The New Alexandrian Library (South Africa) Boekie Collection. From ViZma Bruns - AdieU

ADieU by ViZma Bruns, Australia.

In the discussion thread, ViZma said this about the book I FINALLY received.

“It's a kind of historical personal piece based on my family's immigration to Australia from Latvia, and of losing relatives in the war, it actually made me cry a bit. That's why I didn't want to let go of it!! But I made a photocopy. And Cheryl allowed me free reign”

 And finally it was here.  I started to read what has been written about the immigrants from Lativa to Australia – and I don’t know if this applies to ViZma’s relations, but, for sure I understood why a few tears were shed.  Latvia was first proclaimed an independent state in 1918  This independence was lost in 1940 when the country was once again occupied by Soviet forces.  This was followed by a Nazi-German occupation in 1941. 

Can you see this history in the eyes of this girl?

After the war the Commonwealth government through the International Refugee  Organization began to bring people from the Displaced Persons Camps in Germany to Australia.  There were 262 Latvians on the Displaced Persons transport ship that landed at Freemantle on 27th November 1947. 

Displaced Persons.  What a sad phrase.  As ViZma said, people lost. In the war, in the consequences of war. The tangle, the fact that no-one was listening or speaking as nations screamed.

Letters they wrote to find each other. Communications with people back home. Stamps that speak of the physical travel of words to family far away. Where are you? How are you? Are you alive?

But ALWAYS, ALWAYS, the ties that bind the hands uplifted in filial supplication. 

 ViZma - its as wonderful as I hoped - MANY thanks XX


A wonderful new book from book artist Berndt Reichert (Belgium)  - 100 Billion Suns:

Bernd wrote that this is a small experiment with an envelope structure - 

I don’t know if this title is based on another book  by Rudolf Kippenhahn which speaks about the birth, death and life of the stars.  

“A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. “ (Wiki)  That sounds like an artist – a massive luminous body of creativity  held together by ideas. 

 And as Berndt says – I have a wavering mind, as most artists do” – that is something like the flickering of a million lights over a cityscape – like Vincent’s mind.  He said that “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.

And how about this one by Leonardo De Vinci – He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.

From Mail Art Martha - In your Own Words:

A note here because the notion of cut-up (And sort out!) – although this is sort of literary soup – the  precedent of the technique occurred during a Dadaist rally in the 1920s where Tristan Tzara offered to generate an immediate poem from pulling words at random out a hat.  “Prior to this event, the technique had been published in an issue of 391 in the poem by Tzara, dada manifesto on feeble love and bitter love under the sub-title, TO MAKE A DADAIST POEM” (Wikipedia).  I know this technique was popularized by William Burroughs in the late 1950’s early ‘60s – BUT its origins were here.

From Rob Grant (Australia) - a prototype of an unresolved book - thats the wonderful thing about unresolved work - its actually a performance piece - it just practices in your mind. Until it makes a debut. And with Rob, I have no doubt one of operatic quality. 

MANY thanks you two - perfect additions to the growing collection which will soon be enviable the world over! 

That’s the things about being a Hypatian and no potential raids and scroll burnings on the horizon – you get written oracles.  I’m taking ‘oracle’ here as a vision or a forewarning – Torquin you see, a Genki from my dream series makes an appearance and from the cover I knew this tale, whatever it is was going to be good.  This is STILL one of my favorite photographs taken by Marie  in Prague.

So lets begin.  Attached to the first page is an Autumn Fortune. It tells Torquin to be cautious and wait for his time to come.  He was going to have A LOT of troubles in the beginning.  The trouble involves quite a few characters – each more disparate than the other – The Bully, The Cat, The Dolls and overleaf The Vanishing Cream (that’s the lucky part), The Grown-up, The Burglar and Peter.

Autumn tells Torquin that Words are haunting his dreams – they want their own house so they can stick together, but Autumn is in trouble – he is NOT the book fairy…

After wading through books with covers older than 200 years, holding words as sprightly as toddlers, Autumn falls into The Bookworms Soup of the day – it’s an Alphabetical  Soup for the Immediate Propagation of  Ideas (ASIPI).  Autumn tells Torquin they HAVE to start their own business – “growing Bookworms. A whole Garden of them – A Plantation of BookWorms – as Autumn notes – “Filiberts Bookmark Plantation is well known beyond the borders of Tachiwara”.

But Torquin has a question on his mind and he says to Autumn – “What does it look like inside a Bookbinders Mind?”

