Thursday, May 21, 2009
Making it happen in Lismore
The Codex events at SCU promote and develop skills in making paper,
particularly Tim Mosely's development of pulp printing
This year Tim set the theme of 'resistance', with the result that participants in the event felt able to resist an over-arching interpretation of the theme.
Contradictory ideas are juxtaposed within a very sparse visual framework: available time, the size of the handmade sheets of paper and a palette determined by the coloured clothing shredded and beaten to make the paper pulp were really the only restrictions, and even they were debated at length. Antibiotic-resistent molecules, spiky cacti, razor-wire, cogs and archaic text forms are overlayed. Even the edges of the paper sheets are defiant: gaps and spaces, ragged edges against straight ones, pulp-printed images spilling off the edges of the paper. The images jostle and compete but achieve a sort of workable compromise on the page.
Determining the number and form of the desired outcome, which was book(s), was also hotly debated. Again, parameters were set by pre-existent limitations: the book-binding skills of individual participants and their geographical location, together with a requirement to make at least part of the project available to SCU's artists' book collection and the participants' natural desire to take something home with them.
The overlapping sheets of paper were taken down from the walls on which they'd been mounted for overprinting with paper pulp, assembled and cut into long strips. Eventually 16 'sets' of papers resulted, to be made into books with covers unified by their overall size and the availability of coloured book cloths.
Artists then chose which strips would form 'their' books and took them away to bind them
The resulting books will be eventually be assembled into a boxed set.