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A Book About Death Australia @ Tweed Regional Gallery 2013


The Australian exhibition is the 27th exhibition of A Book About Death. Paris based artist Matthew Rose instigated the first A Book About Death exhibition in 2009 in New York. Five hundred artists submitted five hundred copies of their artwork to the exhibition in the Emily Harvey Gallery. 


This exhibition at Tweed River Art Gallery is the first time the project has been launched in Australia, attracting artwork from more than 300 artists in 20 countries. The show also includes selected artworks, a film and specifically designed posters from the original New York exhibition.


Founder Matthew Rose says, 

“What is compelling for me is that artists have taken on this project as a mission of their own and given it, in each turn in their own country, a beautiful and personal shape.”1


Co-curators and artists Heather Matthew and Julie Barratt are both passionate about the concept of bringing this international project to Australia. Murwillumbah artist, Heather Matthew has exhibited in three previous ABAD shows, including the first at Emily Harvey Gallery, New York, then São Paulo, Brazil and again in Seattle. In early 2013, Heather met with some of the artists who had contributed to the original New York show and collected the original exhibition to bring to Australia. 


Artist and former gallery director Julie Barratt (formerly of Barratt Galleries) held an exhibition of ‘objects of the dead’ titled The Hankie Project in 2010. Through her website blog about the project, she connected to the ABAD network and international ABAD artists including Matthew Rose, who contributed artwork hankies to the project. The Hankie Project was re-exhibited in Melbourne and at Grafton Regional Gallery. 


Since the call went out for contributions to A Book About Death Australia, artwork has been received from Russia, Brazil, Italy, Hungary, Mexico, Canada, Wales as well as Australia and USA. Works received include a set of 28 postcards created by artist Karen Arp-Sandel (USA) to commemorate the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in Newtown USA where 28 people were killed including the gunman and his mother.


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