Featuring some of the work submitted so far for the exhibition...
Deborah Klein
There was once… The collected fairy tales, 2009
limited edition book: soft cover, perfect bound
edition of 1000
21.5 x 14.5 x .5 cm


Caelli Jo Brooker
Little Red Riding Hood, 2011
digital print and linocut zine
edition of 100
7.5 x 7.5cm

Stephanie Small artist's statement:

Leaving behind a fifteen-year career working between the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, photographer Stephanie Small relocated from Sydney to the idyllic mid north coast of NSW in 2007.  Having worked for over a decade with a number of prestigious arts organisations, Stephanie decided it was time to make her own art.

Stephanie completed studies in photography and Digital Media and in 2010 published her first book, Defining 4orty.

In Defining 4orty, sixteen women speak openly on what life is like at 40 and their journeys in reaching this milestone age.  As anyone in their forties will know – life doesn’t always turn out as planned… it isn’t always the ‘happily ever after’ of childhood dreams.  Broken relationships, blended families, single parenthood, depression, addiction, cancer… online dating, buying age appropriate clothes, incorporating grey hairs, going back on the Pill – hardly the topic of fairytales.

In sharing their stories these everyday Australian women provide an insight into living life on life’s terms.  Beautifully photographed and designed, each woman is captured shining in her own light.  Warm, honest and funny, Defining 4orty is guaranteed to inspire.

An image from Stephanie Small's Defining 4orty

Happily Ever After by Catherine Kirkpatrick

Silent Echoes by Catherine Kirkpatrick

Mouth by Nicola Hodder

Nicola Hodder artist's statement:
In order for me to finally embark on this project, I went through a lengthy process of elimination, stripping down, and simplification to get to a final idea that I could proceed with.

The result is a story, entitled ‘Tunnels’, that is perhaps more closely related to a parable than to anything else.  The text constitutes moments and movements in time and is freed from the confines of a plot or characterization. It relays just on the intimations of what is going on inside an individual.

To complement the text, using my own personal abstract language, I’ve produced images that appear fleeting and unlaboured and that owe nothing to the time of day or night and only reflect the mood of each passage.

Angela Gardner's Red shoes

Angela Gardner artist's statement: 

Hans Christian Andersen's Red Shoes is a terrible story of a little girl's crime of vanity through a pair of beautiful shiny red shoes. Her subsequent punishment fit the crime as the shoes made her dance

until she was willing for her feet to be hacked off. Throughout the story is the chilly, inflexible presence of the church. My work for this exhibition is looks at the link between death and vanity, crime and punishment. I have written an original poem and written it blotted copybook style into a copy of the 1947 'Dance of Death' reprinting Holbein woodcuts. There is also a tipped in page of text which is a mash-up between phrases taken from Foucault's 'Discipline and Punish' interleaved with instructions from an old Manual of Dancing Steps. By juxtaposing two seemingly disparate pieces of writing the matter of fact instructions for dancing take on a sinister edge.

Samara McIlroy and Rachel Edwards
artists' statement:
Samara McIlroy is a visual artist and archivist based in Hobart. She has collaborated with Rachel Edwards, a broadcaster and editor, to create an installation incorporating sound and sculptural elements.This installation plays with notions of the contemporary book – the book without a body. The collaborative process was informed by the myth of the Odyssey – and in particular Penelope’s steadfast devotion to Ulysses, who very shortly after they were married, went to fight in the Trojan War. The work explores contemporary responses to Penelope’s twenty years of faithfulness.

Books are made for visual consumption, but we actually respond to books with all of our senses. The work invites a tactile, visual and aural consumption of Penelope’s story.

'She didn't have nothin to do' by Samara McIlroy and Rachel Edwards

Janis Nedela

Palindrome no. 18

Typo no. 22

'For twenty-five years text has been central to my work. Whether using collage, installation, painting, performance or animation, it is the book as object and the manipulation of text that constantly informs my work.

In the past, social, literary, philosophical and political documents, tomes and book pages, some old and some aesthetically exquisite in themselves, have succumbed to a range of manipulations and interventions calculated to conspire a kind of linguistic and artistic subterfuge. Words are sometimes permanently concealed or reconstituted. The jackets, cut, even scorched and modified to accommodate implements such as taps, hooks and saws. The book has also been enchained, wrapped or rendered unopenable and unreadable.

In recent years, I have also been working with transparent acrylic and introduced two new series of sculptural works that reference the pages of an open book: Typo and Palindrome. (A palindrome is a word or phrase that reads the same backward as forward e.g. madam). In these works I have etched lines and sometimes painted the acrylic to represent the structure of the open book pages, each pair  alluding to text on the printed page, while others had the text of palindromes inscribed in one direction on one, in the reverse direction on the other. The fold in the open book matches the fold in language created by the palindrome. Viewing the books sideways gives the impression that the reflected text goes on to infinity'.

Tony Flowers and Danielle Wood

A wonderful collaboration between novelist Danielle Wood and illustrator Tony Flowers: a re-telling of the traditional Japanese story Momotaro, or Peach Boy. 

