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, 18 November 2014

Feature Artist - SARA BAKKER

is a gallery coordinator, curator and artist living in Grand Rapids Michigan.

Sara holds a BFA in Studio Art from Calvin College.  She works in a variety of media including drawing, painting, collage and embroidery.  She has recently been managing the (106) Gallery in the downtown Avenue for the Arts district of Grand Rapids where she coordinated monthly exhibitions and events at the gallery as well as hosting a weekly studio night for local artists.  She has been a contributing member of the Avenue for the Arts and Grand Rapids Comic Society and is a collector of zines.

In 2013, Sara took a 3 week bookmaking course at Calvin and fell in love with the book as an art form.  She appreciates how bookmaking lends itself so well to the merging of text, imagery, mixed media and experimental process, much like zines, comics and printmaking. 

In 2014, Sara was invited back as a guest artist in Calvin's bookmaking course, facilitating critiques and working on more content-driven books inspired by struggle and growth in personal journeys.  This past February, she curated the book show "Ancient Grains", which highlighted artists' works from the course.  This spring she has curated and participated in a book arts exhibition titled "Landmarked", involving the ways in which we map journeys, in both literal geographies and personal landscapes.  She is currently working on a series of artist books of meditations, which incorporate a mix of collage, text, print, stitching and embroidery.  The pages of these books are a collection of struggles, questions, and affirmations that mingle visually with running threads and other recurring patterns.

Sara is currently travelling in Australia and New Zealand.

Sara has made time in her busy travel programme for a two day Brisbane stop over, with her friend Teresa, in order to view the  Personal Histories exhibition.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Feature Artist - IRMARI NACHT

is an artist from Englewood, New Jersey, USA.
For the Personal Histories exhibition Irmari has created two small accordion books:

Books: 105 Hair Today 
This 4" book chronicles (in photographs) a year of growing my hair - from 2" at the shortest to 11" a year later."

"This 4", 40 page accordion book is a personal history of how I made (and my motivation for) a sculptural work in the round of 4 encyclopedia britannicas comprising the elements: fire, water, air, and earth."

Irmari has made artist books throughout the years, but in 2007 she began working steadily on a recycled book series -  "Saved".   This series utilises books that otherwise might be discarded and transforms them into artworks.  

The books are cut, sometimes into slivers which curl and undulate and return to the tree-like shape from which the paper was made.  Lately, the books have exploded from their spines.  

A 4" book has grown to 24" through a series of cuts and spirals reaching out to the viewer with subliminal messages.  The words on the pages of the books are sliced, slivered or torn and become interwoven with other slivers and slices to make the original meaning no longer clear, but the words are still there - creating new information, now obtained by reading only the letters that are visually available.  Or, as the words of the book extend beyond the surface of the covers, by means of the outreaching slivers, the ideas and concepts of the book move out to the viewer, perhaps generating new ideas.  The reality of the book is questioned: is it no longer a book, or is it a container for concepts?  Is it now a sculpture? Must a book have pages and words, has it changed the basic integrity of a book and become an art object capable of many interpretations?  Does it now please the aesthetic senses as well as the intellectual senses?  

This artwork, using the book as a metaphor, addresses environmental concerns, change and transformation, information received and denied, altered reality, as well as the concept of multiple imagery, which highlights the strength and energy of repeated elements.

Irmari's art has been exhibited in every major museum in New Jersey, including the Newark Museum, NJ State Museum, and Montclair Art Museum.  Her work is also in several corporate and public collections including AT&T, PSE&G, ADP, Newark Museum, International Museum of Collage, Mexico, Rutgers University, Cleveland Institute of Art, Bowdoin College, Jimmy Carter Museum and Yale Art Museum.

She has exhibited internationally, as well as nationally, and received two New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowships in Sculpture.  She received a second Puffin Foundation Grant for "Who Am I?", an interactive project where the viewer becomes part of the artwork.

These bookworks are in several collections and have been recently been shown at the Belskie Museum,NJ,
Lichtenstein Center for the Arts,MA,Doverodde BookArts Festival,Denmark, Westport Library, Conn,NJ State Museum,Newark Museum,WAH Centre, NY, June Fitzpatrick Gallery, ME,Univ of Northampton, UK, Wiener Library, London, UK, and in solo shows at the Atrium Gallery, Bard College at Simon's Rock, MA and the Intermezzo Gallery, BergenPAC, NJ.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Redland Museum Online Exhibition

The Personal Histories Redland Museum 
Online Exhibition has been uploaded to the website.

Below is a direct link:

There is a pause button to the top left of the image space (when you run your mouse over the screen) so you can take a bit more time to read the accompanying text.

There are still two artists pages that need to be included,
but hopefully I will have images sorted out over the next couple of days so I can add them to the mix.

Please let me know if you spot any errors or omissions.

Thursday, 6 November 2014


                   Redland City Bulletin - Wednesday November 5 2014         

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Feature Artist - JUDY BARRASS

is an Australian artist living and working in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.

Judy works across a broad range of mediums, and is well known for her works in paper and the book format.  Her evocative one-off artist books often make reference to history, place, and the natural environment.  Judy's work is held in private and public collections in both Australia and overseas.

Judy also works with new media as her counter ego Juanita Deharo.

Judy's current obsession is combining traditional paper theatre and articulated paper puppets with animation and digital video techniques, but she also retains a strong connection to the tradition of the artist book.  Her recent work for the exhibition 'Fibro Coast' combines video installation with small paper constructions she calls 'reliquary boxes'.

'In a digital age there is much talk about the death of the book, but I think the elements of books, such as reading, sequence, personal interaction and imagination will survive.  The book may not survive exactly as we have known it, but it will survive both as an abstract notion and an object, in some form.

Artist books have been part of my practice for a long time.  To me, as a visual artist, there is something compelling about the book as an object, and a means of conveying ideas, as a visual message.  It is sometimes, but not always, something you can hold in your hand, smell, see, feel and interact with in a more powerful way than other less familiar art objects.  I like to think of books as a sort of personal installation, to be experienced in an intimate and very individual way, alone, with your imagination.  You need to open the box, look behind the covers, interact with the object, become lost in discovering it, and then it speaks to you.'


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Exhibition Workshop

Community workshop and 
guided tour of the Personal Histories exhibition
with Robyn Foster

11.00am - 3.00pm 
Redland Museum
Smith Street
Cleveland  Qld  4163

The workshop is aimed at beginning/intermediate book makers
and will focus on construction techniques for various concertina fold formats.
Cost for the day is $25.00.

RSVP to:
Robyn Foster
if you would like to participate

The online exhibition and POD catalogue are in production and will be available soon.
 Feature Artists posts will resume next week.

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