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I’m a reader – that elusive cryptid most sought and least believed in by writers. I read constantly, single-mindedly and voraciously, to the point where my family keep wondering if I’ve actually gone deaf.

 

I’ve also had the singular honour and pleasure of making cover art for Vagabond Press since it was founded by Michael Brennan in 1999. I am particularly proud of my work on the Rare Object series.

 

The Rare Object series started in 1999 when Mike came to see me with an idea for some limited-edition chapbooks and asked if I’d like to make cover art for the first one. I’d just bought one of the early 6-colour inkjet printers and was totally in love with printing onto 300 gsm Hahnemühle etching paper. I suggested we could do hand-made cover art with torn edges, made on my new printer on this lovely paper. We based the original image size and dimensions on a 35mm negative. The series grew rapidly and I stayed on to make cover art for all of them.

 

I read and re-read every one of the manuscripts that became Rare Objects. I tried to make my visual responses to the work oblique, not directly illustrative, but deeply tied into my personal experience of each book.

 

We made 100 of these books. I killed four printers and three scanners making the cover art. I made and held in my hands each one of 10,000 tiny images. Through this, I learned an entirely new discipline – that of a visual close reading followed by a decisive, almost calligraphic movement of a lens. I’ve had the great privilege of responding to the work of all of my favourite Australian writers. In 15 years of working this project, I never once wondered why, or regretted it, or wished to be doing anything else.

 

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I’ve also occasionally written and illustrated some small things of my own. Many of them are for children, or for people who wish they were children, or so I keep telling myself. Here are a couple of them.

 

Letting go (1992)


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Letting Go is available as Epson prints. Individual images are on Photo Rag cut sheets at A4, $100 unframed. A complete 12-page set on Hahnemühle 300 gsm etching paper with torn edges as per the originals is available for $600.

 

AVAILABLE: contact me to order
 

Dump Boy Meets Weed Girl (1999)

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Deeply silly. I made it one morning to cheer my wife up. I still think it’s funny.