Picturing the Island

Research output: Non-textual formCommissioned or Visual ArtworkResearch


Research Background
Picturing the Island examines Pacific Ocean island cultures and colonial histories, with particular focus on the author, Marian Crawford’s childhood home of Banaba, an island of Kiribati. The project uses Crawford’s memories of growing up under the British Empire’s influence to explore how personal responses can enrich debates on colonisation. It investigates how a printed artwork can be a concise vehicle to articulate disparities between recollection and the present.
Research Contribution
As a recipient of a 2016 Siganto Foundation Artists' Books Fellowship, awarded by the State Library of Queensland, Crawford drew upon images and texts from the library’s collection to create her artist book and subsequent artworks. Through the re-configuration of personal and public archival materials, Picturing the Island shifts the intentions and content of the original images from their ethnographic and documentary sources into new narratives. The artist book includes translations of phrases from Gilbertese (the language of Kiribati) to English and vice versa, poetically exploring ideas of home, nature and the slippages of language. Many of the book’s pages are printed from the same matrices as a method to suggest echoes and iterations.
Research Significance
The artist book, Picturing the Island, has been acquired by the British Library, the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Library of Australia, the State Library of Queensland, the State Library of Victoria, and the Geelong Gallery. The work was included in the two-year, Australia-wide touring exhibition ‘Self-made: zines and artist books’ for which Crawford was invited to record a podcast about artist books. The work was a finalist in the 2017 Geelong Acquisitive Print Awards and the 2017 Banyule Award for Works on Paper. Iterations of the research were presented in a 2018 solo exhibition at c3 Contemporary Artspace, Abbotsford, and at the 2019 Singapore Book Fair.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Vic, Australia
PublisherState Library of Victoria
Size28.8 x 21 x 2cm
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventSelf-made: zines and artist books - State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 11 Aug 201712 Nov 2017

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