Concertina book of Australian landscape

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The collaboration project continues, and is almost at its culmination, an exhibition! Over the last few years Sue Rawlinson and I have been working together on a number of artworks – the major element being portraits, where one of us begins a portrait and the other finishes it. We now have over 70 of these. To see more about these click here.

Concertina books have also been part of the collaboration. We choose a theme, then take it in turns to start a book, then pass it to the other to fill the next spread, then back again. There are now ones on the garden, household objects, toys, teapots, Australian animals (still a work in progress) and this one, on Australian landscapes. (Click here to see more about these.) The books are small, 15 x 9.5 cm when closed. The first ones were bought, then later on we started making them ourselves – this is one I made and has four spreads on the inside and three on the outside. Much of our inspiration comes from the Australian outback which we both love and visit whenever we can. Nearly all the images are watercolour except for the very first one I did which is a monoprint.

Working in loose watercolour, and painting landscapes are not my natural area of comfort, so this was a book I struggled with initially, but came to really enjoy by the end. It was a very nice way to actually remember places that I had visited.

The exhibition will feature a wall of the portraits, the concertinas and a few of our individual artworks. Sue and I work in very different ways, yet our collaborations have been very harmonious! Below the photos of the pages you will see a flyer for our exhibition – we will promote it closer to the time, but anyone who will be in Sydney at the end of February will be very welcome!

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Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

17 thoughts

  1. I love this idea. I had been thinking o doing something similar with two friends and three small sketchbooks. I thought we could each get one and do a sketch on every third page, then forward on and do it again until we had all completed pages in all three. Then at the end we would all have a sketch book of each other’s work.
    But I like the idea of concertinas as it’s smaller and easier – not as big a project as sketchbooks.
    Thanks for the inspiration and good luck with your exhibition.

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    1. I have done several other collaborations and they have all been fun, getting input from artists with different styles and techniques creates something unique. The secret to success though is not hurrying, as long as everyone involved is committed to it, then there is less pressure. Good luck with it – I hope you will share your results!

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  2. These are beautiful & bursting with life and energy. Love how you both handle the paint and the colours burst off the page. I’ve been working on collaborations (ink) with two other artists. Like you say not hurrying is key. Love this work of yours!

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    1. Thank you so much Steven – doing art is often such a solitary activity, collaborative work can really add another dimension. Potentially challenging, it can make you think differently and sometimes even be a little bit braver! Enjoy your collaborations!

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  3. Anna, it’s wonderful to see how your landscape book turned out. I love how each spread has a definitive color story. Both you and Sue have artistic styles that meld really nicely. This is a beautiful book.

    Please share the details of your show! I’m very excited for both of you and want to see how it all looks. I’ll be watching from a distance.

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    1. Cathe, I will share photos of the show – the gallery is small but has a good feeling to it. I’m looking forward to it! Thanks for your comments – I’m looking forward to seeing how collaboration you and I are involved in comes together, hopefully some time this year. It has felt like quite a long progress, but with five people involved I think that is inevitable.

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  4. It is exciting how when the two of you collaborate, neither knows what the result will be. What a creative way to work. I would describe you both as ‘open books’ in this instance, so the concertina book is a perfect metaphor. I can see it will be such a rich exhibition as the landscapes have caught the essence of Australia, while the portraits reveal every type of human nature.

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    1. The pleasure of the collaboration is in the not knowing what will happen next. Even though Sue and I know one another’s styles quite well now, it is still always a surprise receiving back one of the books or a handful of portraits. Never a dull moment!

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  5. Complementing styles and what a seam of creativity you’ve found between the two of you Anna !
    Love reading of these collaborations .. much work and thought but such a positive outcome .
    Exciting !

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