Photographic artists’ books

Three limited-edition photographic artists’ books were recently added to the Library’s collection.
 

Three artists’ books — Signs & wonders by Stephen Dupont and Jacques Menasche, Farewell Angelina by Anna D’Addario and Duende by Peter Lyssiotis — were recently added to the Library’s collection.

Artists’ books are publications in the form of a book, created as works of art, using a diverse range of media and techniques. They are often handcrafted and may incorporate paintings, photographs, collage or other material. The Library holds several hundred artists’ books by contemporary Australian and international artists and photographers.

Signs & Wonders by Stephen Dupont and Jacques Menasche, 2019

This beautifully crafted book is the result of a recent collaboration between acclaimed New South Wales photojournalist and artist Stephen Dupont and US-based author and filmmaker Jacques Menasche. The pair marked the 150th anniversary of Mark Twain’s trip to the Holy Land by recreating his journey as told in The Innocents Abroad. Dupont and Menasche have previously worked together on projects and have jointly produced several photographic artists’ books. Signs & Wonders is a modern reinvention of Twain’s journey, following a route that today weaves between Israel and the West Bank. A substantial work, it comprises over 300 pages and includes 144 photographs printed on handpainted emulsion by Chris Reid, 52 pages of text hand-typed on translucent Japanese tissue paper using a 1964 typewriter, and eight maps constructed from pages of a first-edition copy of The Innocents Abroad and a copy of Historical Geography of the Bible by J L Hurlbut. The black and white photos were taken by Dupont using Kodak Tri-X film and the colour images were taken by Menasche and hand-coloured with oil paints by Melbourne artist Lynette Zheng. The Library holds several other artists’ books and photographs by Stephen Dupont, as well as numerous works by Mark Twain including The Innocents Abroad.

Signs & wonders, 2019
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Signs & wonders, 2019
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Farewell Angelina by Anna D’Addario, 2018

Anna Maria Antoinette D’Addario is an award-winning Italian–Australian photographic artist and writer who lives in Sydney. She explores forms of storytelling combining traditional documentary modes with photographic art practice. Anna exhibits regularly and her work is part of various private and public collections and has been exhibited in Italy and Australia. Her handmade artist’s book Farewell Angelina was created as a reflection of the trauma, loss and grief she experienced in the aftermath of her sister Daniela’s violent death in 2015. The work explores the relationship between photography and memory. It reflects on the potential of photography and other art forms to console and mediate suffering after profound loss, and the capacity of art to create sites for grief and mourning. The artist rejects the notion that mourning must be private and repressed and invites others to engage with memorial and creative survival.

The book is finely crafted with archival pigment printed on handmade Japanese Mulberry paper. It includes vellum pages, a hand-sewn booklet and separately inserted text pages and gatefolds, and was printed by Momento Pro. D’Addario received the Harold and Gwenneth Harris Foundation Fellowship, Highly Commended at the Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize and was the winner of the 2019 Photolux Festival Photoboox Award for Farewell Angelina.

Farewell Angelina, 2018
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Farewell Angelina, 2018
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Duende by Peter Lyssiotis, 2019

Peter Lyssiotis is a Melbourne-based artist, photographer and writer, who was born in Cyprus and emigrated to Australia in 1953. He uses photography and photomontage widely in his work and has been creating artists’ books for over 30 years, many of which are available in the Library. His work has been exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally, and he regularly collaborates with other Australian artists. Duende is a response to Spanish poet Federico García Lorca’s celebrated lecture Juego y teoría del Duende (The play and theory of the duende), in which the term ‘duende’ is used to describe the emotional spirit within an artist, poet or musician, borne out of inner demons which cannot be controlled. The duende in Spanish mythology is a demon or hobgoblin — a mischief-maker who is unknowable and unpredictable. In his work Duende, Lyssiotis parallels Lorca’s ideas by displaying 19 of his hand-created photomontages opposite the text of the lecture.

Duende, front matter, 2019
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Duende, 2019
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Zoe Melling
Specialist Librarian, Published Collections