Confession – its also a bit like Text in Knots - like this - exactly like this - but not in a straight line.  More like a road map, or 10 roadmaps, all imposed on each other - so I suppose, yip, a bit like spaghetti :-) XXX


The call for small books continues - and the results are intriguing.  I sometimes find it so odd that the call goes out into the ether and you think no-one is listening and then you get answers.  Beautiful echoes to your faint call. These books are in order of appearance!

From Imelda Wubben - Lamento Largo. A slow lament for the violin.  And nothing can weep like a violin.  Although we've all heard "while my guitar gently weeps".

Painted frail paper loaded with expression and color, copied asemics and collage.  Is only the solo 'expressivo' I wonder?  By circling certain phrases Imelda gives clues to the content and situation of the people in her book.

Most musical expressions and terminology is in Italian as many important composers came from the Renaissance period and this was also the beginning of the extensive use of musical indications. 

From Rodni.Com (USA) The HandBook.  Plus Bonus Material.

This is a wonderful addition as I did not know Rodni made books - and these are intricate works - intimate workings.

  Rodni sent a long note I also appreciate in which he wrote that these books are notebooks which he regularly makes - I'm not too certain HOW regularly because these look like ALOT of work, made over a long period.  He also turned "another notebook into a webpage - where a virtual version resides with links to handmade things". I am HUGELY chuffed to receive on of these 'handmade things'. I can FEEL Rodni at work here.

You get the reason for the title?  This is a page from the Bonus Material book. 

And some more - notes made by the artist while in thought process - I like those :-)

Rodni also sends numerous sign cards with his work to me.  I sometimes get nervous when I arrange them because I know he's reading them :-)!!  

MANY MANY thanks - I am severely chuffed with this work XX

From Katerina Nikoltsou.  A Book about Books.  This was my second proposed title for artists who wanted to send my books. The images Katerina used are from Late Antique and Early Christian Book Illumination by Kurt Weitzman. She has composed them into a beautiful accordion book.

The images have been re-printed onto pages which in themselves fold out in the book.  Its a convoluted assemblage - something like the history of the book.  I know Katerina and I share similar interests in this era.

This is a beautifully crafted book Katerina - the accordion format is also very suitable for exhibition purposes - the book folds out and a few 'pages' in this case, folds, can be viewed at the same time. 

As a matter of interest – (for those of you who are interested!) an illuminated manuscript is a text which is complemented with decoration – borders, initials or miniature illustrations.   Strictly such illuminations should be decorated with silver or gold, but now the term has application to most illustrated manuscripts in the Western tradition. 

Katerina - my one will be on its way to you this week - MANY thanks - this is a beauty!

Please note: 

There are also images in


The latest from Marie Wintzer - I am happy to announce she will be getting her own section in my duodecimal library system :-).

The wonderful thing about boekies? They come in every conceivable format with subject matter of such variant that they can blow your mind back to where it was.  OK OK – I borrowed the last bit…

 You see, when she stooped down in the glow of the stage-light she had no idea that her actions would cause the images and text on every book in her vicinity to fall off the page and collect in electric  theatrical gestures that reminded him of atomic soda.

And the beam still slices

A slither of sun

caught severing

word dices

 Even her shadow took on a life of its own in the glow of the Baby Bird lights, 

many of you know, I have a mail art call out for boekies (Small Books in Afrikaans). The theme I gave most recently was Music.  The new one is - A Book about Books.  If you send me a boekie I will send you one back.  The format is not prescriptive, but I ask that they have a hard/strong cover and are AROUND A6 size when closed. These boekies will be going on exhibition in October this year.  

Here is the latest - from Svenja - the envelope says it all - even though Svenja has not given a title ON the book, this is my chosen one from the envelope - And Be Home Before Dark.

For xmas her parents had promised her a trip to the theater.  As she stood in the light of the flash bulb, she wondered if she would be - He had told her that she must be.

She did go, and there she met his younger version.  The one that she would fall in love with for the rest of her life. But it was not a long life - she did not get home before dark.

From Marie Wintzer (Japan). Its Time to Face the Music.  Marie and I were talking about her photographs and the fact that I find her Wall photographs especially beautiful. The concept of Walls and the Music they make prompted Marie to create this beautiful boekie in a style that has become for me her own unique visual language.  The Cover is one of her wall photographs, taken on a blue Sunday morning.

In classical music  a bridge is also known as a transition – or a bridge-passage.  They are used to smooth otherwise abrupt  transitions of mood in music or they are used to delineate separate sections of an extended work. 

Marie wrote:

What is the fascination with Bridges? What is it with this fear – that they might lead to another wall?  Music can be so deceptive – well we are ALL familiar with the story of the Pied Piper and the consequences of following the wrong sound.

