Sunday, 25th August 2013
Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison
Whilst our timetable is rather organic in that what needs doing first determines flow, there are still patterns to be found upon closer inspection. Sunday is often a day for tasks that need completion. Sunday is for the tying of rogue loose ends and preparation for the week that lies in wait. Here, in our home-based studio, an edition of our artists’ book, As inclination directs, that earlier in the week has been hand-coloured with pencil, scored and folded, is ready for its collaged menagerie. In wait, you can see a koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) to be cut out and a Spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) too. This is the fifth edition of ten, and it is bound for the 2013 Geelong Acquisitive Print Awards to sit in a display case alongside the first of the edition so that you can see both the work’s cover and guts at the one time. Behind this scene, pets lie sleeping, and on the stove in the kitchen, homemade vegetable soup bubbles. This is Sunday and it is quietly glorious.
Yesterday, we sent our Least weasels (Mustela nivalis), Horned frogs (Ceratophrys cornuta), and Wrestling halfbeaks (Dermogenys pusillus), and our Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) too, to Milly Sleeping by way of a Sunday workspace peep. Let not the words ‘least’, ‘horned’ and ‘wrestling’ lead you astray. No hostile barb was sent, no unfriendly missive, but great paper play. Louise and I were thrilled to play our part in Milly Sleeping’s Nice Work 2013 project in conjunction with the Craft Cubed festival. We have had the good fortune to take part in earlier Nice Work and related projects and always relish the chance to look at the things we make and do with different eyes and a different agenda. One year, (in smallest of small nutshell) what is Nice Work to you, and this year (and again, I simplify) where is your Nice Work made.
For the entire month of August (and archived thereafter), you can see a little of the daily working process siphoned into one defining photograph taken and sent to Milly Sleeping. Thirty-one images will be the result. Thirty-one different images from thirty-one different makers, designers, and artists that tell the tale of Nice Work and how it can be made. Twenty-six days into August, and the look into the spaces and processes of others is a charmer, a real tease of a project. From detailed tight crops (please, show me more!) to pulled back floor sweeps (please, show me detail!), each tells of the owner oft just out of frame. Yes, we are defined by our space. Defined by our tools laid out at neat right angles or our bottles and jars all placed with labels shown all at the one angle. Defined by the lamp that ensures work can be done on gloomy afternoons and into the night. Defined by the hole that is made in a wall of useful things all at arm’s reach — sketchbooks, tools, coffee mugs, laptops, iPhones, pencils, scissors, needles, pens, scraps of paper. These images make me greedy to see and know more. (Several feature handsome pets too.)
Louise and I were invited to play along and submit our own make-someone-ravenous view. We were allotted Sunday, a favourite day of mine it transpires. I like the quietness it often brings, and of all the working days it seems to yield the greatest tick, tick, done sensation. To my way of thinking, Sunday equals loose ends tied.
We are August’s day 25. Here you can see that which is needed to complete one of our collaborative collaged artists’ books. The animals to the right await the sharp snip of the Honeybee scissors. A vessel of water will soon be placed on the table for the brush in between gluing half a Spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) in predetermined position. It is, in this photo, a space to both collage in and finish a task. Afterwards, the table will be cleared for something else.
+ The very same worktable in 2008 shows little change