Thursday, September 23, 2021

Advice from a Dung Beetle - a new Artist Book

I'm continuing on my pledge to reduce my stash of paper and reject prints (as seen in my previous posts).

My latest artist book was inspired by a 2019 BioBlitz that I was selected to participate at as a creative researcher. This is where I met Entomologists who were studying dung beetles.  Previously I only thought dung beetles existed in Africa (I saw it on TV once) but I soon learnt that Australia has its own native dung beetles, and they are so fascinating!

Dr Kathy Ebert (an Entomologist) working in the lab
analysing beetles collected in the field studies

Out in the rainforest with the Entomologists.
It was a bit wet, lots of leeches, but
I'm still smiling!

Here I am drawing insects collected, using
a magnifying lamp to see the detail.

The artist book I have made is titled "Advice from a Dung Beetle".  The idea started with a poem that I wrote and a lithographic drawing of a dung beetle based on some sketches I did at the BioBlitz.

The design for the book started with an online video tutorial by Helen Hiebert.  Its a simple design for a tunnel effect in a concertina format.   The idea of the book is that you have to look through the layers of foliage to see the dung beetle, with the poem narrating the activities and life cycle of the beetle.

Here is the poem:

This is the mockup design based on
Helen Hiebert's tutorial

The closed book - the cover is a piece of
thick handmade botanical paper, with a scrap print
on the front (featuring a gelatine print with lithograph beetle print).
The slip band is a piece of kraft card with a gelatine print
fragment and digital text.
The book is approx A6 size, so produces an
intimate viewing experience.

Looking through the book.  The imagery features leaves,
and has been created using gelatine prints, drawing and painting.
The cuts out give peep holes into the layers beyond,
like layers of leaves on the forest floor.

A view of the book in its entirety.  There is a dung beetle
print on the inside of the back cover that can't be
seen in this view.

Another view looking down the 'tunnel',
the view getting narrower as you look
through the book.
I love the layering of colours,
the greens and the blues.

1 comment:

  1. Your book is so very beautiful as well as brilliant! I admire your work.