Solo Exhibition- Glen Skien

Glen Skein is a Brisbane-based artist who trained as a printmaker in Townsville, and graduated with a Doctor of Visual Art from Queensland College of Art in 2015. He was the 2018 recipient of the State Library of Victoria Creative Fellowship, which included a three-month residency and special access to the Library’s collections and staff expertise. Skein adopted a poetic gaze towards the Library’s archive of unnamed and unidentified photographic images.

CAMPAIGN INVITE_GS-Foto Metafisica-Archive Object-Poem xi (detail) 2019

Describing the outcomes of this Fellowship, Skein says “I have produced a series of small hand-held bound books that feature the photographic etchings of unnamed figures from the photographic archive of the Library. Titled Foto-Metafisica, the intention of this work has always been to create a series of book-objects that withhold the same intrigue and unknown ‘aboutness’ as the images themselves.”

His poetic anthology of images of lost souls from the Library collection is captured in over 50 wall-based artist books at Onespace. These works are all ‘unique state pieces’ or variants on a particular print process and appear as a large field of objects on the wall. This immersive body of work presents as a mix of hybrid artist book forms that incorporate techniques such as etching, collage, and thin thread binding. Skien is also very interested in the future of the book as an object – through inciting curiosity, he challenges how these pieces are interpreted by the viewer.




Onespace Director John Stafford notes, “Glen embraces French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s dictum ‘to be moved by the vast archive of insignificant things’ in his execution. Glen doesn’t really want to know who these people specifically are—he is more interested in a poetic response and the ‘withheld narrative’, which adds to their intrigue and mystery and suits his process-driven approach.”

With over 35 years of experience in the visual arts sector, Skien has exhibited widely in Australia, and his work is held in both private and public collections across Australia and Japan.

Centre Glen Skien, Foto-metafisica, photogravure, collage & threat binding (framed), 10cm x 6.5cm x 1cm
Bottom: Glen Skien, Foto Metafisica: Box Assemblage I, Photogravure bound hand-made book and photographic transfer, 16cm x 21.5cm x 3.5cm