Artists’ books bring together visual artists and writers in a unique and intriguing way. And in the digital age it is like some strange but beautiful anachronism. Incredibly it is a growing field covering a broad range of output, from expensive small print editions of highly crafted books through to the multiples of lo-res productions.
Artist and print maker, David Frazer says he loves making artists books: “ It’s a lot of work but its hugely enjoyable doing something so incredibly old fashioned- nothing much has changed in 200 years” he says.
“ They are very intimate. And they they are beautiful objects,” says David.
David Frazer’s handmade book, Passing Through the Old World.
The State Library of Victoria houses one of the finest collections of artist’s books in Australia with around 700 books made by Australian artists.The Library also selectively acquires artists’ books by international artists including a number of the world’s best known artists: Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha, Sol Lewitt, Tom Phillips, Robert Motherwell, David Hockney, and Jim Dine.
Fine Impresssions, a major exhibition of artist’s books has just concluded at the Sate Library of Victoria.
Curator Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow for Artists’ Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England says: “You never really know what you are going to find when you open a book, and sometimes the exterior can be very different to the interior. “
“There is a huge interest in the book arts and plentiful activity.” Sarah says.
The Stock Rooms has four of David Frazer’s books and each one is expertly crafted containing its own suite of artworks. More books by artists Dean Bowen and John Ryrie are coming online in the coming weeks.
Pictured at top is Dean Bowen’s handmade book, Small Portraits, which will be available for sale shortly.