Personal Histories Artist Book Exhibition

Bringing together artists from around the globe to share their own stories in artist book form. Sharing similarities, diversities and individual perspectives. Highlighting the dynamic world of artist books.

REDLAND MUSEUM: 12 October - 30 November 2014

For more information please contact the Coördinator, Robyn Foster (email:

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


Apologies for taking so long to post about the 
Personal Histories Redland Museum Exhibition Opening.
Influenza and fatigue got the better of me.

The exhibition opened in the 
Dunn Wing of the Redland Museum on Sunday 12 October 
with works from 64 artists living in 18 different countries.

(Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, Wales).

The exhibition was formally opened by Rick Thomason (Exhibitions Officer and Curator - Redland Museum) and Myann Burrows (Textile and Artists Book maker).

Kay Faulkner (textile artist), Robyn Foster (Coordinator Personal Histories), Myann Burrows (opening speaker), Rick Thomason (Exhibiitons Officer & Curator - Redland Museum)

It has taken 12 months of organisation to bring the exhibition to this point with communication mostly via email, website and blog.

Thanks must go to Rick Thomason and the ever supportive Redland Museum community as well as to each contributing artist for all their hard work in making and transporting their works.

Museums are time capsules of public human history and the concept for this exhibition was to allow individuals working in the forum of book arts the opportunity to share their own personal, private narratives in a public space.

Artists' books utilise the format or concept of a book in the form of artwork.  In our age of technology, artists books help connect us to a familiar, tactile past and a changing relationship with how we share and store information and images and give us the ability to creatively record our own stories.

Book Artists:  Virginia and Terence Uren (Canberra), Helen Malone (Brisbane - back to camera), Robyn Foster (Redland). (background) - Fiona Dempster & Barry Smith (Sunshine Coast), Annique Goldenberg (Northern NSW) 

The books in this exhibition vary widely in their construction and content and are a testament to the creative breadth of artists' book craftsmanship.
Some are handmade, some commercially printed, some altered book works, 
some unique works and some editions.

The form of the books range widely - with traditionally bound books, concertina fold formats, spiral bound books, pop-up books, unbound pages encased in slipcases, framed works, wall hung works, flag fold books, stitched books, wearable art, scrolls, books made of paper, books made of cloth and books made of natural fibres.

There are letterpress printed books, etched books, linocuts, cyanotype prints, hand drawn and painted books, digitally printed images, collaged books, hand cut books, woven pages.

There are myriad differences in the construction methods and techniques used to create these books, but each relates a tale of personal history and experience in a unique and original way.

Virginia and Terence Uren (Canberra book artists)

Whilst most books are encased or positioned for viewing,
there are a selection of books available for viewing on a supervised reading table.

An international textiles exhibition entitled "Exposition" opened alongside the Personal Histories exhibition, giving a great dynamic to the Museum space, with both exhibitions marrying well.

The exhibition runs until Sunday 30 November.

Exposition - Textiles Exhibition

Saturday, 11 October 2014


The first Personal Histories exhibition opens tomorrow at 10am.
Heartfelt thanks to all the artists 
who have put their trust in this project over the last 12 months
 and contributed works to make this excellent show become a reality.
There are some truly amazing artworks (and personal histories) here.

Herewith a few snapshots taken at the end of installation this week.
Hopefully a few better quality images will be taken at the opening tomorrow.

I look forward to meeting all the artists who are attending tomorrow and throughout the show.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Feature Artist - AMY PIRKLE

is a book artist and letterpress printer from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

Amy received her M.F.A. in Book Arts from the University of Alabama in 2007.  During her time in graduate school, she established Perkolator Press.  As a printer and book artist, her primary medium is letterpress and reduction relief, but she often employs other printmaking techniques as well.  Although her work stems from long-standing craft tradition of fine press and fine binding, she also enjoys integrating newer forms of technology into her books.  Familial relationships and memory are the major inspirations for her work.

is Amy's submission work for Personal Histories.

I printed A REAL FIGHTING MAN after spending a few days with my grandfather in south Georgia and looking through some snapshots of him serving in Korea in the early 1950's.  The photos instantly inspired me, mostly because of the descriptions my grandfather had written on the backs of the photos, including the phrase "A real fighting man".  The cover images are reduction linocuts based on two of these snapshots, while the spine image and flags are archival inkjet prints.  I created photopolymer plates of his cursive handwriting from the photos, and letterpress printed them along with a narrative he wrote about his time in Korea 50 years later.  The book attempts to convey my grandfather's struggle to regain a sense of normalcy after facing the horrors of war.

Amy has enjoyed an active exhibition record and her work resides in Permanent Special Collections in almost 50 universities across the United States including the Art Institute of Chicago, Brown, RISD, Vanderbilt and Yale.  Amy currently teaches book arts, drawing, and design at The University of Alabama for the Department of Art, University Honors, and New College.


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Feature Artists - Angie Butler & Philippa Wood

is a collaborative artists' book project devised by


The resultant two volume set of artists' books  OPEN HOUSE - No.18 and No.42, were originally created for Sense of Place , curated by Karen Kinoshita at the University of Minnesota, Oct-Dec 2012. An edition is now included in the Personal Histories International Artist Book Exhibition.

In January 2012 we were asked by Karen Kinoshita to participate in the 'Sense of Place in Artists' Books' to be held at the Architecture Library, University of Minnesota Oct-Dec 2012, to coincide with the International Conference "Mapping Spectral Traces: PLaCE Minnesota.

With this in mind, we began to e-mail each other our thoughts and ideas, trying to pinpoint shared interests, thinking how we could develop our ideas regarding the concept "sense of place", and how to increase understanding towards, and empathy with our work through it's publication.