From Sue Hobbs (South Africa)

The Desert Song – originally titled “Lady Fair”  and is a version of The Scarlet Pimpernel – a sort of Superman story.  Its  an operetta which is inspired by stories such as Lawrence of Arabia   The hero adopts a mild mannered disposition to keep his true identity top secret.  Of course he loves the beautiful heroine – YAY! – she of course is in love with the hero – sound familiar?  This is a beautifully crafted book which boasts a hard cover, layerd pages, collage, fabric and paintings.

The color of the desert:

From Katerina Nikiltsou (Greece).  I think this work has a great deal to do with music structure and the color of music – musical structure is of course pure theory, but the color of music? I think that’s more interpretive.  Musical Form is about the division of compositions into sections – sort of strategies which are designed to successfully aid in making self contained pieces part of one composition. 

Katerina’s work LOOKS like that to me. There are also song-cycles – like those arrangements in Ballet and opera.  And I think this work also speaks of the Rondo Form – reoccurring themes which alternate with contrasting episodes.

And the color of music? We ALL know The  Blues. So Music’s Color is about the emotional energy generated? Its all of the heart I'm thinking.

MANY thanks again for this crazywonderful work! 

I confess, work like this makes me VERY confused about the nature of Trashpo - I see no trash :-) ??????

Recommend Serving These – my  title, not Diane’s – does this work HAVE a title Diane?

Is a beautifully made, visually pleasing collection of what I know to be some of Diane’s cut-up canvases.

 Recycling at its best – Letters and Lists, Words and cloth, bound with the fragrance of incense – it’s a FABU (upgraded FAB) Diane – MANY thanks.

Unexpected arrivals from David Stone (Baltimore) – under the el and The Hogbtcher Poems.  I have not had contact with David before, so gifts like these are greatly appreciated.  They widen the circle of correspondence.

 From Susanna Lackner (Germany). A beautifully crafted fold-out book - Ghosts of Utopia Parkway -   This is number 8/10.  The note on the back cover reads  - Many thanks for Stan Askew for the photos and the inspiration – many thanks Suzanna! Included in the package was The Papertailor of Susannia – a chapbook I have seen  blogged here on IUOMA.


And – although not a boekie – the cover of a book collaboration between TICTAC and myself. Its a beautifully bound book (by TICTAC) - more images on


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Comment by vizma bruns on May 6, 2012 at 2:22am

Whoa, I'm surprised and humbled, a very sincere thankyou for your comments. X

Comment by cheryl penn on May 4, 2012 at 5:53pm

Very glad everyone got to see this book - and by the sounds of things, some of the others.  It is a LOAD to get through, but somehow, they all just WANT to be together... I had been debating whether to start a whole new blog or not - looks like its time!  Have to see what the next one tells me :-)!! I know there are more coming, so ok, ok - next one/ones start the new blog :-)!!!  A HUGE thank you to all of you who have sent/are sending - its wonderful that together we send into the unknown, waiting for our work to be known.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on May 4, 2012 at 5:23pm

YES! Amazing work by Vizma. Is tour-de-force a term?

Comment by Alicia Starr on May 4, 2012 at 4:38pm

This entire collection is awe-inspiring.


Comment by Alicia Starr on May 4, 2012 at 4:34pm

Vizma, your boekie touched a tender note in many of us. The process of collecting these memories and placing them together in this collection is a beautiful tribute to your heritage. Really beautiful. and thanks Cheryl for your words.

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on May 4, 2012 at 3:34pm

Vizma, what a poignant accomplishment. I can't say it any better than Cheryl or commenters before me have said. It's a beautiful soul piece--and I can see why it was hard to let it go.  *Bravo*

Comment by DKULT on May 4, 2012 at 2:39pm

Incredible Vizma--came straight from the soul love it!

Comment by Marie Wintzer on May 4, 2012 at 2:32pm

Such a beauty, Vizma! And I absolutely love the last photo with the thread/ties, wow!

Comment by vizma bruns on May 4, 2012 at 12:13pm

Wow, Cheryl, you should be a hammer, you always hit the nail on the head! I couldn't have explained it better, words are your forte and reading this has been the most cathartic part of this process. THANKYOU Veryl!! XXX You deserve a Z in your name, not just a V!! ;-))) And thanks Carina and Lisa too. XX

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on May 4, 2012 at 12:10pm

What wonderful contributions for the Alexandrian Library! What "stories" they all tell. Very moving, Vizma! Wonderful pages to "read" and "reread"! Thank you for beautiful commentary and blog, Cheryl! xxx



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