A framework of postcard collages

A Whisker of Light

Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison
3rd February – 29th April, 2018
Maitland Regional Art Gallery
230 High Street, Maitland, NSW

Louise and I have been reacquainting ourselves with twenty-one of her bird drawings (and a Delias hübner) and seventy columns of my postcard collages, as we prepare for a forthcoming exhibition of our work at Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW, in the new year.

A Whisker of Light will run from the 3rd of February through until the 29th of April, 2018. Alongside these drawings and postcard collages, both of which were last exhibited at Geelong Gallery as one large paper flock in 2013, we will be showing several of our artists’ books currently on display as part of Looped at State Library Victoria, and a few other surprises.

Mapping out a twelve metre installation of postcard collages required the use of the community hall where we normally Downward Dog and Bridge. Early in the morning, before the hall was in use, we retraced our steps, as we did when we first arranged this grid of collages in colour bands in June, 2013.

While we have endeavoured to kept this original whole, over the years, one or two gaps have formed as collages have fluttered to new homes. The task of adding newer scenes made stepping backwards more pleasurable. In the black and white section, Make believe sat vigilant in the small enclosure, a postcard collage from 2014 (exhibited as part of In Your Dreams at Counihan Gallery) plugged a hole.

Elsewhere, Your invisible support is valued (2012) had its tabs repaired in the slow and steady shuffle towards getting this work ready for its third airing in a gallery. (Yes, we've been here before, only the camera quality has improved.) And now with our twelve-page floor plan for A whisker of light organised down to the last millimetre, it feels peculiar to think it is finally happening.

The invitation to restage this grid of 400+ postcards and pencil drawings in flight was extended in 2014, on the back of our exhibition, By this unwinding night, at Latrobe Regional Gallery in 2012 and later at Geelong Gallery. It feels so long ago since we said 'yes, we'd love to, let's do this', but here we are, ready, primed, if a little less elastic (us, not the work). A lot has changed since then, but not everything. We're still making. Still shuffling, leafing, rolling along. One step at a time, and enjoying (and sharing) the process.

Each column of postcard collages have been wrapped individually and the birds secured to boards, ready for take off. Ready to be couriered interstate and later installed, and we can't wait to see how it looks in the bright promise of the new year.

Keep your spare eye on #AWhiskerofLight to see all of this installed, and to hopefully share your own photos of the exhibition in NSW.

Image credit: Gracia Haby, I have you covered, 2013, postcard collage from the Dear You series

Dear you,

Malicious streak awoken, I waited for them there on the rocks. I know, I thought, I’ll leave them. I won’t help them, no matter how much they cry and beg and simper. But of course, I did in the end. I’ve not grown that hard on bitter bones. I relented. I softened. I rolled over and let them rub my pinky belly.

Yours now once more their Cinderella-cum-jester, polishing the picnic set silver for the next fine day,
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