Monday, June 22, 2009

Books...Beyond Words: Shortlisted for Award

I was over the moon to find that I have been shortlisted for this artists books award, to be held at East Gippsland Art Gallery from August 8 to September 1, 2009.

The gallery is in Bairnsdale in regional Victoria and they are planning to make this award and exhibition a biennial event. It is wonderful to see how artists books are growing in popularity and stature.

The work of mine that was shortlisted is Self (States of Change) a book with porcelain pages. I've written about this book before on this blog, as it was part of my masters body of work.

Here are a few pictures of the book and I've also included an edited excerpt about the book from my masters, for those who are in "that way" inclined. I apologize in advance for the academic jargon and "art talk".

"Two works, an installation and a book, were developed from the experiments
with self portraits.

A black square was painted on to a board and wet clay was pressed onto the
black area. A life size self portrait (head only) was made by transferring an
inkjet print onto the clay, which was then cut to shape by following the outline.
The clay was allowed to dry and once it had fallen to the ground, the pieces were re-assembled sufficiently to allow them to be read as a portrait. A clay trace remained on the board.

A series of photographs were taken documenting the process of the clay
drying. These were digitally processed using Photoshop and sent away to be
made into decals to be used in a porcelain book. .....

An artists’ book, entitled Self (States of Change) was the work
made using the porcelain pages. The goal of the book was to explore the tension created by the juxtaposition of process and permanence. These are represented by the changing portrait (unfired clay slowly drying and cracking) versus the documentation of the moment, a snapshot of “what was”.

The work presents “what has ceased to be”, as described by Barthes (1981)
and explores the relentless progression of time and change, in contrast with
the human desire to hold onto the past. The images are presented in sepia, a
photographic tradition employed to add a sense of nostalgia (, 2008). The presentation of the photographs on pages made from porcelain further emphasizes the desire to retain that which has gone, by its association with the enduring materiality of the high fired ceramic.

In order to activate the viewing process, it was decided that the pages would
remain unbound. They are presented in a purpose-built clamshell box, and the
viewer is able to handle each page and to determine how the sequence is
ordered. The clay slabs were hand-rolled and there is evidence of the expected
variation of the handmade, which serves to humanize the work. There are
cracks in the clay and the translucency of the porcelain allows the viewers’
fingers to be visible through the pages, drawing them into the image....."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Overcoming Inertia

If any of you are also on Facebook you may have seen that I set myself a challenge last Tuesday - that I would post on this blog within 48 hours. Well, so much for that! But I wrote that to help myself overcome what I call "inertia".

It's something I never experienced before I had CFS, but just at the moment I'm having it a lot. It's not the same as lacking motivation or procrastinating, although from the "outside" it could look much the same. And it's not the same as being too tired.

It occurs on the way up from being really tired, and also on the way down. You have enough energy to have ideas, and even to know exactly how you want to start, but that's as far as it goes. It's an uncomfortable mental space, because you really want to get going with whatever the idea is, but you just can't.

To be honest, there is no sure fire way of overcoming inertia, because it really is about not having the energy to get organised and kick off. I think the best thing to do is to make sure everything you need is ready, and also to try to have lots of free time. This works both to let you rest, so you can build up energy, and also means that when your energy finally does reach the required level, you are free and available and able to capitalize, not having scheduled "low energy time fillers" in your frustration and boredom.

I've been seeing it as rather like those days at the beach, when the swell is small and you must wait patiently for a decent wave to arrive so you can jump up on your board and enjoy the ride.