2012 Inaugural Siganto Foundation Fellow Peter Anderson
Peter’s project was to research the development of art in Brisbane during the 1980s with the intention to map the emerging contemporary art scene of the time, particularly as it was focused around artist-run spaces. It included placing this activity in both a contemporary and historical context, as well as locating the Brisbane scene more generally within national and international developments. His research was presented as a public lecture in 2013 ‘Tracing the Ephemeral: Towards a History of Artist Run Initiatives in Brisbane’. The research contributed to the University of Queensland Art Museum’s 2016 exhibition, Ephemeral traces: Brisbane's artist-run scene in the 1980s.
Ephemeral traces: Brisbane's artist-run scene in the 1980s: the catalogue essay / Peter Anderson
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2014 Creative Fellow Jan Davis
Jan’s project, One thing becoming another, labour-infused artist’s books which investigate lives of toil in nineteenth and early twentieth century rural Queensland, looked at farm and station diaries held in the John Oxley Library. The use of pen and ink in the diaries inspired Jan to reacquaint herself with using a fountain pen. Her hand written text in Drawing on the Ground and the traditional binding of her book are a ‘nod’ to the station records which informed her research. Her artist's book, research notes, preliminary drawings and mock ups are housed in an archival box in the Australian Library of Art collection, reflecting the storage of station and farm archives in the library.
Jan discusses the making of her work during the Siganto Foundation Artists’ Book Seminar 2015.(43:34 – 1:07:02)
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2014 Research Fellow Doug Spowart
Doug’s research project was titled, Photos + Books: Towards a nomenclature for the photograph in the artists’ book and the photobook. His research involved surveying the Australian Library of Art artists’ book collection, an enormous task given that the collection has in excess of fifteen hundred works. Doug presented the outcome of his research in a lecture (0:58-41:58) at the 2015 Siganto Foundation Artists’ Book Seminar and in a research paper which is held in the Australian Library of Art.
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2015 Creative Fellow Julie Barratt
Julie’s Siganto Foundation Fellowship project, Blair Athol Re-Cut was based on research both within the State Library collections and oral histories gathered in the field. Her artist’s book Blair Athol Recut is a reflection on the displacement of the community from the township of Blair Athol to allow for open cut coal mining.
Julie discusses the progress of her project and her relationship to the township of Blair Athol during the Siganto Artists’ Book Seminar 2015. (1:22:32 -1:32:07)
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2015 Creative Fellow Clyde McGill
Artist Clyde McGill used his Siganto Foundation fellowship to discover Queensland through ephemeral evidence. His journey found expression in an artist’s book Seven conjectures on looking for place . Clyde’s artist’s statement hints at the research journey as does his performance during the Siganto Foundation Artists’ Book Lecture Series 2016.
My book records my questions, my conjectures that put their heads up (and that haunt me still) during this project of wondering on the idea of how to find Queensland, which became, I realised, how to find any place, the same hallmarks, identical sounds when I knocked on the outside of it. Many parts of this resonated with searching for self, aspects such as location, general attributes, even 'identity' appeared obvious and accessible to me, though when closely examined, a place (and in my experience, self) drifts and becomes nebulous. So I chased place, uphill and across paddocks, down rivers, through library corridors, rack by rack, reading original owners views (including Eddie Mabo's extraordinary quest to regain place after colonial invasion and land theft), explorers diaries, finding and drinking water from the stream (now an open pipe) as John Oxley, pondered maps though these too are not place, walking and walking, photographing, wondering, looking into space.
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2015 Creative Fellow Ana Paula Estrada
For photographer and artist Ana Paula Estrada, the Siganto Foundation Fellowship offered an opportunity for research using historical materials in the John Oxley Library collections. Her interest in ageing, memories and storytelling has been realised in her book Memorandum. Ana Paula used collection materials to stimulate memories and discussions with six senior members of her inner Brisbane community. Their stories are told illustrated with personal photographs and memorabilia, Ana Paula’s portraits, and collection materials inviting the reader on a journey of contemplation.
Memorandum / design and concept: Ana Paula Estrada; essay: Dr Doug Spowart; artwork: Linda Carling
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2016 Creative Fellow Marian Crawford
Visual artist and printmaker Marian Crawford captured the essence of her Siganto Foundation Fellowship project in her first blog post when she wrote:
The Siganto Fellowship project presents an opportunity for me to explore the resources of the Library’s collections to discover how my private recollections of a tropical childhood fit into the broader context of Pacific Ocean cultures and their histories, the field of island studies, stories of colonialism and the implications of climate change for island nations in the Pacific Ocean.
Her artist's book, Picturing the island has a non-adhesive stitched binding with blue linen thread, letter-press printing and relief and intaglio photppolymer prints on paper. The work is complemented by Maneaba-Meeting place.
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2015 Research Fellow Victoria Cooper
Victoria’s research for her Siganto Foundation Fellowship investigated montage within the collections of the Australian Library of Art. Her focus and interest was in the creative “cut and paste” (including digital) construction of visual narratives using photomontage, text and mixed media. Integral to her critique was the consideration of how selected artists have utilised these image compositions within the space of the page and book.
Victoria presented her research paper at the Siganto Artists’ Book Lecture Series 2016 and her research paper Liminal moments at the edges : reading the montage in artists' books has been added to the collections of Australian Library of Art.
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2016 Research Fellow Lyn Ashby
Book artist, researcher & writer Lyn Ashby was the final research fellowship recipient. Lyn investigated the nature of stories that are made possible through the medium of the artists’ book. He looked at the historical foundations and ways of reading artists’ books, dipping into the postmodernist theories of the eighties and the current parallels observed in digital reading in contemporary society, concluding:
We must read differently now. Except for digital natives, screen reading is, relatively, the new reading for many of us. But the really new reading is back with the (new) book, the artists’ book. And this is a process of reading in which the direct, material experience or process of comprehending (or attempting to comprehend) the work on its own material terms, is a vital part of the meaning that the maker of the book is pointing to. The narratives that arise then are less conclusive and less consoling. They’re more confused and confusing, more troubled and quarrelsome, more mischievous and more able to accommodate uncertainty. And thus, perhaps, more mature. In the end, since there is little chance of undoing all this experiment with narrative, it probably also means that there’ll be no more happy ever afters.
Lyn’s research paper was delivered as part of the Siganto Foundation Artists’ Book Lecture 2017. He has also had his paper published in The Blue Notebook: Journal for artists' books published at the University of West England in October 2017.
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2017 Creative Fellow Peter Charuk
Peter Charuk was the final recipient of a Siganto Foundation Fellowship. The John Oxley Library collections proved to be a rich source of material to satisfy Peter’s quest for images and documents relating to climate, weather events and the subsequent impacts on environment. Coincidentally the arrival of Cyclone Debbie in March 2017 was to impact on his progress as noted by Peter when discussing his project:
The intention of the Fellowship was to research original material in the SLQ archives to generate an artists’ book for the Australian Library of Art Collection. The title of my project is “Collateral Atmospherics: Evidence”; this is a play on the term “collateral damage” a widely used term that the media uses in this era of “post-truth” journalism. As an artist I have been working with ideas of landscape, the environment and its intersection of the natural world since the 1970s, at the time of the “first” petrol crisis in Australia. Cyclone Debbie was entirely unexpected but her coming seems to support my artistic intentions for this research.
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