Each of these fabulous artists brings something special to this exhibition, where you’ll find artist books created by seven talented print- and paper-makers: Wendy Wright, Mary Pulford, Lorelei Medcalf, Cher McGrath, Andie Marten, Beth Evans and Elizabeth Banfield.
And, don’t expect these artist books to be anything like what you might buy ‘off the shelf’ at your local book store. You will have to do some exploring to get the best from these beautiful works of art – no conventional page-turning here. Fold out pages, concertina pages, pop-ups – the books are genuinely sculptural in their qualities.
If you love the texture and variety of hand-made paper, there’s more than one treat in store for you!
Cher McGrath makes an array of paper, using sometimes quite unpredictable ingredients. Her little cockle books are made from banana plant (no point trying to inhale an aroma, there’s no bananary perfume here!) and are gel printed or dyed with indigo or Parisan essence.
The rust method lends itself well to her portrayals of a desert landscape. ‘Salt Lakes and Sand Dunes’ is a beautiful depiction of a desert trip she made a couple of years ago. Then, more blues feature in ‘Clouds’ as seen through white window frames.
And, speaking of unpredictable ingredients, Mary Pulford also made some of the paper for her ‘Wombat’ series – book and framed prints – the result of a residency on Flinders Island. She has used her gorgeous ‘wombat poo’ paper (yes, it’s made from wombat poo that Mary diligently collected) for these divine lino cuts of wombats.
Each artist has created stunning pieces – be they delicate, quirky, intricate or fun.
Elizabeth Banfield’s delicate works feature the finest of tissue-like paper, card and stitching.
For others, it’s in the ‘packaging’. Andie Marten’s delicate ‘Bird’ books are housed in a beautiful little chest/cabinet which features a bird’s nest (complete with eggs), bird skeletons and feathers, plus the tiny little books created from hand-worked needlework panels. Mary Pulford’s ‘Preserves’ line old Fowler’s Vacola preserving jars and Elizabeth’s ‘Within’ comes in its own hand-made and printed box.
Beth Evan’s ‘Bones’ satisfies her fascination with human anatomy and comes with framed prints; Lorelei Medcalf’s ‘Beach Walking’ is a result of a beach-side residency, when she collected a series of beach images that we can all relate to; and Wendy Wright used found vegetation to form the background for her haunting ‘Moonlight’ books and framed prints.
Conversations is on show until the end of July. Pop in on Saturdays and Sundays 11am – 3pm. There’s usually an artist in attendance and it’s a great opportunity to learn something about printmaking, to talk to them about their creations, purchase a gift with a difference or even join the elite band of artist book collectors.
There’s a veritable ‘Print-fest’ happening between now and October at Mrs Harris’ Shop. If you’re a lover of printmaking, the next four months will be a treat!
It’s to celebrate with the Print Council of Australia, as it marks its fiftieth birthday. All over Australia, artists (particularly printmakers) and galleries are celebrating, so expect to see lots of printmaking exhibitions around Adelaide.