Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison
Charms of the Gloaming
Wednesday 24th of October – Friday 30th of November, 2012
Little Window of Opportunity
Port Jackson Press Print Room, 61 Smith Street, Fitzroy


December 7, 1906

Went to F— Duckponds. Flocks of Wigeon and Teal on the water. Taking advantage of a dip in the land managed to stalk them splendidly, and for quite a long time I lay among the long grass watching them through my field glasses. But during the day Wild Duck are not particularly lively or interesting birds. Occasionally one will paddle around lazily. But for the most part they show a great ennui and seem so sleepy and tired that one would almost think to be able to approach and feed them out of hand. But I moved one hand carelessly and the whole flock was up in a minute and whizzing across the river. Afterwards, at dusk, on returning to the ponds, they had come back; but now that the sun was down, those dozy, flapdoodle creatures of the afternoon were transformed into quacking, quarrelsome, blustering birds that squabbled and chivvied each other, every moment seizing the chance of a luxurious dip, flinging the ice-cold water off their backs with a shake of the tail that seemed to indicate the keenest-edged delight.

(W.N.P. Barbellion, The Journal of a Disappointed Man, Little Toller Books)


Bring me your Honey buzzards, your Common swifts, your Eurasian sparrowhawks, and your Gyr falcons too. Your birds you see as dusk settles on the stage and prepares to darken to a night winged with a wide sweep of owls. Quickly now, things are about to disappear into the darkness.

Assembled in the window, we have for you, paper birds drawn, collaged works, and artists’ books. These are our Charms of the Gloaming, our tiny scenes soon to change.

We are besotted with paper for its foldable, concealable, revealing nature, and our artists’ books, prints, and other such works, use an armoury of play, humour, and perhaps the poetic too, to lure one closer. The words of Gogol whisper in the ear, “the longer and more carefully we look at a funny story, the sadder it becomes”. And thus, we leave our scenes open-ended, inviting you to ponder and perhaps find that things are not as they first appear.

Sleeping during the day (2010), Beneath the Screen of Closed Eyelids (Port-Said) (2012), To spend a quiet day (Interlaken Berner Oberland) (2012), and All that’s bewitching by the water (Capri) (2012) are but a handful of our artists’ books on display in the Port Jackson Press Print Room’s Little Window of Opportunity late October and the greedy lion’s share of November.

Press your nose to the glass. Do.