Codex 6

Lots of lovely bits of coloured cotton, snipped up with shears, ready for the Hollander at SCU in Lismore! More of the project in future posts, but I spent two very sweaty days there this week at the start of Codex 6, the next instalment of Tim Mosely’s on-going series of collaborative handmade paper/artists’ book projects.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of this one: the theme is Resistance, which has been interpreted in this case as a semi-abstract notion of opposition. We’ve been talking a lot about different sorts of resistance and have steared away from more obvious political connotations, which is not to say that political feeling is entirely absent from the procedings.

The weather has been oppressively hot and humid, which makes working quite tiring, and perhaps because of this I would say that we haven’t made as much progress as we might have liked at the start of the project. However, we’re now into the Australia Day long weekend which means we won’t get back to it until Tuesday, and in between household chores, trying to organise ourselves into renting a new house, doing things with my darling daughter and generally being a wife, friend and parent this means I do have some time to consider imagery to take with me next week. I’ve struggled a bit because I discover that I’m really quite engrossed with form rather than content in book-making terms. This does not mean I’m obsessed with a particular binding or tied to any one material – it’s just that my own practice is deeply involved with form at the moment. From the outside this is blindingly obvious to you all, but for me it has only come to light as I’ve floundered around trying to get interested in a nebulous concept for the Codex project, failing dismally to find a ‘way in’!

Just at the end of Friday afternoon we all made some progress, I’m relieved to say. The trouble is that a concept of Resistance interpreted as opposition or refusal rather gives everyone permission to oppose any idea put forward and to be tempted into working individually rather than collectively… I wonder if the outcomes will be as conceptually, intellectually or structurally ‘tight’ as they were for the last Codex project with which I was involved? At the moment it’s hard to see how, but we’ve got a long way to go and I have managed to find a few hooks on which to hang my interest and work my way into the ideas that have been generated so far. And I have a couple of days in which to think about and identify some relevant imagery. Phew.

Amusingly Willis and I represent the voice of experience in this version of Codex! We’re fairly aged compared to most of the other participants and it’s a bit deflating to realise how ancient we must seem…

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