2023 Printer in Residence

Mickie Quick has been breathing new life into the Fisher Library printing workshop as our latest Printer in Residence. 

Fisher Library is the home to an Albion letterpress printer, purchased by the Library in the early 1960s, and affectionately known as the Piscator Press.  

The Printer in Residence program was introduced in 2018 with the goal of increasing awareness of the Piscator Press and to encourage an ongoing enthusiasm for letterpress and book arts within the University.  

Mickie Quick began his residency at the start of Semester 2, 2023. Mickie’s residency has included multiple Open Studio Sessions for the University community which have proved to be very popular. The Open Studio Sessions saw staff and students get a hands-on lesson on how the printer works with demonstrations from Mickie and the opportunity to use the press themselves. 

These sessions also gave Mickie the opportunity to touch on his own printing project, a project which sees him examine the history of progressive political text and images on campus by delving into the rich archives of Honi Soit, to create a series of prints that reflect and build on the history of activism on campus. 

I am very excited to be working with an historic print methodology on campus — letterpress printing with the Albion — and using it to create new prints that will come from a process of looking deeply into another longstanding print tradition at the University of Sydney — the publication of Honi Soit, and its role in political activism on campus

Mickie Quick

Mickie Quick’s residency in Fisher Library ends on 13 October 2023. 

Indigenous Placemaking Artwork

Image credit: 'Yanhambabirra Burambabirra Yalbailinya' (Come, Share and Learn), 2020 by Luke Penrith for the One Sydney Many People Strategy.
Image credit: 'Yanhambabirra Burambabirra Yalbailinya' (Come, Share and Learn), 2020 by Luke Penrith for the One Sydney Many People Strategy.

The University of Sydney Library is commissioning an Indigenous placemaking artwork to be displayed in our physical and digital library spaces.

The University of Sydney Library is committed to promoting, foregrounding, and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural knowledges and practices. As part of this, we are seeking to commission an Indigenous placemaking artwork that will connect our digital and physical spaces to Country. This creative work will facilitate visual storytelling to support an environment where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students, and community members feel safe, seen, respected, and valued.

For the Terms and Conditions and to submit your expression of interest here.

Expressions of Interest close on September 15, 2023.

Image credit: ‘Yanhambabirra Burambabirra Yalbailinya’ (Come, Share and Learn), 2020 by Luke Penrith for the One Sydney Many People Strategy.

Listening Back exhibition and symposium at the Conservatorium Library

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music Library is currently hosting a new exhibition, Listening Back, that highlights the works of past and present students.

Centring on historical Conservatorium staff members Cyril Monk and Phyllis McDonald as well as student Patrick Moore MacMahon ‘The Flying Fiddler’, Listening Back is comprised of relics and resources that reveal information about the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s significant history.

Curated by violinist and PhD student Julia Russoniello in collaboration with artist Victoria Monk (who is related to featured violinist Cyril Monk), the show features various ephemera that give voices to long forgotten echoes from the Conservatorium of Music’s past. The exhibition celebrates the deep, rich history of the Conservatorium with a familial touch.  

This exhibition will be celebrated with a launch event on Friday 15 September, where Julia Russoniello and Victoria Monk will activate the research exhibition through a symposia on the works of Cyril Monk and his peers, Victoria’s memories of her grandfather and her creative process in creating the exhibited sculptures, and Julia will play excerpts from Monk’s historical music scores on violin to reimagine his musical works.

Listening Back will run from 10 August – 6 October 2023 at the the Conservatorium of Music Library. 

At The Vanishing Point: the Souvenirs, Merchandise and Memorabilia of International Law

Currently on display in Rare Books and Specials Collections (level 1, Fisher Library) is a fascinating exhibition that focuses on the material objects of international law institutions like the United Nations and The Hague. 

The exhibition, At the Vanishing Point: the Souvenirs and merchandise of International Law is curated by Dr Emily Crawford and Associate Professor Jacqueline Mowbray from the University of Sydney, Associate Professor Daniel Joyce from the UNSW and Associate Professor Jessie Hohmann from UTS, in collaboration with Emily Kang (Rare Books & Special Collections Liaison Librarian, East Asian Collection).

The exhibition interrogates international law and international institutions through the lens of merchandise, memorabilia, and souvenirs. It showcases numerous vintage and contemporary souvenirs to prompt conversation and reflection about what such objects and imagery say about the role of international law in the social and cultural zeitgeist. 

In this exhibition, we reflect on the material objects of international law institutions like the United Nations and its agencies and interrogate international law and international institutions through the lens of merchandise, memorabilia, and souvenirs. How do international organisations present themselves to the world (by way of their gift shops or commercial collaborations) and how does society at large perceive of international law and international institutions (through invocation of international law in commercial imagery and objects)?

Dr Emily Crawford

At the Vanishing Point is on display now until 2024 in Rare Books and Special Collections on level 1 of Fisher Library. 

Eric Lobbecke | Listening Devices exhibition

Political cartoonist Eric Lobbecke’s latest exhibition will challenge your visual perception while forcing you to contemplate our current political climate. Listening devices was inspired by reactions to our last federal election. Look long enough and you may start to recognise political figures from today and the not-too-distant past. 

Can males hear an unfamiliar revolutionary female human rights language through Listening devices?

Eric Lobbecke

Confronting, distorted and visceral images reflect on a political sphere where female voices have not always been valued, let alone even heard. Utilising three different media digital oil paintings, video and sculpture the images will stay with you long after your initial visit. 

Eric is a renowned cartoonist and graphic designer, who has worked for The Australian and Crikey, amongst many other publications.

The exhibition is presented a collaboration with the School of Languages and Cultures and is supported by the Australasian Humour Studies Network (ASHN) as part of the Humour as a Human Right 2023 conference. 

Listening Devices is currently in display in the Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library until late September 2023. 

The Library recently hosted a panel discussion with Eric Lobbecke which can be viewed on our YouTube channel

Floating between Couches and Motels

The Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library is currently showcasing an intriguing exhibition that would make any of us think again while checking in at the next hotel.  

Dr Carolyn McKay, Sydney Law School Criminologist and artist, has designed a unique installation that looks at transgressions that take place in hotel rooms. 

The idea came to Dr McKay while teaching criminal law at the Sydney law School.  

I have attempted to theorise the motel room as a site chosen for criminal transgression, asking: What is it about these private-but-shared spaces that enables, perhaps beckons, criminal behaviour? And what tangible and intangible traces remain?

Dr Carolyn McKay

Utilising neon light, the installation uses words and phrases that evoke a sense of invaded privacy and lost optimism of the motel spaces McKay visited during her research. Party lights suggesting good times juxtaposed with neon words hinting at the evil deeds that took place within the hotel walls. 

Dr McKay explains: “These selected phrases seemed to be particularly evocative and almost poetic; together they are suggestive of a unique crime scene. Motels are supposed to be places of restful stay or holiday, but these phrases subvert that concept.” 

More information on Dr McKay’s Crime Scene Motel Project 

Floating between Couches and Motels is currently on display at the Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library.