Magic of Friday 13

I am thrilled that on November 13 my work Lost Horizons: The Timeline  was  awarded the honorary Grand Prize in the Artists Books Prize at the Firestation Print Studio in Armadale, Melbourne.  The prize brings with it a show in 2021.

The idea of such a format I conceived some fourteen years ago, and this work was made during the eight month COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne in 2020. It is a diary of a sort, a chronicle of Melbourne’s lockdown, isolation, and mental struggles in that new space.

Allowed to walk only a short distance and for an hour a day I walked along the beach shore, eyeing the unattainable horizon. Watching all sorts of objects brought to the shore by the sea, I was  imagining stories behind the objects, which resonated with my state. I was forced to see my immediate surroundings and relationships, everything breaking down before “the break through”… the news, briefs, graphs, conspiracies, fears and anxieties, policing, disputes, and division amongst us all in this situation. I reflected upon it in my texts and original poems. A walking pace helped the words to form lines. Walking the line helped to find order in my own life. Working without the materials and tools needed for such an artist’s book-diary has resulted in what it is now.
The moral of the fable for me is  “work with what you have” and a “breakdown is a breakthrough”.
My sincere thanks to the Artists Books Prize judges Diane Soulemilas, gallery Curator/coordinator, Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne, and to Douglas Stewart, Director of Douglas Stewart Fine Books. Many thanks also to the Artists Book Prize  2020 sponsor Caulfield Art Supplies, and Firestation Print Studio Director Liz McDowell.
The exhibition is on until November 28.
Here are the judges’ statements:
Diane Soumilas:
This work pushes the boundaries of artists books, ambitious in scale and conceptually powerful, immediately engaging the viewer on a journey through lost time and memory. Embedded with musical references, and text, the work unfolds onto the floor, a fascinating exploration of movement, history, and narrative.
Douglas Stewart:
Artist’s books can often be linked to a piece of music, they begin at a point, explore a theme, and find resolution.
Lost Horizons: The Timeline takes the form of a scroll, the way history and ideas were recorded prior to the codex in the West, and as a continuing tradition in the East. Bilogan’s scroll is layered on a pianola roll, providing a silent musical backdrop upon which she makes her journey.
In the tradition of Sonia Delaunay’s la Prose du Transsiberien et de la Petite Jehanne de France, Bilogan integrates image and text simultaneously, creating rhythm and harmony across the page. The music is unknowable without the pianola, an inaudible melody whose notes are perpetually captured on the page.perhaps they reflect the internal struggle found in the text, the search for personhood independent of family and place. Lost Horizons: The Timeline is a contemporary artist’s book which is innovative and creative, while retaining the traditions of narrative and expression. The matrix and format serve to advance the thematic content, which in lyrical fashion, rests on a final coda.
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