
Written live from my 2010 residency:
Twenty years ago, I visited Dunedin for a couple of days on a NZ touring holiday and loved it at first sight. I always hoped to get back here, and every time John Howard threatened to win an election, I would joke with my friends and family that I’d move to Dunedin if he did. I was getting quite serious when Kevin Rudd saved the day. Now I’ve made it back, thanks to a brilliant residency opportunity, and I’m telling people that if Tony Abbott wins, I may not go back to Australia. I’m getting quite serious about it. Continue reading
In 2009 I spent some time thinking about what I really wanted to do with letterpress. I’d printed two fine press volumes, the kind of books that I’d always wanted to make, but they’d taken me three years to achieve amidst all my work and family commitments, and that’s not very good business. Plus, I’d tried to do every part of the process myself: planning, negotiating, designing, setting, printing, binding, publicity, sales. And that’s just exhausting.I do intend to make more fine press books, but they’ll be smaller editions, and far less ambitious. Continue reading