Friday, 12 August 2016

Book play - "Poetics" exhibition

A new direction I have been exploring in my work this year has been 
the creation of little artist books to express different ideas. 

This is a concept initiated in doing the PCANZ summer school in January with Diane Fogwell. Her recommendation was to consider what your intent is when you make a work, how you wish it to be read by your audience, and therefore what structure you might use to communicate this idea. Read an earlier blog here.

As a result I have made time to "play" with multiple ideas 
and multiple structures to see where it leads me. These are two wee books created in the process.

Book play in progress... by Toni Hartill


This little book began with the cover. 
I was experimenting to see if I could create a leather-like textured paper to replicate an old leather bound log-book inspired by my grandfather's many old logbooks. He was the surveyor Hereward Pickmere who charted the Northland coastline. A summer spent boating in the Bay of Islands, combined with the sale of family property got me thinking about my family's connections to him as we traversed the same waterways, using his charts to guide us. His prolific stash of survey logbooks, is a fascinating insight into who he was. Amongst them are incredibly detailed notes as he mapped the coast around the many intricate convolutions of the coastline.  From this rich source of inspiration many ideas have sprouted which I am just beginning to explore.

This particular book then just grew into a visual journey. I had no fixed plan at the beginning as to where it would take me but I simply responded to ideas that came up as I added layers and patterns until the story emerged of its own creation. It follows a leaf as it drifts with the currents, up and down tributaries through the book. 
Processes used are mainly collograph plates and monoprint stencils.

"Driftline" by Toni Hartill

"Driftline" by Toni Hartill

"Driftline" by Toni Hartill

"In Swings the Tide"

This book again evolved through play and experimentation. I had an idea of a concept of the incoming/outgoing tides and wondered how I might express this.
The little piece of driftwood is one of the many treasures collected during my summer's adventures in the Bay of Islands - this piece came from a beach on Moturua Island. It fitted perfectly with the size of the book and adds the three dimensional quality I was hoping for.
(The title comes from an album and song by NZ artist Anika Moa.)

"In Swings the Tide" by Toni Hartill

Another presentation of the book:

"In Swings the Tide" by Toni Hartill

These books are both exhibited at the "Poetics" exhibition currently on in Whanganui NZ. 

More information about this exhibition is available on the PCANZ website here and on their facebook page here.