A few pages from my recently completed artist book, Ghost. I have used the concertina form (14 pages) each with a tiny ceramic plate – drawn, painted and coloured, each with text, to evoke a sense of the land and sometimes the human place within it. I love being in the landscape – drawing, painting and being alive to the sights, sounds and smells within it. However, it comes with some anguish too – of the human impulse to destroy it, the lack of regard for First Nation People’s relationship with it, and the fact that I have to leave it, at least temporarily. I am also seeing and feeling the impact, the challenges, of living the urban life – finding connectedness to others, and meaning and purpose. These are some of the themes explored in this book.
The text is re-purposed from a book I picked up by chance in Tasmania (The Shadow Catcher, Marianne Wiggins). I painstakingly cut out sentences and individual words and re-arranged them to meet my own purposes. I found Wiggins’ writing is often poetic and summons up similar emotions to my own work.
I thoroughly enjoyed many days and nights choosing the text and arranging the pages during my recent residency in Tasmania. I was grateful for a large room in which to work, as the book stretches out to quite a few metres, and there were pages spread everywhere. At times though, it was a struggle to manage the paper of the text which warped and stretched when it was wet, and to keep track of tiny cut out words – but I have learnt to accept these things.
The book will be included in the “Little Library on Suffering and Joy”, a collection of handmade artist books which I anticipate exhibiting in 2019.