An instrument of collaboration: Unfolding the legacy of the Graphic Investigations Workshop

Caren Florance

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookOther chapter contribution


The Graphic Investigation Workshop (GIW) was a unique and complex entity that should have a pivotal position in the history of creative book-making in Australia. Based in the Canberra School of Art between 1978 and 1997, the GIW was predominantly headed by artist Petr Herel and populated by a host of respected practicing artists such as Dianne Fogwell, John Pratt, Gaynor Cardew and Udo Sellbach. To date it is the only Australian art school department to engage seriously with books on a full-time curricular level. In 2001, looking retrospectively at his 20 years of teaching, Herel called the artist book ‘an instrument of collaboration’. In fact, the whole workshop was an instrument of collaboration, with the interests of the students folding around the skill-sets and foci of the entire school’s staff and national and international visiting artists. Literature, particularly European poetry, was a core teaching tool, and handset letterpress was readily accessible for text production. The legacy of the GIW continued in varying degrees within the (restructured and renamed) ANU School of Art after Herel’s retirement and the disbanding of the workshop, with Dianne Fogwell’s Edition + Artist Book Studio and the current Printmedia and Drawing workshop. This illustrated paper presents the GIW’s working methodology to showcase its use of the book as collaborative ‘common ground’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtist's Book Yearbook
EditorsSarah Bodman
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherCentre for Fine Print Research, University of West England
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781906501181
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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