Anne Godfrey and Pamela Poulson

'Anne Godfrey (photographer) and Pamela Poulson (Artist's Bookmaker) have taken the Sleeping Beauty story and imagined that she is about to wake a millenium later, when the 'Handsome Prince' finishes ploughing through her 'old growth' forest, to deliver that kiss. The book construction is deliberately childlike and the photos are chosen to suggest mystery and difficulty. Sleeping Beauty's 'wake up' call is in the form of a letter she has no hope of reading'.

Pauline Tickner

Where's Noah. Media: inkjet, collage, found image, handmade palm paper, 8x8 cm (closed)

Where's Noah opens into a small star book based on the Biblical story of Noah's Ark.The text is arranged randomly over the pages, making loose reference to time, relationships and shared experiences.

Something Fishy. Media: etching, woodcut, inkjet, 11.5x14 cm(closed) Japanese Album Accordian.

Something Fishy is my collection of the tall tales told by fishing enthusiasts. The pages contain some of their well known comments, related imagery and, of course, the one that got away.

Tallulah Cunningham (artist) and Rick Kellum (writer)

Tallulah has created an illuminated manuscript of an extract from Rick's short story Aiken and the Dream Islands, a very contemporary fable of corporate collapse and ethical life choices. 

Kath Fries

The transience of existence and fragility of life are recurring themes throughout Kath Fries’ art practice. Having trained as a painter in the late 1990s, over the past three years she has focused on sculptural installations. Developing a personal aesthetic language responding to the complexity of the world, including materiality, spatiality and archetypical narratives, Fries’ installations often explore notions of the unseen - that which we suspect exists beyond our physical and actual experience.

Working within the limitations, boundaries and particular challenges of each exhibition space, both indoor and outdoor; Fries uses natural elements, such as charcoal, bamboo, feathers; and domestic found or recovered materials, such as fibers, wires, netting and mirror panels. Each project involves research into a particular narrative that relates to the site or materials, which is gradually pared back and reassessed so the resulting work is suggestive of this point of departure, but often not illustrated or stated literally. The ongoing challenge of placing the viewer within the installation, directing him or her to approach and move through the work; is somewhat beyond the artist’s control and therefore offers exciting and unexpected results. Photographic documentation plays an important role in Fries’ practice, these images are often reproduced in open edition artist books as a personal and public record of how the artist has navigated, reframed and recorded her own experience of interacting with the piece.

Feather is an open edition artist book interpreting feathers as signals of danger, in reference to the wings of Sirens - ancient Greek mythological beings whose beautiful singing signaled destruction for passing sailors. This selection of documentation photographs by Kath Fries details macro viewpoints over three years of her site-sensitive installations exploring this material.

Grove reflects on the passage of time and sadness of loss, taking a point of departure from the 10th Century Japanese fable, 'Tale of the Bamboo Cutter'. Accompanied by texts by the artist and other writers this open edition artist book was originally produced in conjunction with Kath Fries' solo exhibition and multi-media installation Grove, which won her the 2010 Japan Foundation New Artist Award.

Entwine navigates cycles of growth and decline as strands of red yarn pulse with rhythm and repetition; slowly tracking seasonal cycles that echo Ariadne’s thread leading through the Cretan labyrinth. This open edition artist book traces Kath Fries’ installation in grapevine trellises, following the vines growth into lush living tunnels that completely envelope the trajectories of thread until the plants eventually die back revealing the red yarn beneath. The selection of documentation photographs presented in Entwine were taken by Kath Fries over a ten month period recording her temporal site-sensitive installation Sentinel at Stonehurst Cedar Creek Vineyards Wollombi, part of Sculpture in the Vineyards 2007.

Anne-Maree Hunter and Peter Lyssiotis

The Brush Off and One Velvet Morning are reinterpretations of the Rapunzal story. In the form of a vertical concertina, each book hangs down from the wall like Rapunzal’s hair. Peter Lyssiotis has provided the words to Anne-Maree Hunter’s images in One Velvet Morning. Printed in a rich red, One Velvet Morning is a sensual, sanguine story.

In contrast The Brush Off takes a darker approach to the historical and mythical treatment of female hair and its meaning. The text by Anne-Maree Hunter is shaped into ringlets and forms a long poem.

Margaret McBride's Cindercity

As a young child, when my peers and siblings were out playing sport, the happiest time for me was sitting in my room reading and making artworks.

Books continued to be an important part of my life along with my creative artmaking practice. There was always a close link between the word and the image.

When I began my PhD eight years ago I had the dilemma of deciding between a theory thesis, or making artworks and an exegesis. The full theory thesis won. Revisiting the world of books, and the excitement of discovery, I again became immersed, and to be honest, escaped into that world.

This obsession with books again influenced my artmaking although this time it was not the story but the physicality of the book. Consequently in a solo exhibition at Cross Bay Gallery, Sydney, several years ago, the theme was ‘the book’.

I have continued to make books, in one form and another, the latest for the exhibition Cornucopia opening on April 15 2011 at Back to Back Gallery, Newcastle and now for Happily Ever After.

Andrew Finnie

Here's Andrew Finnie's response to the extract from Carmel Bird's novel Cape Grimm: a fictitious book jacket. Thanks to Andrew for sending this through!