Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Walker Street Gallery

As we found out on Thursday 7th of October, books are a tool of communication. Books were a vital part of communicating ideas and thoughts to others long before facebook, twitter or the internet in general. We visited the Walker Street Gallery for 2 exhibitions being held – 
Tess Edwards Metaphysical Fishing being one of them. Tess Edwards was not particularly Catholic but her artwork was based upon prayer books. She would paint over prayer books, sometimes revealing text, sometimes not.
This was an interesting thing she did to express herself. You wouldn't think one would, i suppose, 'vandalize' something sacred, such as bibles, prayer books, etc, but it gave a new depth to her work. Some of the artwork looked quite random, with no particular meaning behind it to me, or not as obvious as some of the other images she may have painted. 

We looked at different forms of books that were created by Deakin Uni students. Some were fascinating, such as the Trees and Ladders, 1995 by John Ryrie, Alex Selenitsch and Hamish Hill. The book didn’t look as fascinating as the case. The case was a symbol of trees with the wood grains and a hard cover for the book. It had a step ladder on the right side of it that represented growth and more like a ladder of success.
            The boat books were interesting because they represented things that books can be – easy to print, cheap and fun. You don’t need a lot of pictures or text, or fancy fonts, or anything, as long as you can just fold paper and make an interesting shape to add to the content. The idea behind the boat reminded me of in primary school when you would make paper boats/hats.

There was many pieces that were pleasing to look at, the matchbox book, the book with the buttons and vintage photos, however the best one for me was the owl book sitting in the right side corner of the gallery. “An Howl of Owls” fascinated me with its contrast of black and white, like day and night. The stencils and patterns of the owls and even the title in grey lead pencil. It looks like it had been spray painted as well which added a bit of a 3D look to the owls. The combination of the text and stencils, the use of negative space and the simplicity of the book, pictures of owls with no text gave a new meaning to books. You don’t need both text and images!

Even though it was a small gallery, there were a lot of fascinating pieces to look at and learn from. The thing we probably have forgotten is that books are a vital part of communicating and learning. 

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