Monday, January 31, 2005


Sometimes you just know that the scarey big change is exactly the right thing to be doing... especially when the Universe swings in behind the project.

I placed a 'wanted to rent' ad in the Whangarei paper this weekend which sparked about half a dozen calls. The best one is the converted cowshed on the farm by the beach with the horses... and the owner (a performing artist and photographer wishing for an artist tenant!) happens to be driving a truck home from Wellington this weekend and would like to take my stuff up for me!

It may not turn out to be the place I want to live long term but it sounds like a very sweet landing into my new life. I can't wait to get there, unpack my studio and start making books by the big window looking out at the flax.

Another little gift today was being challenged by the defence as I was about to take my seat in the jury box this morning... now I get the rest of the day off to pack.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Burning books

Preparing to move out of Wellington where I have lived with my daughter for nearly 6 years, to go and live alone in Northland is an opportunity to clear debris. I am, by nature, a hoarder, especially of paper but I am letting it all flutter out of my reach in this move.

I burned 30 years worth of journals, a very cathartic process that left me feeling much lighter. I read a few random pages as I pushed the 5 supermarket bags full of notebooks into the fire one by one, and didn't read anything that made me regret what I was doing. What a relief to finally let go of that particular version of my life.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Stunned by a bumpy landing into Wellington this morning (I will never get used to them) I left my beloved journal behind in the seat pocket. I made it myself out of red leather and am almost through the second set of pages I have sewn into its flexible covers. It contains a random collection of sketches, notes, lists, quotes copied from books, plans, poems, ideas for poems, ideas for books, phone numbers and addresses etc etc.

Discovering the loss once I was home I feel bereft, slightly panicked, abandoned... but I am still in the denial stage, it is still too early to grieve. I left a long, desparate message on the Air New Zealand lost luggage answerphone. Surely it won't have been mistaken for trash.

Yesterday, in Dunedin I had scribbled notes for this blog about making books for exhibition which I had meant to type here today. But instead I am lost.

If it doesn't come back I will make myself a girdle book, so it stays tied to me all the time and can't be left behind.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Waipua Forest

I am working on a book that I came to me on Christmas Day, walking alone in Waipua Forest in Northland among the majestic kauri trees. Just like the bush there are many layers of different textures and shades of green, it is detailed, deep, diverse and chaotic.

I have been making lacey papercuts of foliage which I love partly for the connection with a traditional Jewish art form (using this medium for such uniquely New Zealand images is a blissful expression of the best of my life as a diaspora Jew in New Zealand); and partly because they are just so pretty.

I have found a structure (thanks Dot) which will firstly enable the pages to be flipped like a codex so the reader can move through the different layers of foliage as if walking through the bush; and secondly let the book stand open with all the pages spaciously displayed- perfect for exhibition.

It is fiddly and time-consuming and constantly challenging and it already makes all my other books to date look crude in comparison. I want it to be finished now so I can see it and show it. But I am so busy working, and going to Dunedin this weekend for Liz's wedding, that it will be at least next week before I can complete it.


Sometimes, not having time to be alone and work on my books feels like being deprived of air.