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
REDLAND ART GALLERY: 29 March - 10 May 2015
UNSW CANBERRA: 28 September - 11 December 2015

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

Tuesday, 31 December 2013



I hope everyone gets a chance to look back quietly over what 2013
has brought and the opportunity to ponder and plan for what 2014 

I don't want to wish the year away, but I am certainly
looking forward to continuing to showcase all the talented creatives who are
participating in the Personal Histories project in the 
Feature Artist posts
and seeing it all come to fruition later in the year when we put the exhibition together. 

In the meantime:

thank you for being part of this project
as we jump through the mysterious window of time into the new year.
(a bit like Alice jumping down the rabbit hole!)

Here's something I'll be doing for 2014:

Japanese Daruma Dolls - New Year Custom
Fill in one eye of the Daruma in anticipation of
fulfilling a wish or a project.  Fill in the other
eye when the wish is fulfilled or the project complete.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Exhibition Opportunity - MCBA


Call for Artists:


Minnesota Center for Book Arts (Minneapolis, MN)
An exhibition in MCBA's main gallery from February 7 through July 6, 2014.
All media formats are welcome.
No entry or participation fees.  
Selected artists are responsible for all shipping costs.
To be considered forward email submissions to
Selected artists will be notified by January 10, 2014.
Selected works to be delivered to MCBA by January 24, 2014.
This exhibition may travel to other venues.  
Works to be available through December 2015.

For more detailed information visit the MCBA webpage.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


all images copyright of the artist

CATHERINE KIRKPATRICK is a photographer and writer based in New York City. She has won awards from the Bloomingdale Museum, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Center for Visual Arts. One of her still life images was just named a Top 10 Pic by PDN (Photo District News) on its PhotoServe website. And Sgt. Pepper Uncovered, an article about a Buddhist Photographer and the first NYPD women patrol officers written for Professional Women Photographers, was named by PhotoShelter to its list of Best Blog Posts of 2011.

Silent Echoes is a series of photographs and photo collages on the theme of women's lives. When I was small, I thought women could do anything, and I still do. But they are responsible for so many things, great and small, that affect their lives in ways they can't control. Sometimes, looking back, they see other paths they might have taken had circumstances been different. Sometimes they are haunted by these thoughts and questions, the “what ifs.”
Throughout most of history, the struggles of women–half the human race–have gone unnoted, yet these struggles have required so much courage and effort, so much sacrifice, most of it unacknowledged and silent. I think about this often. I thought about it as I cared for my elderly father who lived to 93, with a lot of help. I think about it as I remember my grandmother, a farm girl from rural Arkansas (born in 1882 "near Turner's Post Office"), who married young and lost her husband at age 36. She bore 6 children, 4 of whom made it to adulthood and old age. There were things that were not spoken of, yet remained. In creating these images, my immediate family and ancestors come into my mind, (their births, the journeys of their lives that led to me being born in New York City and reflecting back on them). I see their triumphs and struggles, and in my work I honor them.

all images copyright of the artist

Catherine's artist's books have been shown at the Leipzig Book Fair, the Seoul International Book Fair and the Villa Borbone in Vioreggio, Italy.  You can find a little more about Catherine at her blog Photospire.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Feature Artist - AILEEN BASSIS

Aileen Bassis is a visual artist living in Jersey City, which is across the Hudson River from New York City.  She’s made art for all of her life creating work in photography, printmaking, collage, and installation.  She began working in book arts in 2002, and has made altered books and handmade books based in visual imagery that use different printmaking techniques.  Much of her work is about social and political issues; she’s made work about The Holocaust, the history of slavery in the USA, and Muslim identity after 9/11. She’s exhibited widely across the USA and has work in several public collections.  She’s also a retired art teacher, a published poet, and a happy grandmother. 

You can view Aileen's website here.

All images copyright of the artist

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Feature Artist - HELEN MALONE

All images copyright of the artist

Helen Malone is an artist living in Brisbane Australia who specializes in artists’ books and book sculptures.    Studies in Art History and a passion for illuminated manuscripts and artists’ books led to further art studies and a focus on the sculptural and visual possibilities of books as art.  Her interests have always been in creating books whose structure and format reflects the content of the book or creates added meaning.  Main topics of interest that have been subject matter for Helen’s books are social and political comment, personal history and memory, natural disasters, literary connections and architecture.

Helen’s books were first exhibited in the State Library of Queensland in 1991 and since then has been exhibited widely in Australian book exhibitions, prizes and awards.  Her work has travelled to exhibitions in many countries such as the USA, France, England, Italy, Scotland, Japan, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania.

Work is featured in publications by the State Library of Queensland, on the SLQ artists’ books website, and in conjunction with the Education Queensland School curriculum.  Her work has been published in artists’ book publications, catalogues and journals, both nationally and internationally.   Her books are held in many public and private collections in Australia and overseas.

