Wednesday, January 11, 2012

5 inspirations to kickstart your 2012 journalling and scrapbookery

List by Danielle

"Scrapbooking is cheaper than a therapist."
~ Original source unknown, quote found at

Clunky title? Clunky title. *nods* But did you know that our Central Library is having the coolest exhibition at the moment, Saved Memories: Scrapbooks 1570 - 2011? On display in the softly-lit and mysterious spaces of Special Collections are a selection of heritage scrapbooks, with intriguing bits and pieces of the past pressed between their pages, old photos, hand-drawn sketches, long-forgotten tidbits from Auckland's past... if you're at all interested in that kind of collagey treasure hunting, you should go check it out. If you go between 12 and 1pm on a Wednesday, you will even get a guided tour of the best bits, from exhibition creator/curator Kate de Courcy! And for those of you who can't make it in to town, here are some other sources of inspiration for starting off 2012 with some artsy journalling and storytelling of your own.

Added bonus: Auckland Libraries' online exhibition: Sarah Mathew's album
"Turn the pages of a Victorian scrapbook" - and you can! Page through Sarah's scrapbook, a digitised version of the 1830-1885 book kept by Sarah Mathew, wife of New Zealand's first surveyor Felton Mathew. Along the way you will find gorgeous sketches of her travels, illustrations of plants and animals, and actual keepsakes (including emu feathers - 'Poor Jack my tame emu killed by a dog 1835'). The album is here, and there's an essay for those who want to know more about the woman behind the scrapbook.

The works of Barbara Hodgson
A writer of both fiction and non-fiction. She illustrates her novels, and they're beautifully designed; you can find The sensualist, The lives of shadows and Hippolyte's island on our shelves. Her non-fiction clues you into a few of the things that captivate the author, from the folklore of rats and the tragic history of laudanum to the historical journeys of 'adventurous women travelers'. You'll find a wonderfully evocative mix of old maps, sketches, diagrams, photos, pressed objects and more in the pages of her stories.

The works of Nick Bantock
If you've never had the delight of reading the Griffin and Sabine series, give 'em a go. They tell a (possibly) supernatural love story through the medium of postcards and letters - actual, openable letters in envelopes stuck into the books - and are just beautiful to look at. As with Barbara Hodgson, Bantock shares a love for Victorian-style ephemera, and the stories are decorated with colourful sketches of treasures from museums across the world, whimsical personal mythologies, and a myriad of tickets and stamps. We even have a copy of the author's 'how to' guide, Urgent 2nd class : creating curious collage, dubious documents, and other art from ephemera!

Altered books
"You do not need to be able to draw, paint, or even cut a straight line to alter a book." (From Barbara Matthiessen's Altered book collage)
Obviously we're not suggesting you start hacking up library books (unless you've bought them from the withdrawn trolley), but there are some imaginative and intriguing ideas here for making something artful out of existing books and other materials.
Favourite titles include:
Pockets, pullouts, and hiding places : interactive elements for altered books, memory art, and collage / Jenn Mason
Playing with books : the art of upcycling, deconstructing, and reimagining the book / Jason Thompson
Altered books, collaborative journals, and other adventures in bookmaking / Holly Harrison

Diaries and ephemera
"Keeping a journal is easy. Keeping a life-altering, soul-enlightening journal, however, is not." (from Samara O'Shea's Note to self)
Whether it's a diary or a blog, explore some ideas for recording your life in a totally personal way:
Vintage collage journals : journaling with antique ephemera / Maryjo Koch
Note to self : on keeping a journal and other dangerous pursuits / Samara O'Shea
Collage lost and found / Giuseppina "Josie" Cirincione
The art of personal imagery : expressing your life through collage / Corey Moortgat
More collage...

Artists' journals
"...raw art is you and it thrives on creative play, on experimentation and even on making mistakes." (from Quinn McDonald's Raw art journaling)
Start your own mixed media journal of images and words with some ideas and techniques in titles such as:
Raw art journaling / Quinn McDonald
Journal revolution : rise up and create! : art journals, personal manifestos and other artistic insurrections / Linda Woods and Karen Dinino
Artist's journal workshop : creating your life in words and pictures / Cathy Johnson

1 comment:

Madhamster said...

I recommend visiting. If you can make it to one of the tours, then definitely do so. Kate's talks are great for the behind-the-scenes info you don't get by just seeing the exhibitions.