Friday, August 28, 2009

Six Bookplates by David Frazer I

Six Bookplates by David Frazer


Robert C. Littlewood

As the new Australian Bookplate Society struggles with all the pangs of re-birth, we have before us a dynamic group of young artists willing to create bookplates. One such artist is David Frazer. Frazer's contribution to this second life of the Australian Ex Libris movement is found amongst the English boxwood blocks stored in his studio. David Frazer's enormous energy for this neglected art form has caused him to produce some thirty wood-engraved bookplates in eighteen months. Six of these works were selected to be exhibited at the State Library of Victoria as part of the “Mirror of the World – Books and Ideas” exhibition featuring the finest books and examples of the book arts from the Library's Rare Book collection. Selected independently by the curator (without knowledge of the commissioning process or the forthcoming publication of The Bookplates of David Frazer), as one of the very few examples contemporary contributions to the book arts, it is indeed another fine compliment Frazer has received for his outstanding art work.

Viewing the entire body of David Frazer's bookplates so far reveals an artist with a strong sense of humor. His use of symbolism is so brilliantly simple the viewer may miss it completely in enjoying the fun of each bookplate solely. At times the subject's life story is concealed within a topographical image.

English born artist Tony Irving lives amongst his urban subject matter in his adopted city of Melbourne, Australia. The artist has punctuated his career as a realist painter with focus on images from his city ... the Luna Park fun fair, Dimmey's department store’s Edwardian clock tower folly and the now unused silos which exist simply to support the Nylex Plastics electronic clock.

Leigh Hobbs, artist and author, best known for his children’s book characters of 'Old Tom', 'Horrible Harriet' and 'Fiona the Pig', is depicted here with his friend 'Mr. Punch' embarking on another moonlight adventure.

Secretary of The Australian Bookplate Society, Edwin Jewell is a serious collector of many things. David Frazer has succinctly fused Edwin's profession as an accountant, displaying an abacus, with his collecting all things related to the 'Incredible Hulk', the famous green monster Lou Ferrigno created for television.

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