Through our online conversations, we realised that, although we had met a number of times, through our academic and artistic practice; we had never been to, or seen each other's houses.

We had no knowledge of where we both dwell, or of the surroundings in which we inhabit daily.  Although we have shared appreciation for nostalgia, letterpress, Delia Smith, typewriters and the histories and narratives of objects - we didn't know an awful lot about our respective pasts, present, or future selves, our hopes and dreams.

So, as an attempt to discover and reveal a few interesting stories, we decided to carry out some domestic archaeology.  We gave each other an online 'tour' of our own houses in words and pictures, and made an accompanying artists' book that focuses on an intimate selection of the tour.

By acknowledging the past, discussing the present and investing in the future we have not only developed our own relationship, but have raised an awareness of how we are connected to the places where we live, and better understand the psychology that underpins our furnishings, decor and household adornments.

The resultant artists' books are also accompanied by an ongoing blog.

ANGIE BUTLER is currently carrying out a PhD. study based at The Centre for Fine Print Research at The University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom.  

Angie has a multi-disciplinary approach to making, producing artists' books and printed matter with letterpress printing and hand typed text under the press name ABPress.  Her books have been exhibited internationally and are held in private and public collections in the UK, USA, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Iraq, Taiwan and Australia.  

Angie lectures, leads workshops and courses teaching into various CPD programmes, undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses (from Fine Art and Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking to Graphic Design and Illustration), at Universities and Studios throughout the UK.

PHILIPPA WOOD is a Senior Lecturer within the Department of Design at The University of Lincoln and produces work as part of a small collective called The Caseroom Press.  

Her work in the book arts field explores a range of interests, from what could be considered the minutiae of life - the seemingly insignificant aspects of our living and working environments and the importance we place on them; to projects that explore how applying mandatory rules and systems impacts on the content and form of the book and whether this means the artist relinquishes creative control.

Having originally qualified as a graphic designer her current creative practice embraces her interest in typography and the utilisation of traditional print processes such as letterpress.

Philippa's books are held within various permanent collections including The Klingspor-Museum Offenbach Archive, Germany; Boise State University, Idaho, USA: Winchester School of Art and Design and Bristol Bower Ashton Library, UWE, UK.

Philippa has also submitted a second artists' book for the Personal Histories project entitled Objects of Others (inhabit my kitchen).  This book is a visual record of items within Philippa's kitchen.  Items bestowed or inherited from friends and relatives; or unwanted and donated items purchased from second-hand or charity shops.


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Redland Museum - Exhibition Opening

The opening for the first of the Personal Histories International Artist Book Exhibitions will be at:

10am (Australian EST)
Sunday 12 OCTOBER 2014

 Redland Museum
60 Smith Street
Cleveland  Qld  4163
ph:   (07) 3286 3494

Please rsvp by Monday 6 October to Redland Museum if you are interested in coming along.

Thank you and congratulations to each artist whose work is included in this exhibition.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Feature Artist - TIM LAURIN

is a master printmaker from Ontario, Canada.
Working from his self renovated Octopus Studio Press site which, in a former life, was the one room 1938 Tyrone School, Tim skilfully combines new and old technologies to create absorbing artworks.

Originally trained as a fine craftsman working in metal and glass, Tim found himself drawn to the media of printmaking around 15 years ago.  Since then he has focused on alternative approaches to intaglio, which often incorporates photo-based sources.  Tim also began exploring the medium of Letterpress printing in 2008 working on a Vandercook Proofing Press #1 and an SP-15. 

The bookwork titled, Masc-U-line, is an exploration of self-identity and the social perception of masculinity.  Appropriating vintage photographs, I combine my photo types with short verse, using lead type in a traditional letterpress format.

The book, Some Men I Know, is a collection of ten portraits.  New technologies such as the internet and smart phones have dramatically changed how I interact with people.  Much of my socializing is now mediated through mobile apps on a 2 by 3 inch screen.  

This series of dry points is directly drawn from the photo-profiles of my acquaintances and have been created  using traditional techniques of drypoint and spit-bite etching. By using the screen capture function on my phone, I save the profile pic of my guy-pals and then begin scratching their likeness into a metal plate.  The result is a tiny print on Japanese washi tissue that is also laminated onto BFK cotton paper (chine colle)


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Feature Artist - ALIZA THOMAS

is a visual artist and paper maker from The Netherlands.

Aliza teaches paper making at the International Papier Biennal Rijswijk  and has done extensive research into the history of Islamic paper making.  She specialises in asian style paper and printmaking and has studied the art of paper making in many places worldwide, including Japan.  She has participated in the paper fashion shows in Jeonju, South Korea which are part of the Hanji Cultural Festival. She has recently made a journalistic contribution, together with the Royal Dutch Library and Henk Porck, to the Hand Paper Making Journal.

As well as all her paper making activities, Aliza has studied the art of  Qigong and Taiji quan (Tai Chi) under the instruction of Mr Gerard Pronk and Grand Master Kong Mien Ho.  She now teaches lessons in Qigong in rehabilitation programmes as well as to companies.  Aliza has travelled to China many times to continue her study of the art there.  

Aliza has exhibited her works in many places worldwide including Amsterdam, Netherlands, South Korea, Bulgaria, France, Australia, Israel, Lithuania, Philippines, Indonesia, Belgium.  Her works are held in many collections including Haifa Museum of Modern Art Israel, Bertha Urdang Gallery New York, University of Cape Town, Cannabis Press Japan, Honolulu Book Arts Society Hawaii, Israel Museum Jerusalem, City of the Hague Holland, Royal Dutch Library Holland and Kyoto Paper Museum Japan.