Monday, October 15, 2018

The 10th Annual Biblio Art Prize

In recent news, two of my works are finalists in the Biblio Art Prize 2018.

Once essentially an altered book competition, its terms and conditions have expanded to include a wide range of media, with the only proviso that the completed work references a specific book of the artist’s choice.

Progeny, 2018, one-of-a-kind artist book (detail), pigmented drawing ink,
gouache and hand stitching with cloth binding, 16.5 x 91 cm (open)

The first of my shortlisted works is Progeny, a one-of-a kind artist book made during my recent term as artist-in-residence at the Melbourne Athenaeum Library during Melbourne Rare Book Week 2018 (see also Blog Post Sunday, July 15).

Its point of departure is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, which also celebrates a significant anniversary this year - the 200th anniversary of its publication. The artist book's title originates from an extract from Shelley's introduction to the second edition of Frankenstein: "And now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper”.

Bell Jar, 2018, archival pigment print, 42.5 x 32 cm,
edition no. 1/10

My second shortlisted work is Bell Jar, an archival pigment print inspired by the eponymous semi-autobiographical novel by Sylvia Plath.

‘I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow. There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people's eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth’.
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (1963)

The exhibition runs from 3 November - 2 December. 

37 James Street,
Port Fairy

In celebration of the competition's tenth anniversary, the show will travel to Tacit Galleries in Collingwood, where it will be on view from 5 - 16 December 2018. 

All 2018 entry fees for the Biblio Art Prize will be donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

FRANKENSTEIN'S WOMEN: an artist book in progress

In a week that included the birthday of Mary Shelley (on 30 August), work continued on my current linocut, one of several intended for an artist book based on the women in her masterwork, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. The second of these progress views shows several adjustments and changes that were made to the original drawing.

2018 also marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Walking-and-Talking at a snail's pace: a leisurely stroll through PATTERNS OF COLLECTING: FROM THE BOWER AT THE JOHNSTON COLLECTION

The rain is bucketing down as I write, and in its wake come the snails. If not firmly dissuaded, they will devour the lovingly nurtured plants on our Abbotsford balcony down to the stalks.

Thankfully it’s warm and dry inside the Natural History Room at the Johnston Collection Museum and the snail atop my artist book Leaves of Absence, on loan from the museum, is ceramic. An ingenious example of trompe l’oeil, it will leave no slimy trails across the front cover, nor will it chomp on the eucalyptus leaves from Newstead Forest, gathered especially for this project.

Rain or shine, this morning’s Walk-and-Talk at the Johnston Collection with fellow Bower artist Carole Wilson will take place from 10 am – 11.30 am. The event is fully booked, so for those who missed out, a final walk-and-talk is scheduled:

Thursday 13 September 2018 | 10.00 am – 11.30 am with Deborah Klein & Louise Saxton

For further information about the above, or to book a house tour before PATTERNS OF COLLECTING/ From the Bower at the Johnston Collection concludes on 18 September, go HERE

Friday, August 10, 2018

CREATIVE WOMEN IN FOCUS - an artist talk at Duldig Studio

It's an honour to have been invited to speak at the Duldig Studio Museum in the first of their new series of Creative Women in Focus talks. I'll be posting more about the museum in the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, see below for full details of the talk.

Deborah Klein: printmaker, painter and book artist
When Saturday 25 August 2018. 2.00 – 4.00pm
Where Duldig Studio 

Creative Women in Focus is Duldig Studio's new series of talks with Creative Women, Inspired by our current exhibition SLAWA modernist art + design, and our own creative woman – Slawa Horowitz-Duldig.

From printmakers to embroiderers, weavers to dressmakers this is an opportunity to hear some very creative women talk about their lives in art and design, their practices and the challenges and pleasures of the creative life.

Beginning in August, artist Deborah Klein will join us to discuss her career as a printmaker, painter and book artist.

Deborah Klein has exhibited widely, most recently at Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne; RMIT Gallery; the 9th International Printmaking Bienniale, Portugal; and as part of the Johnston Collection exhibition, Patterns of Collecting/From the Bower at the Johnston Collection, Melbourne. Her work is held in collections around Australia and overseas.

As Deborah describes, ‘My visual language has evolved over the years and is multi-layered. Many works pay homage to women and their creative histories. The work is unified by its concern for women: the untold numbers who have been completely written out of history, the courage of those women and girls who must still fight seemingly unsurmountable odds to have their voices heard.’

