Whilst studying Art History and Semiotics at the University of Queensland in the late 1980's, I started making handmade books.
I was inspired by Illuminated Manuscripts such as the 15th century Le Cueur d'Amours Espris by King Rene and Anjou, and artworks like Sonia Delaunay's collaborative book with the poet Blaise Cendrars - a 2 metre long vertical concertina book from 1913, La Prose de Transsiberien et de la Petite Jehanne de France.
I was also influenced by Fluxus and Concrete Poetry exhibitions in the 1980's such as Visual Poetics at MOCA in Brisbane and Words on Walls at Heide Gallery in Melbourne, and the wonderful pop-up books I bought for my small children. All these influences somehow came together in my work.
I acquired skills in book arts - calligraphy, lettering, drawing, bookbinding, papermaking and printmaking.
I found the book format offered so many possibilities - the intimacy of an artwork that folded up and could be put away; the sense of wonder when something small opened out into a large 3D structure; the choice of a sense of progression and revelation or revealing all at once; the numerous choices for structure, text, illustration, binding and presentation; the challenge of making these choices appropriate to the content and abandoning some of these elements to create a minimalist book sculpture.
I always enjoy the long process from development of the original idea to realisation of the final artwork and often adhere to a self-imposed rule that my sculptural books should close down inside flat covers.
Many of my books are unique, some are numbered editions, some are 'editions variees' and not rigidly identical and some are just numbered from 1 to 3 or 5. I always reserve the right to make small editions of 3 or 5 of any of my books.