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, 27 May 2014

Feature Artist - STEVE DALES

is based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and is a maker of things - some of which are artists' books.

Steve initially trained as an illustrator of natural history and then later took a first Degree in Animation and a Masters in Media Production.

He has worked as a lecturer and technician in universities and colleges in North East England.

 Responding to a multitude of influences, Steve is easily excited by new things - so that old projects can take an inordinately long time to be completed.

Artists' books are definitely somewhere he is happy to spend time.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Feature Artist - MARGA HOUTMAN

is a visual artist from the Netherlands.

Marga studied at the Academy Minerva in Groningen, one of the oldest and largest Universities in the Netherlands.  Her work is often serially independent and includes paintings, drawings,  book objects and temporary installations.  She also teaches courses in her studio, guest lectures at secondary and vocational education and carries out wall paintings and decoration work for companies and individuals.

During my studies in fine arts I learned about artist's books, and ever since they have taken a special place in my life.  As a visual artist I regularly choose a book form to express myself.  Since I collect things, paint, draw and like to work in series, a book is a perfect form for binding or bundling ideas.  On the other hand, I sometimes choose to work with already existing books such as may be found at flea markets and in second hand book stores. - Marga Houtman

Marga's contribution to Personal Histories is in the form of a book made from cutting boards.  


 Each page is formed with the small planks her father made for each member of the family to prepare sandwiches.  There are six pages in total, on every page a cut out slice of bread in order of size, one for her father, mother, two older brothers, herself and her younger brother.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Feature Artist - CATHRYN MILLER

is a Canadian maker of artist's books with a history in theatrical design and fibre arts, she is based in Grasswood, Saskatchewan.

In partnership with her husband, David, Cathryn operates Byopia Press which produces hand bound journals, sketchbooks, cards, calendars, limited edition books and sculptural works.  These sculptural works are often made from recycled books.

Cathryn has worked in book arts for more than 15 years, and as a book artist for the last ten.  Her works have won several awards and are held in public and private collections in Canada, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

Cathryn's Personal Histories contribution is entitled "L is for Lettering" and recounts the trials and tribulations endured during her art education, 'recalled from a satisfactory distance after she has learned that those experiences have turned out to be useful after all'.

Links to information about Cathryn's works can be found at:

Vamp & Tramp Bookseller, LLC 
Saskatchewan Craft Council


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Feature Artist - LIZANNE VAN ESSEN

is an English artist based in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.
Working across many disciplines (including artist's books, illustrations, paper engineering, painted and collaged abstracts, printmaking and textiles),  Lizanne specialises in delightfully intricate paper-cut and pop-up books which explore and highlight the complex sculptural possibilities of working with paper. 

In Lizanne's own words:

'My work is intended to be "images to delight the eye and provoke thought", and includes a variety of media including collage, paint, textiles, printmaking and book art.

The sculptural books evolved from a delight in pure form, with the play of light creating shadows and volume.  I was excited by the combination of delicate detail and strength, and of simplicity and complexity - also by the surprise element created when the flat book covers opened to reveal thrusting sculptural forms.  Sometimes I like to combine images and words and colour, fracturing them with cuts, but at other times I like to emphasise the geometry and symmetry of monochrome abstract sculpture.

When considering my book for the Personal Histories Exhibition I thought of what to put in, when it happened, and where - but then I thought of "how many" - and planned the book to detail aspects of my life in numbers.'