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state library of queensland
Australian Library of Art

Australian Active Artists & Friends visit ALA

By Christene Drewe | 16 May 2012

Members and friends of the Australian Active Artists group visited the State Library on Thursday 10th May to view artists’ books made by Queensland artists Wim de Vos, Adele Outteridge, Philippa Webb & Toowoomba born artist Katharine Nix.

Wim’s works included Marks/Remarks, Sound and flight of the currawong, Tales of the snow angel, Travel tales and The Rising moon. Techniques and materials used in these artists’ books included etchings and embossings on handmade paper. Perspex cases are an integral aspect of Wim’s book designs for Tales of the snow angel and Marks/Remarks.  The copper etching plates for Sound and flight of the currawong are presented in a custom made wooden box.

Adele’s artists’ books, Vessels, Bus ticket book and Artist book feature Coptic bindings. The materials used for her books vary from recycled envelopes addressed to ‘The Arts Unit of the State Library’, to bus tickets and perspex. The intriguing Vessels is threaded with linen threads to create three sculptural ‘bowls’ when the book is open.


Philippa has used original drawings, calligraphy, lino block prints and relief etchings to illustrate her artists’ books; The wombat and the snail and Waltzing Matilda. Philippa also prepared bookplates especially for the James Hardie Library for her books.

Katharine’s books feature hand made papers by the artist. Red x four is illustrated with 4 original etchings with one of the etching plates set into the cover of the book. The Garden by Katharine with text by her son Garth Nix is illustrated using watermarked images on rag paper. The cover has a cast paper image, the binding was hand sewn and a page marker was created from woven metallic and cotton thread with glass beads.

During the morning I was able to share some of our lovely artists’ books with the Group as well as learn a little about their artistic practice. Joan Cooper & her husband Len currently have an exhibition ‘The Essence of Australia from Desert to Sea’ at Roma on Bungil Gallery in Roma which was opened by Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley A C. on 13th April 2012.


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