Curators Liz Jeneid and Judy Bourke watch Project Contemporary Artspace President, Laura Crichton carefully turn the pages of the Book Dancing over Dark Waters
Picture: Kirk Gilmour
Leafing through book masterpieces
AN exhibition of beautifully crafted artists’ books has been unveiled at the University of Wollongong.
Artists’ books are not books with art in them, or books about artists, but where the actual book is a piece of art in itself.
From scrolls to painted paper that concertinas across a podium, to wall hangings and entire volumes, where each page is a piece of art in itself, curator Judy Bourke said the art form was one without an agreed definition.
‘‘It is so varied, it can’t be defined. It could be paper, it could be video projected on a screen – if an artist says it’s a book, then it’s a book,’’ she said.
‘‘All fabrics, all materials. Soft, scrolls, in a box. There is no proper definition for it.’’
Sydney artists Gwen Harrison and Sue Anderson have contributed several pieces to the exhibition, including exhibit centrepiece Dancing Over Dark Waters.
A giant tome of a book, each page folds out to twice its size to tell the story – through both words and through art – of Cockatoo Island in Sydney.
‘‘Books are a way to tell a story in a rich way, to give more impact and surprise,’’ Ms Harrison said.
Pages use steel-etched text and pressed letters to tell a poem, while plaster, ink and more illustrate the story more than words alone could.
‘‘It’s about telling the story in words, but with art and images as well,’’ Ms Anderson said.
The exhibit, Collected, Connected & Cut, is on show at the UOW library until May 8.