open section call for work

OPEN INVITATION TO EXHIBIT – happily ever after: alternative destinies in contemporary feminine narrative

Happily Ever After is a group exhibition of artists’ books at the John Paynter Gallery, Friday 10th - Sunday 26th June, 2011; and then at Artspace Mackay, 29th July-28th October. The exhibition, which is being facilitated by Caelli Jo Booker and Helen Hopcroft, includes both an invitation only section and an open ‘Book Library’ section. We have had a great response to the initial invitations, and would still like to include as many interested artists as possible in the Library, so we be delighted if you would consider becoming part of the open section of the exhibition. 

Participating in the open section would involve exhibiting a newly created or existing artist’s book/zine/book work interpreting or somehow related to the exhibition theme. If you would like to become involved in this project, we would greatly appreciate it if you would communicate your interest as soon as possible, so that we can allow for the appropriate library space.

Exhibition theme

While the classic fairytale ending ‘happily ever after’ envisages a single, finite destiny, the contemporary feminine experience encompasses a multiplicity of roles, expectations, endings, beginnings and relationships. Thus the exhibition theme is probably best conceptualised as a celebration of diversity within destiny, with the fairytale genre used as the narrative vehicle to explore this idea. 

With artists’ book often considered a democratic medium (generally small scale; portable; relatively cheap to produce; drawing on the strong female tradition of journals and diary-keeping; allowing for the exploration of a ‘wild zone’ of creativity within the private space of a book) this mirrors the exhibition’s central premise: that despite the hierarchical structures and strong didactic thrust of many fairy tales, no destiny is perfect or uncomplicated. 

Artists are asked to either source existing fairytales (preferably from a range of cultures and eras) and re-tell them in a way that is meaningful to contemporary audiences; or simply create their own original narrative and/or characters. Although we have specified the fairytale genre, this could be broadly read to include narrative driven forms such as myths, tall tales, comic stories and fables, or purely visual interpretations. 

We anticipate that, conceptually, the works will consider both the role of the book and the thematic role of the fairy tale protagonist. The exhibition also acknowledges the traditional roles of the book as an archiving device: artists’ books reflect the archiving of redundant technologies by utilising the book form itself.

We are keen to celebrate the range of media currently being utilised within the evolving space of artists’ books: traditional book binding, zine, painting, drawing, printmaking, fibres, digital and hybrid forms.

Collaboration is entirely optional, and books are welcomed from individual artists for the open section.

Books in the open section of Happily Ever After will be displayed in a ‘library’ within the gallery space. As the tactility of books is an important quality, books would be able to be read and handled. Selected imagery from all books will be scanned and projected onto a gallery wall, while books from the library will be rotated through a display case in the gallery space.

Delivery and Participation Costs
Artists would be responsible for arranging and cost of delivery and collection/postage of their work to and from the gallery. Artist are also asked to contribute an entry fee of $20 for the exhibition.

The curators are currently investigating the possibility of touring this exhibition to a third venue.

Exhibition opening: Saturday 11th June, midday, 2011
Exhibition dates: John Paynter Gallery, Friday 10th- Sunday 26th June 2011; Artspace Mackay, Friday 29th July- Friday 28th October, 2011. 

If you know any other artists or writers who may be interested in participating, please let them know about the project and perhaps put them in touch with us.
Please feel free to email us with any questions you may have and we hope that you will want to be part of the exhibition.

Please have a look at the FAQ page and feel free to email any other questions you may have regarding the show to happilyeverafter11ATgmailDOTCOM

Thank you and best wishes...
Helen Hopcroft and Caelli Jo Brooker