Celebrate Cultural Diversity

In August 2016 I visited Mackay to be present for the announcement of The LIBRIS Awards for Australian artists’ books.

We were able to acquire three works for the collection, Jack Oudyn’s Keer weer-turn again, an artist’s book which comments on the Australian Government’s treatment of asylum seekers, and two of the winning books; Europa to Oceania, a collaborative work by Angela Cavalieri , George Matoulas and Antoni Jach and The small garden (for M.S.), by Brooke Ferguson.
In his comments regarding the awarding of the major acquisitive prize, the judge Sasha Grishin nominated works for commendation. These included Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison’s Closer to Natural, Monica Oppen’s Metropolis, Tim Mosely’s Kange pholu wanda and Peter Lyssiotis’s Blind Spot.
The Australian Library of Art has both Kange pholu wanda and Blind Spot in the collection as well as artists’ books by Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, and Monica Oppen.

Artist and guest blogger Normana Wight has spent several hours with the two winning entries and shares her thoughts in this post to ‘Celebrate Cultural Diversity’.

Celebrate Cultural Diversity

Europa to Oceania

Two new artists’ books in the collection at The State Library of Queensland – Australian Library of Art are;
1. Europa to Oceania 2016, artists’ book by Angela Cavalieri, George Matoulas and Antoni Jach.
2. The Small Garden (for M.S.) by Brooke Ferguson.
The two works were recently acquired by the library from the prestigious Libris Awards for Australian artists’ books, held biannually in Mackay, Queensland.
The judge in 2016 was Professor Sasha Grishin, Emeritus professor Australian Art History ANU. He was an enthusiastic and thoughtful choice for us in Australia with our emphatic emphasis on migration, integration and generally making Australia a successful multi- cultural nation.

Europa to Oceania

Europa to Oceania is a very ‘graphic’ artist’s book which celebrates cultural diversity, by two artists who came originally from elsewhere; Angela from Italy, and George who is of Greek extraction. Antoni Jach, Australian novelist and playwright is the creator of the text for the book

The small garden (for M.S.)

Artspace Mackay has awarded The small garden (for M.S.) by Brooke Ferguson their Youth and Student Artists Book Award, an acquisitive prize, targeted at people under 26, or still studying in a visual arts course.
This is an award that is about taking risks, a punt, and choosing the unexpected, the promising and the challenging. It is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity for an emerging artist to gain recognition, plus a handy fistful of dollars.’ Quote from the show’s judge, Professor Sasha Grishin.
With gouache, pen and ink and pencil, Ferguson has created a fragile concertina….,’ in the words of Sasha Grishin.
The MS of the title stands for the esteemed senior artist, Madonna Staunton, who is well represented in the collections of the Australian Library of Art.

A puzzling book.
Is it a plan?
A concept?
Is it a plan for a minimalist garden?
Is it designed to make one’s mind grope for meaning?
Is it a nonsense game?
A mobile concrete poem?
Enjoy the exploration.

Normana Wight



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