I have recently returned from attending and presenting at the Art Libraries Society Australia and New Zealand (ARLIS/ANZ) Conference 2012. Here is a brief overview of my experience.
The theme of the ARLIS/ANZ conference (held in Melbourne 6-8 September) was Collaborations: artists, scholars and libraries in a research ecosystem. The presentations explored practitioner research, library architecture, library support for creative based academic programmes and the changing perspectives of Artists’ books within libraries. Speakers included artists, art gallery librarians, tertiary librarians and architects.
This was my first time attending and presenting a paper at a conference. My paper, entitled A Portal to the Precious: From the Art Library to the Art Gallery (an exhibition), discussed the artists’ book exhibition components of a special collection: a collaboration with the university of auckland fine arts library. This exhibition was held at projectspace B431 (Elam School of Fine Arts) during March and April of 2011. It was curated by Tracey Williams and Taarati Taiaroa, two practicing artists and Elam alumnae. The exhibition provided the Library a great opportunity to promote the Fine Arts Library’s Artists’ book collection. You can read my paper here. The conference attendees were particularly interested in the stop motion video that I had helped to create for the exhibition which can be viewed on the Fine Arts Creative Showcase.
Presentation highlights included learning about the,
• range of research support-services provided by Australian Universities
• role art and design librarians play in curriculum planning
• the significance art libraries play in the collection of artists’ books
• Artists’ books as a creative practice and a collaborative site.
Activities and gallery highlights
During my trip I was able to view both a major exhibition Napoleon: Revolution to Empire held at the National Gallery of Victoria as well as local galleries and institutions. Visits included touring the Victorian College of Art student studios and the Artists’ book exhibition Seeing Artists Books as Research held at The Royal Society of Victoria Heritage Library.
I was also able to visit four artist run initiatives (ARI) of which Melbourne has a myriad; including the Hand Held Gallery, West Space, Kings ARI and Bus Projects.
All the tours and exhibitions provided a really enjoyable introduction to the range of artistic institutions Melbourne has to offer - it was a great way to experience the city.
I thoroughly enjoyed the ARLIS/ANZ Conference 2012. It was interesting to learn about art librarianship from a range of artistic and educational institutions. It was also an excellent opportunity to talk and socialise with other members of the New Zealand Chapter. I would really recommend that early career librarians submit conference proposals as it helped to hone both my presenting and networking skills. While initially daunting I found presenting a paper an incredibly satisfying experience. I especially appreciated the support I received from The University of Auckland Library and the New Zealand Chapter of ARLIS/ANZ. I look forward to the next conference to be held in New Zealand in 2014.
Client Services Librarian
Fine Arts Library