Because I Like You

 

Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison
Because I Like You
2016
Woodblock engraving, unique state collage with pencil and paint additions on Fabriano Artistico 640gsm traditional white hot-press paper
Housed in a black linen Solander box with inlaid print and collage
Edition of 10

 


Because I Like You is based on the concept of a love letter to ten mammals. Each of the edition is housed in a black fabric Solander box with inlaid windows featuring one of the ten mammals enclosed. Each page has one mammal lemonwood block print portrait and one mirrored original collage of the portrayed mammal. The mammals featured range from a Greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) to a Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) by way of a Royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus) and a gruff Polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

This artists' book has been over a year in the making, based on a back and forth notion we have been toying with more and more (a collage in response to a print this time). The printed portrait shows nature, as intended (close to), and the collage shows the animal in different (and often less than ideal) surrounds.

It is also our first book to feature woodblock prints.

Because I Like You was released into the wild from our stall at the Melbourne Art Book Fair at the NGV, 2016. The Eurasian red squirrel edition is now in the collection of the University of Melbourne Library; the Sea otter edition is in the collection of the State Library of Victoria; the Greater bilby edition is in the collection of the National Library of Australia; and the Black-and-gold howler monkey edition is in the collection of the State Library of Queensland. In addition, the Polar bear and Royal antelope editions are in private collections.

The Greater stick-nest rat edition was recently acquired by the Mornington Peninsula Shire, as part of the 2016 National Works on Paper exhibition.

The Rufous mouse lemur is currently being exhibited as part of the Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award at the Fremantle Arts Centre until Saturday the 12th of November, 2016.

Whiskers and Bristles is this the zine accompaniment to this work.

 
 

Animals featured, in order of appearance
Greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis)  
Black-and-gold howler monkey (Alouatta caraya)  
Rufous mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus)  
Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)      
Royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus)  
Californian sea lion (Zalophus californianus)  
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia)      
Greater stick-nest rat (Leporillus conditor)
Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)
Sea otter (Enhydra lutris)


Greater bilby
I like you because your long ears are pinkish in colour, and you gallop much like a rocking horse. I could be talking about a Greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis); I could be talking about you.

Black-and-gold howler monkey
I like you because you greet the dawn with a guttural howl. I could be talking about a Black-and-gold howler monkey (Alouatta caraya); I could be talking about you.

Rufous mouse lemur
You’re shy and nocturnal, hiding in the foliage from the Fossa, the Ring-tailed mongoose, and the Madagascar harrier hawk, and it is why I like you so. I could be talking about a Rufous mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus); I could be talking about you.

Polar bear
I like you because we share a plantigrade gait. Your whiskers too. I could be talking about a Polar bear (Ursus maritimus); I could be talking about you.

Royal antelope
I like you because your crepuscular ways find you frequently ruminating by day. And because your hind legs are so long, in relation to your front legs, you appear in something of a constant crouch. I could be talking about a Royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus); I could be talking about you.

Californian sea lion
I like you because of your short black stubble on your flippers. I could be talking about a Californian sea lion (Zalophus californianus); I could be talking about you.

Snow leopard
I like you because your long tail serves as a blanket. I could be talking about a Snow leopard (Panthera uncia); I could be talking about you.

Greater stick-nest rat
I like you because you can weave a secure nest from branches and collected vegetation. I could be talking about a Greater stick-nest rat (Leporillus conditor); I could be talking about you.

Eurasian red squirrel
I like you because the forgotten seed caches you bury sometimes sprout and grow into trees. I am also fond of your long ear tufts. I could be talking about a Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris); I could be talking about you.

Sea otter
The loose patch of skin under your forearms serves as a pocket for rocks and other tools and it is primarily why I like you. I could be talking about a Sea otter (Enhydra lutris); I could be talking about you.


Related links,
Turning the pages of our artists' book, Because I Like You, the Stick-nest rat edition (Music: Camille Saint-Saëns, Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium)
The trickiness of filminG WITH A CURIOUS SIAMESE CAT ON SET
Spinning the 2B pencil, IN LOVE LETTER TO THE MOUSE LEMUR
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (Ten mammals in the Red squirrel edition of our artists' book, Because I Like You, at speed)
Howler monkey business
great with Snow leopards and paper (WHEN ASLEEP)