On the working table

Closer, closer

Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison
I think all the world is falling
No longer six feet under
8 page concertina artists' book, inkjet print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm, with covers mounted on gold-trimmed board, housed in a printed slipcase on 225gsm Buffalo board
Printed by Arten (covers, pages)
Printed by Bambra Press (slipcase)
(Each an) edition of 6, with an artists' proof

Because all too soon this glorious gallop is over, the work done, ready for release, a closer look at two artists’ books, currently on the working table, in various stages of completion, destined for the ball that is the NGV's Melbourne Art Book Fair. Pulling threads together, seeing parts form a whole, it is a rewarding part of the process. A part that passes too quickly if you don’t take a surveyor’s step back, examining not a building or a property portfolio, but a pair of books in the making, for valuation purposes of a different kind. It is not dissimilar to the installation process, but it is powered by a different kind of urgency.

With gold-trimmed edges for the covers and seams of red between the pages, this pair, related yet independent, follow on from our thoughts expressed in Prattle, scoop, trembling: a flutter of Australian birds (unique state and printed publication).


I think all the world is falling

“I think all the world is falling” (Kylling Kluk, Just Mathias Thiele, 1823)    

Where there was earth, there was sky. And soil and toil was where the sky was. Topsy turvy. Switched around. In the blink of an eye.

Where there was water, there also was earth. And instead of the sound of birds calling, there was the white noise hum of standby power. It was familiar. Yet it was out of sorts. It was a left foot crammed into the right shoe.

It was day and lights, not day and night. It was fenced in, thumbing its nose at Cole Porter. It hobbled over Henny Penny’s fallen sky.

I think all the world has fallen. And it was long ago.

Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, I think all the world is falling, 2017, artists’ book


No longer six feet under

The sea had risen, forming new tidal marks around the trunks of buildings. It had bleached the foliage of the trees. It had taken the colour from the wings of birds, butterflies, and moths, also, making a fable of my pocket.

As I had slept, Atlantis rose, or so it seemed. Bringing with it a band of subterranean garden-hose sea snakes and rusted shopping trolley chariots. Ring pulls, wrappers, waste, and gelato spoons too.

As what was sunken now bobbed to the surface, I sought to crown a fallen rodent burning in the light, but my eyes alighted on the gleam of a beer cap masquerading as a coin.

Minding the sludge, I had slipped the hook. I pulled the neck of my t-shirt back in place, and gambolled ever onwards.


Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, No longer six feet below, 2017, artists’ book


Melbourne Art Book Fair
National Gallery of Victoria
Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th March, 2017


Image credit: Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, I think all the world is falling (detail), 2017, artists’ book