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Australia Now: Bookmarked - Stills Gallery, Paddington


Diedre Brollo / Danny Digby / Anne Ferran / Chris Fortescue / Nicholas Jones /

Trent Parke / Louis Porter / Madeleine Preston /Kurt Schranzer* / Teo Treloar*


4 March – 28 March 2015

Stills Gallery in association with Art Month

Celebrating artist books in all their forms, from handcrafted one-offs to self-published photobooks, sculptural creations and vintage punk fanzines, Bookmarked is a curated group exhibition that allows visitors to get lost between the pages. Bookmarked will feature a residency by the Asia Pacific Photobook Archive, a not-for-profit open-access archive that promotes the ‘real’ way to see photobooks — that means hands-on and paper pages.

In addition to this wonderful exhibition Asia Pacific Photobook Archive and Photobook Melbourne will be in resident, as well as a special Photobook Fair on Saturday 7 March 11am - 5pm. 

The curated selection and comfy seats will let you kick back, relax, and enjoy these rarely seen publications. The exhibition will also feature artist books ranging from hand made art objects by Anne Ferran, whose pages unearth powerful yet forgotten stories, to Trent Parke’s epic photo narratives, which interweave dark tales in outstretching concertinas. Kurt Schranzer, Nicholas Jones and Chris Fortescue present sculptural forms that challenge the very idea of the artist’s book. Jones carves into book pages as if they’re made from solid wood rather than paper, in the process destroying much of the original reading material. Like a collection of minimalist paintings, Chris Fortescue’s Open books similarly deny us narrative content; he first ‘mummifies’ books with lacquer like a painter might prime a canvas, before blocking out the text with subdued hues. In contrast, Shranzer’s ‘book-objects’ aren’t made from books at all, but are impenetrable minimalist constructions of solid wood and sturdy metal hinges. They resemble utilitarian bookshelves more closely than books as we know them, yet their reverent titles like The Book of Death suggest they nevertheless materialise ancient wisdoms.

Deidre Brollo’s meticulous handmade artist book Fathom is concerned with the precarious nature of the sea voyage. It reflects upon the perpetual advance and retreat of the ocean, the fate of vessels and passengers upon it. Danny Digby’s Endpaper prints and accompanying book comprise photographs of artist monographs found in public libraries. Despite reproducing images by art world heavyweights, it is the date-stamped loan cards and scuffs and scars that become significant, foregrounding this now-nostalgic system of ink stamping, which has been largely superseded as libraries use digitisation, the series reflects on the way photography and publishing have changed since the 20th Century.

Also featured will be some very early fanzines from the Melbourne punk scene, created in the late 1970s. Photocopied and bound with staples, featuring stories and pictures about young Nick Cave, the Saints, these zines capture the energy and spirit of the time. 

For more information contact Stills Gallery on 02 9331 7775 or info@stillsgallery.com.au. Stills Gallery hours are Wed – Sat 11am to 5pm or by appt. 

* Kurt Schranzer and Teo Treloar are represented by Flinders St Gallery


Image credit: Image courtesy of the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney. © Danny Digby