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CREATEC 2015 Symposium- Pure Potential: Translation, Process and Artists’ Books

Friday, 16 October 2015


There has been a great creative outpouring worldwide over the past 30 years of artists’ books, zines and small publishing. Visual artists, performers, writers, designers and creative practitioners from diverse fields have been exploring and reinventing the form of the book experimenting with a diverse range of supports including paper, tin, fabric, canvas and more. At times too the support has disappeared altogether as new digital forms of book emerge. This symposium seeks to reveal how works come to be and why creative practitioners choose the book form above others as a vehicle of choice. In considering how works are made and the creative input of the maker(s) this forum aims to critically illuminate the pure potential of the form of the artist’s book.

Keynote speakers

Caren Florance - Interfacing Pages

Caren Florance is a Canberra-based artist who makes print and book-related work, often under the imprint of Ampersand Duck. She is currently undertaking PhD studies at the University of Canberra, investigating the relationship of the artist’s book with poetry by using collaborative textual production. Her work is collected by national and international institutions, mostly libraries.

Andy SimionatoUnmediating the book

Andy Simionato’s books have been called publishing phenomena, paper sculptures, performances, and even cosmic puzzles. In 2002 he co-foundered along with Karen Ann Donnachie & Son a magazine called ‘This is a magazine’. His work is considered highly influential in Lauren Parker’s Victoria & Albert Museum book on internet publications. He is also well known for his multi-media projects such as ‘Everything will be OK’. He is currently a lecturer at Curtin University, Perth.

Max PamAutobiographies

Max Pam is an obsessive photographer who will speak on his latest work. He describes it as, “A work that only a person who has never stopped the fieldwork and has never stopped the self reflection of rendering the results of time in the field into all manner of books, journals and albums can enact”.

Paul Uhlmann: Letters in fragments

Paul Uhlmann is an artist who works across many mediums including painting, printmaking and artists’ books – books for him are small worlds; micro-exhibitions. In 1986 he founded his own imprint trembling hands and he has made many books with this imprint in Canberra, Perth, Fremantle, Bunbury and Germany. He has exhibited widely nationally and internationally and his work is held in many collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria. He is currently Visual Arts Coordinator at Edith Cowan University.

Marcella Polain - ‘Within the ways of the leafy and hidden’: imagery in some of fold’s poems.

Fold is a research arm of CREATEC cofounded in 2011 by poet Marcella Polain and artist Paul Uhlmann to investigate the potential of artists’ books.

Through the intervention of language, poetic images enable connections between the interiority of our lived experience and the exterior world. Sophisticated use of these image-connections charges the liminal space between interiority, or ‘the slipperiness of unformed thought’, and exteriority or ‘the stolidity of things’, and can illuminate often subtle and surprising understandings.

Using Jane Hirshfield’s definitions as a springboard, this talk explores the ways poetic images act in some poems published by fold editions.

Marcella Polain is a poet who has been published nationally and abroad in Armenia, India, Romania and the USA. This year a Romanian-English edition of her selected poetry was launched in Romania and she was awarded the 2015 International Grand Prize for Poetry by the Academia Orient Occident.

Dan Bourke

Dan is an artist based in Perth, Western Australia. He works between studio, curatorial and publishing practices, and is specifically interested in the production, logistics and economies of culture. In 2010, he co-found the small printing press Benchpress with the aim of furthering the production and distribution of ideas in printed form.

Benchpress is an independent printing press based in Perth, Western Australia. Offering printing and publishing services through the use of a Risograph MZ digital duplicator, the press is able to assist in the production of art prints, books, catalogues, zines, posters, flyers, invitations, stationery, business cards, and CD/ DVD/ cassette covers amongst other things.

Danni McGrath

Danni McGrath is an artist who makes zines and utilizes print as a democratic means of expression. She is a graduate of Curtin University and was represented at Hatched: National Graduate Show 2014 at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA).

She is a founding member of Seeing Things Distro which distributes visual art zines and artist’s multiples.

Andrea Wood - An adventure with an echidna and other stories: The blank page as a space of material transformation and potential

Andrea Wood’s first serious loves were drawing and reading books. She has since progressed to writing and occasionally speaking about this vocation. Her recently completed practice led PhD project at ECU explored the sophisticated and fragmentary gaps and spaces of books in the context of installation art and the gallery. It also aimed to link these ideas from the history of art and poetry with her own experience as an artist living in the hills outside Perth, Western Australia.

Alun Price: Primary process

Alun Price's work explores the relationships between Design processes, photography and printmaking. The work in "Primary Process" is an extension of a series of artists’ books created by Price in 2014.

Alun Price teaches in the Environmental and Spatial Design course at ECU. He has taught design at several institutions and has helped develop the Senior School Design courses for the Western Australian Curriculum Council.

The day of talks will conclude with two exhibitions in Spectrum Project Space, celebrating the potential of artists’ books and zines a solo exhibition Primary process by Alun Price and a group exhibition Artists’ Books and Zines saved my Life!

Event details

Date: Monday,19 October
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Building 10, Room 10.131 Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley Campus
Cost: Free.
Registration: Please register your attendance online via Eventbrite.


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