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:

Wednesday, 31 December 2014



Feature Artist - Julie Macbean

Feature Artist: Julie Macbean

Julie Macbean is a painter-printmaker living in Darlington, UK.  Graduating with an MA in Fine Art from Teeside University in 2012, she is inspired by nostalgia and historical events; looking for the undesirable and the overlooked.

Julie's submission for the Personal Histories Exhibition 'Absent Voices' is based around Marianne Hirsh's 'Postmemory' and alludes to the inherited memories passed down from the generation before, bringing absent voices to life (especially pertinent at this time of year when we remember absent friends).

The images and intriguing snippets were found during a house clearance for a family member; and the book was put together by talking to family members and through internet research.

'Absent Voices' is a beautifully bound linen box of ephemera; containing hand printed and facsimile photographs on both loose and bound pages. Scrolls and facsimile vintage postcards housed in nooks and pockets make this a very interactive and interesting addition to the Personal Histories exhibition. 

'Postmemory is not the recalling of a person's memory; it describes the relationship that the "generation after" bears to the personal collective, and cultural trauma of those who came before.

To be dominated by narratives that preceded one's birth or one's consciousness, is to grow up with overwhelming inherited memories, remembering only by means of stories and images.

These events happened in the past, but heir effects continue into the present."

Marianne Hirsch


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Feature Artist: Dana LeMoine

is an artist and teacher from Minneapolis, USA,
working in printmaking, paper making, bookmaking, drawing and collage.  

Dana was born and raised in Wisconsin and earned her Master of Fine Arts-Printmaking from Arizona State University and  her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Emphasis on Printmaking) from the University of Wisconsin.  She is currently Education and Community Programs Manager at the Highpoint Centre for Printmaking, Minneapolis.

Dana's submission for the Personal Histories exhibition is 

December 24, 1443 East Harriet Street

"It is an exploration of my family on Christmas Eve through many years.  It looks at how we treat this holiday very different from the rest of the year, even though many of us do not believe in the holiday itself.  I am unsure of how Christmas traditions began in our family, but I believe they need to be examined in order to understand how our family can make positive changes in the future."

The book is printed using Xerox transfers, screen printing and letterpress.  It is a variant edition of 10 with each version hand-bound in different fabric.

Dana's artworks show a continuing interest and exploration of family history and interpersonal relationships which extends across her drawing/collage, printmaking and bookmaking practises.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Redland Museum - Over and Out

The Personal Histories Exhibition at Redland Museum has drawn to a close, 
with the last day of viewing being Sunday November 30.

I send a huge thanks and congratulations to all artists 
who have been involved with this first stage of the project.

The exhibition has been a huge success with a great deal of interest being shown in each and every artwork, the overall concept of artists' books, the variety of constructs and mediums employed by artist book makers and also the personal stories contained within the artworks.  There have been a well attended opening, a large number of visitors throughout the run, private group viewings, curator talks, a one-day workshop and visits from participating artists from both Australia and overseas (notably Sara & Theresa from Michigan, USA and Kyoung from Busan, Korea).

The exhibition will remain permanently online on the Personal Histories Website for all to view.

(The online catalogue is still a work in progress due to a file problem, and lack of time to sort it out properly, but hopefully this will be fixed shortly.  Apologies if this has caused anyone inconvenience.)

The exhibition has been dismantled and now comes the huge task of packaging and posting artworks back to artists, approaching institutions to house donated artworks, and/or storing artworks for the Personal Histories exhibition in Canberra in late 2015. 

One contingency I didn't factor in is that parcels being returned may get caught up in the Christmas post deluge.  Hopefully this doesn't impact negatively upon anyone.

Of course, the story is far from over with the next Personal Histories exhibition (with a working subtitle of 100book) opening at Redland Art Gallery on 27 March 2015.

I will be emailing gallery forms to be completed by those participating in this next leg of the project shortly, with a reminder that works are to be delivered by Friday 13 March 2015 at the latest.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Feature Artist: HyunKyoung Shin

was born in Gwang-hwa moon, Seoul, Korea.  Her name is derived from her birthplace of Seoul, where her family returned after the Korean War.  Kyoung currently lives in the city of Busan.

Kyoung spent her childhood, along with 5 other siblings, as part of a large four generation family.  Kyoung's mother took great care in raising her six children even though the impact of war had left her, as well as their environment, in a weakened state. 

After Kyoung graduated from the College of Art she taught oriental painting, which she had learnt from her teacher at Gye-won Art High School.  However, feeling she was not fully satisfied she went to study abroad in the United States, where she earned a Ph.D in Education at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Art Education and minoring in Japanese Art.  

Since returning to Korea, Kyoung has been sharing her knowledge and skills with many workshops, such as "Play with Brush and Ink" and "Art Journey: Searching for the Self" at social organisations and schools.  She is concerned about the revitalisation of spirit within Korean society as everything is changing so fast in this modern era.

Kyoung is a professor of Art at Young-san University and a Representative Director at Feminist Artist Network Korea and Nun-me (Eye's Mountain) Visual Culture Network Korea.  

Kyoung has written two books: "Would You Tell Me About Your Drawing?" and "Seeing and Feeling with the Right Hemisphere of the Brain".  She has also written more than 20 research papers,
 has held 7 invited solo exhibitions and more than 70 group exhibitions, making artists' books with the stories of the artworks she has exhibited.

Kyoung is currently in Brisbane, Australia attending the World Alliance of Arts Education annual conference where she is presenting a paper on "The Importance of Visual Literacy in Education".

Kyoung's contribution to the Personal Histories exhibition is
"How I see Mona Lisa in Cultural Issue?"

Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Liza was created by a woman image sitting outside in his painting. The image of this painting would be delightful when it was introduced first time in Asia. The technique in terms of materialism and humanism is so powerful. (There was a spiritual symbolism about substance in Asian painting). I have to admit the fact of his masterful treatment of her eyes in which her eyes appear to be alive, watching me directly and telling me something.
However the image is an illusion for me. It is like a fantasy of Western animation. I have learned English language with these kinds of images. This became my subject matter in my exhibition How I see Mona Lisa in cultural issue
I draw images coming from every word of the title as writing and drawing my drawing diary. I recognize influence of what I've seen in this painting. It is a woman sitting inside ignoring outer situation even though she has two eyes able to see and a mouth able to tell. Through this process, I see who I am.


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