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Make graceful and lasting change

Relation Altered

Cindy Tonkin - September 21, 2023

I started altering this book a few weeks ago.

More details about what I’ve done with it in the video on that page, and more in this video

Part of what I was trying to do was work with the beautiful masterpieces from What Makes a Masterpiece, but also do something fun.

The dinner party of portraits idea came to me last weekend and I diverted into the Legislative Council Dinner. I toyed with the idea of a long frieze for this book, but it turned out the portraits were of all different sizes. So sorting the heads and torsos by size so they looked in proportion, I put a good number of famous-portrait-people-having-food-at-a-table in this book.

I moved from collaged in spoons to drawn in spoons (with my fabulous Posca markers) in this book. Partly because it was quicker. Actually totally because it was quicker.

Got all the way through the book to find that I had no drinks or food, so went back in and added those in too, again with Posca.

The spoon on the front cover foreshadows the idea, which pays off in four dinner parties on pages 13, 15, 26, 31 of a 33 page book (it’s actually 66 pages, but I only numbered each double page spread.

Originally I was using large faces and full length images to make double images where bodies and faces were half one, half the other, but to continue with that I would have had to find more of them, and i had so many portraits of people looking straight at the viewer.

Who knows what comes next?

What I learnt:

  • as always, it’s good to have a concept when i start an altered book – but as usual again, it’s important to pivot
  • i have so much stock in my studio, it’s really good fun to use an altered book as an excuse to review what’s there and find some hidden treasures
  • using another artist’s work can be satisfying when the images are beautifully coloured
  • quality paper makes a difference (in both the altered book and in the images pasted in). I used some Donna Hay Mag pieces which were a little flimsy compared to the beautiful paper of the Masterpiece book

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