Artists' Talking: Jane Hyslop

photo credit Jane Hyslop
Jane wrote about receiving her 'lost book'....

It was with great anticipation that I received my package from The Library of Lost Books. What book had been chosen for me and how would I react? What if I found it completely uninspiring and difficult to work with? The pressure of this and recording the ‘opening ceremony’ made for a thrilling moment.

I have to be honest and the immediate impression was underwhelming – a library catalogue with the plainest of covers. What could I make of what I imagined would be a seemingly endless list of books?
Then I opened the book… it has true quality in the materials it is made of with a range of different papers, some of the pages have been carefully repaired at different times.

photocredit Jane Hyslop
photo credit Jane Hyslop

It is richly decorated with botanical illustrations, a list of these features alongside information about donors to the Library, the layout of the library and finally the catalogue. A list which inspires all sorts of thoughts with unusual titles such as ‘Wanderings in North Africa’, ‘How to Lower Boats’, ‘Illustrations of Paper Manufacture’, ‘Memoirs of Several Ladies of Great Britain’ to mention but a few.

The book is stimulating on so many levels and I will find it difficult to narrow down what my approach will be. There are numerous options and the book deserves much study and investigation and so it is going to take me some time to decide how I will progress with the project.

 June 2012
The original book sent to Jane - 1861 copy of the Melbourne Public Library catalogue

'Australia' by Jane Hyslop
photo credit David Knight

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