Instagram: @duldigstudio
Facebook: @TheDuldigStudio
Facebook event URL:

Duldig Studio is the former home, sculpture garden and studio of artist and inventor, Slawa Horowitz-Duldig and her husband artist and sculptor Karl Duldig.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Melbourne Athenaeum Library Residency: Final Day

Pictured above: the view from my work table at The Melbourne Athenaeum Library on Saturday, 14 July, the final day of my residency.

In this post I cast a wistful eye over my former workplace, beginning with a photo of myself and the library's current Playwright-in-Residence, the delightful Patricia Cornelius (photo credit: James Baker) and a series of shelfies featuring accordion books in various stages of development.

Below right: library volunteer Aaron Cook, who kindy helped Shane and I carry the substantial baggage from my residency to our car several blocks away at the top end of the city. (All of the nearby car parks were full).

I'm going to miss going into the library every day. I'll miss the staff, volunteers and the energising conversations I had with a steady stream of visitors, several of whom made return visits. A future post will focus on Progeny, the artist book I made during my residency. In the meantime, I'll think of Melbourne Athenaeum Library every day as I continue with the projects that had their genesis in this very special place.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Melbourne Athenaeum Library Residency Hours (Week Beginning Monday 9 July)

As reported in yesterday's post, my residency at Melbourne Athenaeum Library has been extended by a week. Because of a couple of prior commitments, however, my hours will be slightly different.

Monday and Tuesday: 10.30 am - 5.00 pm 

Wednesday: 3 pm - 6 pm 
Thursday: 1 - 5 pm 
Friday: 10.30 am - 4pm 
Saturday: 10.30 am - 2 pm

If you come outside of those times, my work will still be on display, so do feel free to browse. If you have enquiries about any MWP publications, the library staff will be happy to assist.

Library hours:
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 10 am - 6 pm
Wednesday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday: 10 am - 4 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 2 pm

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Rare Book Week That Was

Melbourne Rare Book Week has ended, but not, I’m delighted to announce, my residency at Melbourne Athenaeum Library. I’ve been invited to extend my stay, so I’ll be in again this coming week. I know that all good things must end, but in this case, I’m happy it won’t be for a little while longer. Meanwhile, directly following are selected highlights from the fabulous week that was.

Throughout the week, work continued on Progeny, my artist book inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

There was a great turnout to my artist talk on Wednesday evening, July 4 and I couldn’t have wished for a finer audience. Thanks to everyone who came and to inestimable Melbourne Athenaeum librarians Tom Coleman and James Baker for ensuring it all went without a hitch. 

Tom Coleman introducing my artist talk

Audience members browse my books and zines

Among the particularly steady stream of visitors on Friday, July 6 were distinguished personages Louise Jennison, Gracia Haby, Elaine Haby and Vicki Fowler, accompanied by second-time visitor Jill Kellett (not pictured), who took the photo of Vicki and I. Then, as the long, but especially memorable, day drew to a close, I was joined by Ewan and Heather Barker.

Louise Jennison, Gracia Haby and Elaine Haby

With Vicki Fowler (left). Photo credit: Jill Kellett 

Ewan and Heather Barker

Saturday, July 7, was the last official day of my term as Artist-in-Residence. It was literally a red-letter day, as the hand-lettered red text was added to Progeny, taking it another step closer to completion. The text still needs some tweaking before the final stage (aside from binding): hand-stitching selected areas of the image with matching red embroidery thread. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Fallen Women at Melbourne Athenaeum Library

Back in March a handful of preview copies of MWP's latest book Fallen Women were featured on the Regional Arts Australia stand at the National Gallery of Victoria's annual Art Book Fair.

Fallen Women contains much of the leaf art that was created following the publication of my artist book Leaves of Absence. Like its predecessor, the book focuses on the virtual absence of Chinese Women during the Australian Gold Rush era. It is prefaced by a short fairy tale.

I'll be discussing these and other Moth Woman Press publications in an informal artist talk at Melbourne Athenaeum Library on Wednesday evening, July 4 from 6 - 7 pm. The event is part of Melbourne Rare Book Week. Attendance is free, but due to space restrictions, bookings are essential. For more about the talk, go HERE.

Wednesday, July 4, 6 - 7 pm
Speaker: Deborah Klein
Presented by Melbourne Athenaeum Library
Level 1
188 Collins Street
Melbourne 3000
Phone (03) 9650 3100
Or book online HERE.

For those who can't attend (but do come along if you possibly can) here is Fallen Women, page by page. Click on individual images for a clearer view.