Thursday, December 18, 2014

Circus of the Imperishable Star by Deborah McMillion

Deborah McMillion, Circus of the Imperishable Star, 2014,
artist book, 11.43 x 50.8 cm (open).  Click on images to enlarge.
Deborah McMillion, Circus of the Imperishable Star, 2014 (verso)

Probably it was inevitable that growing up in 1950s-60s St. Kilda, just a few blocks from Luna Park and not one, but two, motion picture palaces would have an indelible effect on my life. It spawned an enduring fascination with fun fairs, carnivals, sideshows, circuses (I saw my first circus at St Kilda) and particularly movies.

I was very young when my mother took me to see Forbidden Planet (1956) at the Victory Theatre on the corner of Carlisle and Barkley Streets. Scary (to a young child) but mesmerizing with its remarkable visuals, memorable characters and glorious saturated colours, it stayed with me forever and fostered a lifelong love of science fiction movies from the 1950s.

I am very aware that my friend, iPad artist Deborah McMillion, shares my passion for the above – one would think – diametrically opposed forms of entertainment, particularly the latter; it’s reflected far more overtly in her imagery than in mine. In Deborah’s work the worlds do not collide, they combine seamlessly, loaded with galaxies full of wit, style and intelligence, borne of a lifetime love and prodigious knowledge of the Golden Age of science fiction movies. This is particularly well demonstrated in her new artist book, Circus of the Imperishable Star. To my delight, Deborah has generously sent me a copy. Snail mail is well named; it took awhile to get here, but the stars finally aligned. The book was waiting for me in my mailbox when I returned from the Art Vault residency. With Deborah’s permission, it is reproduced above. Due to the limitations of this blog's template, it's essential to click on the images to enlarge.

The book was something of a first for Deborah. It was made with the aid of an ipad app called Felt, which, as she recognized, also has a great deal of potential for my own book art. So I am doubly grateful to her and look forward to experimenting with this exciting new app in the New Year.