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Metropolis / Monica Oppen
Bib ID 7250448
Format BookBook [text, volume]
Oppen, Monica, artist, binder
Description Sydney : Ant Press, 2016 
14 unnumbered pages : illustrations ; 535 x 315 cm 

Botanikos project ; book no. 8


"The work suggests the city as an ephemeral place. We think of cities as permanent, enduring, and in relation to the life of a single individual they are but cities rise, metamorphose and eventually fall. They hold a history of multiple pasts, multiple narratives; some which are silenced, others which are celebrated. In this book, I wanted to show the past literally lying beneath the city. The two 'hidden' texts are from the past. The first is Erasmus Darwin's poem 'Visit of Hope to Sydney Cove, near Botany Bay', from the introduction pages of 'The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay' (1789), in which Hope joyously calls forth "broad streets, bright canals, the proud arch ... o'er the cultured land" (the transcription begins from 'Hope stood sublime'). The second is from Governor Lachlan Macquarie's papers (colonial secretaries in-letters, 9 April 1816) on action to be taken against local indigenous tribes in the Windsor district, which led to the Appin massacres of 17 April 1816. These two texts face each other. An additional text appears at the end: "'In the distance there appeared to be a city, but the wind, the darkness, the expanse of the sky seemed to be fighting it as if desiring to overwhelm it." The city is seen from a distance. It appears to be exposed to the onslaught of the environment. Perhaps nothing is more enduring than the ground on which a city stands."-Based on the artist's statement.


Each leaf consists of a folded sheet of Zerkall wove paper printed with collography, with a translucent upper layer on Taiwanese kozo paper printed in woodcut, both layers with printed text from hand-cut rubber stamp letters.

Limited edition of 6 copies.

National Library's SR copy is number 3, and is accompanied by an artist's statement and transcription of the hidden texts.


Drum leaf binding. Printed cloth bound boards and endpapers. 

Awards Shortlisted for the 2016 Libris Awards: The Australian Artists' Book Prize, and exhibited with other finalists at Artspace Mackay from 27 August to 16 October 2016. 
Subjects Cities and towns -- New South Wales -- Pictorial works.  |  Land settlement -- New South Wales -- Pictorial works.  |  Artists' books -- Australia.  |  Sydney (N.S.W.) -- History -- 1788-1851 -- Pictorial works .  |  Australian
Other authors/contributors Darwin, Erasmus, 1731-1802. Visit of Hope to Sydney Cove near Botany Bay  |  Macquarie, Lachlan, 1761-1824  |  Ant Press, issuing body


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