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....."


  1. Fantastic, Amanda! I still haven't heard so I'm interested to know if they wrote to you or emailed you? I was going to ring them today to find out but forgot! I love your piece and I'm really glad it got in. Sara

  2. Congratulations Amanda, what wonderful news! That will give you lots of encouragement. Good to see the book again and it's an interesting post.

  3. Thanks Sara and Carol,
    Yes it does lift the spirits! I work so slowly, so it is nice to have a little success when I finally produce something!
    Sara: they emailed me. It was last week, I think. They did say they had 220 entries to consider. I've got my fingers crossed for you...

  4. Congratulations, Amanda! I can understand why you're over the moon. Affirmation of one's work is always a joy. I enjoyed, too, reading your description of the book and process.


  5. Hi Clara,
    Thanks for your kind wishes! It's interesting how much my pleasure in being shortlisted has increased since I posted about it. Just shows that the old saying about a joy shared is completely true!

  6. Congratulations, another wonderful achievement for you, well done!
    You so deserve this recognition for your stunning work.

  7. Hey Amanda, I've done it. I've written a blog post! Thank you for your support over the past 6 months.

  8. This is wonderful work Amanda.
    I will try to get down to the gallery and see the work.