For as long as I can remember I’ve loved being in libraries. Browsing the shelves of my local public library as a child I’d seek out the same books time and again. In primary school the beautifully kept library was much more enticing to me than the playground (yes, I was one of those children). As a teenager I hung around the public library so much that they eventually offered me a job, and I work there still. Now at university I find excuses to wander around the massive basements full of intriguing tomes on a regular basis.
Stemming from a love of all things bookish, and in a fit of madness and ambition Raphael and I made a zine. Titled Moira and the Witch, it’s a twisted Baba Yaga fairy tale, with machine embroidery by me.
My first zine. We’re rather proud of it. The sort of people who buy zines seemed to like it too. People paying for something I’ve made is a new thing for me (as simple as it may sound) and I was rather chuffed to come away with more money than I’d arrived with. A new experience for someone who generally can’t resist the papery delights offered at such places.
Selling the zines also took some adjustment. Each one was individual and done by hand, and it simply hadn’t occurred to me that once sold, I’d never see them again. Stupidly forgot to photograph them all. Separation anxiety. Oh well.
Swapping was fun though. It felt more valid and mutually appreciative than simply buying and selling. I exchanged one of my little zines for a beautiful little image of a bee, trapped behind resin, to be worn as a pendant. Art for art’s sake. Happy times.
There was another copy however, that I didn’t mind parting with. Several people from the National Library came past, and photographed us for some blog (I cannot figure out the whereabouts of it on the NLA’s website though). And they took a copy of Moira, for the collection! Our humble zine, down in that enormous basement, by the lake, with those book carrying robots (I wonder if they’re still all called Charlie?), and all the other books published in Australia that the library can get hold of. Well, that’s one copy of Moira that I can go visit.