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Leaf the environment alone

Leaf the environment alone
Rhonda Dredge

There is nowhere to hide in the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria if you’re at an art book fair.

Painter Jon Campbell has a gig in the atrium singing the praises of one of the books.

He is literally singing the words out of the book.

He is flicking through the images one by one, and they are arresting in their simplicity.

The artist has first painted the images then the designer had laid digital screens over them to give texture to the surface.

This limited edition of 15 risograph prints is all about the message.

The art book team had collected sayings about the planet from climate change activists and used them as text in the prints.

 

A leading environmentalist was once asked what people could do to save the planet. “Grow lettuce,” he said.

 

The ability to capture a large concept in a small action is the essence of being a good chronicler. The lime green glows in the print.

Risograph printing is an old method of reproduction invented in Japan in which texture is created in blocks of colour, softening the impact of solid colour, and making it more luminous.

After the performance, Jon relaxed on a couch.

“I’ve made two books with texts and sayings,” he said. “A World full of Cover Versions and A World Full of Lying Bastards. This is my third book. I can’t make work without politics or jokes, slang and swearing. I need that.”

“Frack off”, one of the posters is in half tones.

A risograph can be grainy. It doesn’t need to be perfect or consistent. Unusual overlays create unexpected results.

No Planet B responds to the black summer bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate emergency.

Collaborators included artist Jon Campbell, publisher Bronwyn Johnson and designer Aaron Beehre.

Jon taught art at the VCA for 30 years and the book was launched at the Melbourne Art Book Fair on May 20.

No Planet B, Jon Campbell, 11am Press. •

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