You can view Helen’s website at

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Second Exhibition Space for 2015

A second exhibition opportunity has arisen for 2015.
Will let you know details when they are confirmed & official.

So far I have received around 60 expressions of interest from artists in the following countries:

Czech Republic
New Zealand
United States of America

Should make for a full and varied body of works.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

An email from Elaine

Something very exciting happened since my post Unexpected Developments on 31st July.
Unbelievably, one day out of the blue, I received an email from a lady named Elaine.

Elaine was doing a bit of family history research and typed the name of her aunt "Elsie May Baills" into her computer search engine.  This led her to this very blog site where she found not only a photo of her aunt but also a contact (aka me) who was actively looking for family members who might be interested enough to claim and care for this photo and others.

After making sure we had the right family, it turns out Elaine was the perfect recipient/guardian for the photos.  We were both excited to find one of the photographs I had was of her father as a small child (see above).  Elaine already possessed a copy of this photo, but hers was too damaged to repair.

It is such a good feeling to be able to return these photographs to someone with such a close connection to them.

My thanks must also go to Vicki in Iceland (who turns out to be a bit of a genealogical whizz) for all her help in working out this puzzle.

Turns out Elaine was only a car trip away from me - unlike Vicki, who did all her wonderful detective work from the other side of the globe.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Feature Artist - PHILIP ANDERSON

is a photographer based in the United States of America.

Philip has taught English at the university level in Finland and the United States.  He has taught English to adult immigrants and continues to teach English in the K-12 system.  His photography has been in juried exhibitions at the DeVos Art Museum in Marquette, Michigan; Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota; The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado; Concordia University in Saint Paul, Minnesota; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Center for Photography, and Minneapolis Photo Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the Brighton Photo Fringe; University of Sussex, Brighton, Great Britain and others.

I am very glad to be able to include Philip's work in this project. Philip's contribution for the  exhibition is a copy of his book
 "The Changing Face of a Nation".

In correspondence I asked Philip if the book was for handling or for display, his eloquent reply says it all really:

"My book is for handling. The preciousness of my book isn't in the materials it is made out of; it's the personal stories, the collaboration with such good people, and the sense of accomplishment I felt in being able to carry out such a project."

A detailed explanation about Philip's project appears below:

This was a project that my adult English students and I took up. They wrote a story about their lives based on an example I had created.  They made the story fit their lives, and we helped each other refine their writing.  I made some photographs of the students using an old Yashica twin lens reflex camera. I made a few mistakes by metering for 100 Iso film when I had 400 Iso and then others when processing it.  The project culminated in a published book with a forward by Cate Vermeland and piece about language that I wrote.  The book's title is as written above.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

A Word to the Wise

I am probably preaching to the converted here and I know it's very early to start talking about delivery of works but I just want to point out
 - long before people start compiling their artworks -
when thinking about the structure and materials for your book please bear in mind possible strictures with postal carriers or customs importation for materials such as plant/organic materials, bones, metals etc. etc.
I would hate to think of anyone's books languishing in customs or artists suffering the frustration of artworks being refused delivery. 

If anyone has any customs or postal carrier experiences/knowledge to share it would be fabulous to hear from you so others may be aware to avoid any related pitfalls.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Feature Artist - SHIRLEY GREER

Shirley Greer is a printmaker and book artist living
and working in Pasadena, Newfoundland, Canada.

Shirley received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual) from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2003, and was the recipient of the University Gold Medal for Academic Excellence. In 2009 she received a Master ofArts Degree from the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland, where her research focused on book arts.


Shirley's prints and books have been exhibited in juried and
invitational shows in Canada, the US, Lithuania, Denmark,Germany, Sweden, 
South Korea and Italy. She has completed residencies at Memorial University
of Newfoundland, at St Michael's Printshop in St John's, NL and
at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy where she also taught workshops.  

Most recently Shirley has taught printmaking and drawing in the Visual Arts Program at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland.  
Shirley has received supporting grants for her work from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.  Her work is held in teaching, public and private  collections throughout Canada, and has been published in journals.

all images copyright of the artist

My art always reflects my life in one way or another, and is frequently related to notions of home - home as house, as place, as country, as comfort/discomfort. I try (but am not always successful) to avoid nostalgia.

I have inherited many letters, photographs and documents from both known and unknown ancestors which I combine with contemporary practices to make work that is time-based, intimate and relevant. Although deeply personal, I strive to make the work universal. My media of choice are printmaking and book arts, but it is the latter that offers the most satisfying means of expression - the options are vast and inevitably the right format will emerge for a particular piece of work.
Shirley Greer - 2013