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Do not lament / Monica Oppen. Song of the axe / Marie E.J. Pitt
Bib ID 7834713
Format BookBook [text, volume]
Author
Oppen, Monica, book artist, binder
 
Description [Stanmore, New South Wales] : Ant Press, 2018 
16 unnumbered pages (2 folded) : illustrations (some colour) ; 33 x 46 cm, in clam-shell box 34.5 x 47 x 2 cm. 
Series

Botanikos project ; book no. 10.

Notes

"'Do not lament (The song of the axe)' is book no. 10 in the Botanikos project. Concept, design and binding by Monica Oppen, as are the drypoints, photographs (transfer printed) and the text 'Do not lament.' The poem 'Song of the axe' by Marie E.J. Pitt. was first published in 1925 by Edward A. Vidler in Melbourne in a collection of her poetry, 'The poems of Marie E.J. Pitt'" -Colophon.

Limited edtion of 7 copies of which 6 are for sale.

National Library of Australia's SR copy is no. 3/7 and signed by the artist.

An artist's book that responds to Pitt's 1925 poem, which expresses joy in chopping down trees and clearing the land. Monica Oppen notes that since then, "extreme land clearing has been recognised by ecologists as an environmental disaster. Yet broad scale clearing continues. Pioneering Australia's relationship with the land was defined by clearing it, and this attitude still underpins modern Australia's relationship with the land but devoid of any noble intentions, just for making money. In some sectors there is almost a wilful blindness to the biodiversity and ecological significance of the 'bush'". Pitt's poem links culture and cultivation, suggesting that clearing awakens the slumbering land, which then can be cultivated and from the timber cities can be built. It implies that with cities comes culture. Oppen's lament for the falling of the trees stands at cross purposes to Pitt's poem in both text and images that plot the regrowth from cleared land to forested. The text for poem 'The song of the axe,' the title and colophon were transfer printed. The text 'Do not lament' was offset printed, the numbers on main image were rubber-stamped. Sixteen recycled steel plates (using the reverse side of previously used photopolymer printing plates) have been used to create the images. The medium is drypoint printed intaglio. The eight photographs were transfer printed. The 'grid' in the main image was relief-printed off a cardboard block. Paper is Magnani Il Torchio 200 gsm. -Based on information from the artist.

Binding

Drum-leaf binding. Decorated bookcloth. Cloth covered clamshell box with 'Do not lament' text reprinted on the interior. The cover of each copy is unique. The images were created by masking and pushing water based relief ink into the exposed spaces. The process is two staged with the process being repeated to get the second colour. 

Awards Finalist, 2020 Libris Awards: The Australian Artists’ Book Prize, Artspace Mackay. 
Subjects Pitt, Marie E. J. (Marie Elizabeth Josephine), 1869-1948 Song of the axe.  |  Clearing of land.  |  Nature -- Effect of human beings on.  |  Human-plant relationships.  |  Forest conservation.  |  Artists' books -- Australia.  |  Australian
Other authors/contributors Pitt, Marie E. J. (Marie Elizabeth Josephine), 1869-1948 Song of the axe  |  Ant Press, issuing body
Also Titled

Song of the axe

Exhibited Place: an exhibition of artist's books, Panizzi Gallery, University of Wollongong Library, 11 August - 14 October 2018. 

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