New South Wales, Australia
Born in the UK, Sara Bowen moved to the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, with her family in 2006 and lives on a bush block near Coffs Harbour.
An artist and printmaker, Sara works mainly with paper and slate. Recent bodies of work have included a series of prints and books relating to the annual flood cycle of the Murrumbidgee River and the development of human language. Her work is held in several public collections in Australia and Europe.
Conversations: artists’ books from BookArtObject Edition Four
In an old classroom at Frensham School in Mittagong, New South Wales, Australia, two artists began a conversation in 2008. Caren Florance and I talked about books and their power, about literary book groups, and about collaborative projects. From that two-person conversation grew BookArtObject, a collective of artists making book works in response to texts. The conversation now extends to artists living in 16 countries, responding to a book that responds to a book…
But what meaning does BookArtObject have? Is it merely the companionship of shared endeavour, nurtured in the cosy confines of BookArtObject’s weblog? Or is it validation and warmth engendered within the group? Sure, contacts are made and comments flow as members of the collective submit their finished work for review, but I would argue that BookArtObject is more than that. The collective is a laboratory, an ongoing examination of Lissitsky’s agenda of the viewer as an active participant in the construction of meaning and a challenge to the loaded strictures about how art should look and be looked at. Artists’ books are radical: the apprehension of an artists’ book requires the viewer to suspend accepted particularities of aesthetic practice: the gallery wall that consecrates a painting isn’t there, nor are the fixed spatial relationships implied by a static work of sculpture. Instead the ‘double inventiveness’ of the artists’ book creates a liminal space in which concept and structure integrate and a new conversation is possible.
Looking at books from BookArtObject Edition Four, An Exercise for Kurt Johannessen, I will examine the non-linear nature of creative collaboration, and the iterative quality of artists’ books as they capture the viewer and require them to participate in the acquisition of meaning.
In an old classroom at Frensham School in Mittagong, New South Wales, Australia, two artists began a conversation in 2008. We talked about books and their power, about literary book groups, and about collaborative projects. From that two-person conversation grew BookArtObject, a collective of artists making book works in response to texts, responding to a book that responds to a book… This exhibition brings together selected work from BookArtObject Edition Four and artists’ books by Sara Bowen.