The Western Australian port city of Fremantle has a wonderfully preserved 19th century gaol. Currently on display there is an exhibition titled “Transportation”, documenting the transportation of convicts to Australia from Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. John Boyle O’Reilly was a Fenian prisoner on the Hougoumont, the last ship to bring convicts to Fremantle in 1868. On display, is a copy of his novel, Moondyne, written after he made a spectacular escape to the USA. Also on display is a bound version of The Wild Goose – a hand written newspaper produced by O’Reilly and other Fenian prisoners on the Hougoumont.
Today’s Open Day at Notre Dame University in Fremantle had the theme –“Explore Your Next Chapter”. Several book related art installations could be viewed in the heritage buildings and courtyards.
Delicate botanical drawings on paper, by Jessica Price, are also part of the “Hatched” exhibition at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) (see previous blog post).
“Hatched” at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) is an interesting exhibition of works by graduating arts students from around Australia.
In her work, Sacha Barker has sewn, with black thread, text from her own diaries onto pieces of fabric that look like pages from a book.
The “Off the Page” art installations continue to be on display until 13 May 2018. At the Empire Homewares store on Leura Avenue there is an interesting work by Los Angles based artist, Mike Stilkey, who almost always paints on the spines of books.
His painting pays tribute to Claremont’s first teacher, a Mrs Herbert, and will remain permanently on display at the local Freshwater Bay museum.
In conjunction with the Scribblers Festival (previous post), art instillations inspired by books, paper and print are being exhibited around Claremont town centre. Called “Off the Page”, the art installations by 10 artists can mostly be found in shop windows. At the Lane Bookshop, UK artist, Jennifer Collier, has recycled pages of the local “Post” newspaper, to produce a typewriter.
Coming up in May at the Goods Shed, just north of Claremont station, is the Scribblers Festival for kids and families. Celebrating both literature and art, the festival will have lots of activities for young people. A vintage caravan is already in place, its windows decorated with a book theme, and ready to act as a studio for podcasts of interviews with authors.
Just a second mention that the second-hand books on sale at the Book Bazaar (see previous blog) are an interesting selection and are well-displayed in sections in alphabetical order. Under Australian fiction, found these two interesting novels.
“Gang of Four” by local writer, Liz Byrski, is her first published novel in which she establishes her style of serious chic lit for 50 plus women. “Watershed” by Adelaid-based Indigenous writer, Fabienne Bayet-Charlton is set on the iconic Murray River.
This weekend, the Book Bazaar at 10 Selby Street, Shenton Park has a half-price sale running until 5pm today and from 10am to 2pm tomorrow (Saturday) morning. During the sale paperback fiction sells for $1 each. This store is also normally open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 3.30pm. The huge array of books have mostly been discarded by the State Library and are all in good condition. If you can’t make it this weekend, the next sale will be held on 20 and 21 April 2018.
The Book Bazaar is run by the Spine and Limb Foundation Inc.
The former Government Printing Office on the corner of Murray and Pier streets in Perth city centre was the work of architect, George Temple Poole. Built in 1894, during the goldrush, it was extended in 1899 and 1907, and is now the home of Curtin University’s business school.