A collage featuring two birds looking to the sky

Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, I think all the world is falling (detail), 2017

The Dome was already one of the most beautiful rooms in Melbourne and now it’s even more so. Looped: artist books in the round, our new display by artists Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, opened on 4 August in the La Trobe Reading Room.

Gracia and Louise have turned the cabinet cases around the Reading Room’s dais into pages in a story. They’ve created five artist books that, through collage and the written word, tell a complete tale. It’ll be on display in the La Trobe Reading Room until 26 November.

To celebrate the display, Gracia and Louise took over our Instagram account on 4 August to introduce themselves and share their work.


For those of you we are yet to meet, we are Gracia and Louise (@gracialouise), and it could be said we are besotted with paper. In our artists’ books, prints, zines, drawings, and collages, we invite you to see what you will. You can see fragments of your very own self. You can see your own link with nature. You can see charm, absolute. Like anything, the closer you look, the more you might see. Our artists’ books can be found in the collections of: Artspace Mackay; the university libraries of Deakin; Melbourne; Monash; and RMIT; Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery; National Galleries of Victoria; and Australia; the State Libraries of Australia; New South Wales; Victoria; and Queensland; the Tate; and the University of West England. And to date, we have made 95 artists’ book titles and 116 zine titles. #hello #collage #artistsbooks #gracialouise #GraciaLouiseLooped Image credit: @gracialouise

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Treating each cabinet as a page, our five artists’ books read as one tale. A tale comprised of: ‘I think all the world is falling’, ‘No longer six feet under’, ‘Disrupted and rumpled’, ‘Dim wood, spark bright’ and ‘A warmed pebble in my hand’. Each artists’ book is an 8 page concertina, inkjet print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm, with covers mounted on gold-trimmed board. And each is housed in a slipcase. For our work for ‘Looped’, the story fills the entire cabinet. Peer closer at our ever-changing puzzle, and you will see treasure from the Rijksmuseum to the Metropolitan. #collage #collection #domedais #artistsbooks #GraciaLouiseLooped #librariesofinstagram Image credit: @gracialouise

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“Passing the library, a sizeable section of the lawn was fenced off. A low temporary barrier had been pegged in place to enable the grass its forty-winks to regenerate. A kip to allow the new seed to take hold seemed just what I needed also. And there, atop the bed of sleeping grass, a kit of pigeons, a flock of gulls, and a quarrel of sparrows with no desire to call in on the old ballroom when they had such a prize. Safe, and in possession of a sheltered location, they basked in the warmth of the sun. The pigeons, in particular, puffed out and fanned their feathers to make the most of the solar heat. Their fans lent the scene an air of Sunday picnickers, an Eden for Birds Only, and I was glad I had chanced upon this moment that threw sunlight on my impression of the world. It was in these small and ephemeral shards that life made sense. All that was good, transfigured into form! It was in these quiet encounters that I was pierced and purpose was found.” For our ‘Looped’ installation, turning the dome dais into an artists’ book, we have bound it together with a short story. You are welcome to collect a copy of this story, ‘A whisker of light’, in the form of a free A5 zine we have made. Copies are available at the dome dais, and we look forward to hearing what you think. #collage #domedais #artistsbooks #gracialouise #GraciaLouiseLooped Image credit: @gracialouise

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For more of Gracia and Louise’s work, head to their website or Instagram account.

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