gracialouise gracialouise

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Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison  Artists’ books, creation thereof, we make all sorts of things. Chiefly in the company of animals. And you. (Based in Melbourne, Australia.)

After the building had closed, with #birds and crimps under wing, we tiptoed into Realm (@artsinmaroondah, @maroondahcitycouncil) with Richard Holt (, to install our commissioned work, ‘A Weight of Albatross’. We woke our rookery of albatross(es)* from their bubble wrap nests, and began threading the piece together, with a map for guidance. By 11pm, our two stainless steel and fourteen frosted perspex birds were in place. (At last! All together! Up high! As one. Such a thrill.) We are looking forward to heading back to #Realm (179 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood) to see them in the light. Thank-you Richard for this marvellous opportunity, and to everyone involved with tonight’s after hours install. * The most common collective noun for a group of #albatross is a rookery, but a weight is also accepted, and though the OED preferences #albatrosses as the plural, Collins and Merriam-Webster are happy to fly with albatross. So a weight it is, ‘A Weight of Albatross’, because it sounds more poetic to our ears. Included in our weight you will find a Wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans), Southern royal albatross (Diomedea epomophora), Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis), Black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris), Shy albatross (Thalassarche cauta), Grey-headed albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma), Indian yellow-nosed albatross (Thalassarche carteri), Sooty albatross (Phoebetria fusca), and a Buller’s albatross (Thalassarche bulleri).
#installed (!)

Should you find yourself in the need to transport yourself to Paris in 1905, to sink your toes into bold colour pigments and feel yellows and reds travel up your limbs and irradiate your core, pop across to @fjordreview to read my response to The Australian Ballet’s ‘The Merry Widow’, as weightless and incandescent as it shone; light, bright, and all the better to view an absinthe coloured, S-bend corseted gown, my dear.

Head to:

At the Paris Universal Exhibition at the turn of the twentieth century, where it was said Debussy first heard Javanese gamelan music, near everything newly-discovered or newly-made could be found. The Eiffel Tower, now synonymous with Paris, for one; the world-encompassing scale of the Galerie des machines where visitors could delight in discovering atmospheric hammers, cigarette makers, phonographs, and telephones, another. Add to this a colonial exhibition of the ‘other’ from across land and sea masses; the Imperial, the largest diamond in the world; and a giant wooden and stucco elephant, which was later purchased and placed alongside an infamous red windmill, the Moulin Rouge, to render complete the Jardin de Paris Elephant. For a franc, a gentleman could enter the elephant’s body, by way of a staircase twisting up one of its legs, and find themselves in an opium den and a froth of belly dancers. 🐘
(Image credit: @ausballet’s Adam Bull and Kirsty Martin in 'The Merry Widow’, photographed by Jeff Busby, and the Jardin de Paris Elephant)


One, two, three.
Un, deux, trois.
New posts on Marginalia ( For you to read, when you’ve a moment spare. 🗝 (Additional images: André Kertész, ‘The Stairs of Montmartre’, Paris, 1926, and Anne Virgo (@annelvirgo), Paris, 2018)

Two different projects, at different stages, on #theworkingtable: a series of small collages and drawings on a ‘that blue’ market find, and the bits and bearings for ‘A Weight of Albatross’ about to receive a coat of liquid copper.

While checking on a hook from which our weight of albatross will be suspended from later in the week, there is time to call in on Carly Fischer (@fischercarly), Kenny Pittock, and Nathan Taylor’s ‘Monuments to the Everyday’ at Artspace Realm. Time also to think about a spot of lunch to celebrate an all-clear dental checkup. Time to drop the shoulders from their position up around the ears. Time. Yes. Time. Relax. (Kenny Pittock (@kennypittock), ‘It’s about time’, 2018, acrylic on ceramic)

For a touch of hauled up from the ocean bed, barnacles and all, we are adding a copper and green patina to the stainless steel components from which our work, #AWeightofAlbatross, will be suspended from at Realm. We leave with a tin of Liquid Copper, a bottle of Patina Green, and the approval (Lottie under wing and all) of the handsome shop cat (@fitzroy_shop_cat) who greeted us at the door of Porter’s Paints (@porterspaints) early on a Monday morning. Brushes at the ready!

Home to a new colour palette, a new season, and a new kind of pretty. Home to early morning barre classes in place of walking from the Pompidou to the Musée d’Orsay, to keep things moving. Home, but trying to keep a sense of wonder.

Familiar and salted patterns resuming, and memories of this time last week. (Paris to Amsterdam, you and me; North Fitzroy to Middle Park, Lottie, as lovingly drawn (and looked after) by @pasadenamansions. 💕)

Memory, he added in a postscript, often strikes me as a kind of a dumbness. It makes one's head heavy and giddy, as if one were not looking back down the receding perspectives of time but rather down from a great height, from one of those towers whose tops are lost to view in the clouds. ― W.G. Sebald, ‘The Emigrants’

Spending the night quietly drawing this 'Phalanger quoy (Phalangista quoy. N.)', from #Freycinet’s 'Voyage autour du monde : entrepris par ordre du roi’, upon a plate, us both wrapped in a blanket of stars.

Stairs, so many stairs. Stairs tightly wound. Stairs more like ladders in their rake. Up and down we would go. At a quick glide on the descent or a wheeze on the up. Steps rippled by repeated tread, with the appearance of waves. Time today to return to barre to keep those leg muscles happy and firing. To keep the heart pumping quickly. You can do it, little train. ‘I think I can. I think I can.’ (Sixth image courtesy of @annelvirgo. Thank-you.)

Twenty-million francs, a handkerchief for a keepsake, pavilions, and peeping through keyholes! Returning to Paris once more, with a tangle of stars in my hair. Waltzing to Paris, in Melbourne, that is, with the Australian Ballet’s ‘The Merry Widow’, in 1905, I mean, 2018, with Amy Harris (@amyharris_7) as Hanna Glawari and Brett Simon (@brett_simon) as Count Danilo. In light. In winter. Coat on!
(Image credit: @ausballet’s Leanne Stojmenov (@leestojmenov) as Valencienne and Andrew Killian as Camille, photographed by Jeff Busby)
#thisiswinter (now)

Space and time and the “aesthetics of delay” saturating our palette, altering our tempo, overlapping our narratives. Once more awakening from a nap on the floor of a foyer-like area in Amsterdam with the thought ‘I’d better not drift off in a public space’, before registering that I am curled up at home, confused in the mind and body overlap, in the gloaming, with Olive near to my head. (Seen here, our home, with and without Olive, bookending the train journey from Utrecht to Amsterdam Central. Thank-you so much Melissa for looking after Lenni, Olive, Misha, Timmy, and the visiting wildlife of our abode. Thank-you for the huge bunch of flowers and chocolates to greet us, and content pets. We are so very grateful. 💕) #home

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