1000 Artists Books

Day 016/100

Alongside my photography practice I also make artist books and blank notebooks. This practice tends to be more private and I do it as a nice way of taking time out and exploring text, materials and binding. Well last year I submitted several pieces for a call for a publication on artists books. Low and behold one of my pieces was chosen and the book has now been published. Its my first time to be published for this work and its kinda cool. The book is published by Quayside Publishing. The book is a collection of examples of artists books from around the world, showing many examples of binding techniques and uses of unusual materials.  To buy or check out the book you can see inside on the  Amazon.com and uk sites, or on the publishers website. The book looks great and I think will be a favourite for many people interested in artists books and binding techniques. Just so excited and can not wait to see my work in print.

Book Details: 1000 Artists’ Books: Exploring the Book as Art by Sandra Salamony and Peter and Donna Thomas

ISBN: 159253774X

Price: 25 us dollars

To purchase direct from the publishers:



Sweets for my sweet

Day 015/100

“Life is like a box of chocolates … You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Forrest Gump

All I want is chocolate and lots of it. But alas I have to restrain myself at present, which does not bode well for my temperament. In my longing for just a single piece of rich, bitter, cocoa excellence, I have realized how many of my memories of friends are evoked through chocolate. For one friend it was a shared love of those dark chocolate and raspberry bars by Godiva, another waiting patiently to have the first Starbuck’s Mocha Frappuccino’s of the summer complete with lots of whipped cream and chocolate sauce together, a past Valentines day with a gift of dark hot chocolate mix, to be savored over the coming year, gift boxes of Niederegger chocolate covered marzipan sweets causing issues for German customs, (metal gift boxes not smart), sharing cream filled, chocolate topped eclairs’ over coffee, conveniently missing class or the fun in decapitating the Lindt Easter bunnies. Life is as Forest Gump says like a box of chocolates, as are friends, the ones akin to truffles, once you crack the through the crisp shell a soft centre is revealed, toffee’s, at times a little hard to work with but everything comes good in the end, those decadent concoctions that you only cros paths with once in a while, and the ones left at the bottom of the box after all the rest have been chosen, are life’s true friends. For they will stick with you right to the end, through thick and thin. Chocolate and friends what more could one want out of life, a friend bearing chocolates might just surpass.

The black pool

Day 014/100

Spent the day wandering the city trying to get all my errands done, just about managed it. Dublin is at once a city of chaos and peace, for heard within its confines the echoing of cathedral bells, the seasoned sellers of Moore street championing their wares, the cacophony of narrators each with their own story to tell, and the whispering echoes of its turbulent past. Dublin is a city where even to day you follow in the footsteps of the past, standing beneath the columns of the GPO you can imaging the reading of the Proclamation of Independence, unaware of what hardship would follow, meandering around Temple Bar where Viking’s once walked, and hearing Jonathan Swift’s footsteps echo through the hallowed chambers of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Where the uttered remains of poets and writers live long after Deaths embrace, where everyone becomes a friend over a pint of the black stuff.


Day 013/100

To remember, never to forget. Have been following an online thread today about the importance of books and the role they play in our remembrance of past historical events. The question posed is that with the advent of e-books that history could be altered or changed in order to change the outcome of a specific event or to remove its existence altogether. As we move through the twenty-first century eyewitnesses who witnessed the history of the twentieth century become fewer and fewer, and with their loss, a tangible and real connection to past events are excised. Thus the books written which document and record the events of the past become more precious, but no matter how complete they are there will always be omissions. Not intentional but not everything can be remembered. In addition no matter how unbiased the author may claim to be, there will to some extent always be a bias present, this is inherent to human nature, through upbringing, family history, ideals, education, culture and life experience. Thus, creating digital words from the physically printed  ones, does not alter or exclude there meaning, for the meaning to begin with is already incomplete.


“Nobody ever sees truth except in fragments.”

Henry Ward BeecherProverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Need to see

Day 012/100

A conversation I had with a friend today brought up questions of some people’s innate need to view catastrophic events or occurrences, where there has been a loss of life or the possibility of it. What I can not fathom is why? Why slow down the car to get a look at a car accident, watch a forest fire rage, or look at images of war-torn places. There is nothing the viewer can do but watch, they are on the outside looking in. Is it to reaffirm the concept its not me, I am still alive, therefore its ok to look.  Perhaps by looking it proves its real, it has happened, for at times in current society it is difficult to separate the real from the imagined, where actual images of war provide the visual basis for some computer games, or shootings that appear movie like in semblance. Where select television dramas leave little or nothing of a violent crime scene to the viewers imagination. Historically the public dissemination of images documenting such real events would have been limited, with changes to technology and news reporting, graphic imagery has become more common. So, then by being inundated with such images people think nothing of viewing such events when encountered in reality. I think to them they have seen worse over their cornflakes in the morning. Unfortunately such prolific dissemination of such images has desensitized us to what the content and meaning of the photograph really is. This ties back to the notion that perhaps historically important photographs no longer carry the power they once did. This was discussed in an earlier post referencing the movie The Bang Bang Club.

Food for though….

Misplaced Friends

Day 011/100

Today was the day to reconnect with old friends and see how they are doing. I am woeful at keeping in touch with friends. Being a workaholic time tends to get away from me when it comes to keeping in touch with friends, also all my friends live overseas, which makes it a bit more difficult. And sometimes sad because its not like you can ring them up and go for coffee or a game of pool. Not being able to see them on a regular basis just makes keeping in contact more  difficult. But say that I am very lucky with the close friends I have, they understand how much I have to work to get where I need to be and that sometimes my mind is elsewhere. I find that when we finally are together, the time is more precious and we get to enjoy it more. Mocha frappuccino’s for breakfast sitting on the porch, blueberry pie for Canada Day lunch, singing badly at 3 in the morning going home from university,  sitting up till early morning just talking about art, life and love and eating cream cakes on a wet thursday afternoon. I am lucky to have the friends I do, I thank you.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

– Anais Nin

All over bar the shouting

Day 010/100

Friday is the day that can make or break the week, do you go out on a high and have a great weekend, of have the day from hell and forget the weekend ever existed. Today was one of the good ones, there sitting on the mat outside the door was an off white envelope, with the unmistakable logo. Scooped it up and opened it. I have been waiting for this letter for the last couple of weeks, to tell me if I was successful in my application to undertake my PhD. I want another 3 long years of late nights, crazy deadlines, nutty professors, being broke, all to create work that is original. No mean feat and still unsure if I am up to the job. Once the shock wore off and I actually read the letter, I am happy to say I have been offered the opportunity for the chance in future years to become one of those nutty professors. Mind you I have learned never to underestimate the nutty professors they know more than all the sane ones put together. Doing the research will be the easy part, funding it will be the challenge, and so beings the form filling. All I can say is bring it on and come what may. Enjoy the weekend.