Master of Fine Arts graduate Stephen Copland recently exhibited his work as part of the 7th International Artist’s Book Triennial Vilnius 2015 first presented in Vercelli, Italy but set to travel to a number of countries throughout 2015-16.
The International Artist's Book Triennial is a prestigious travelling project conceived to stimulate exchange and dialogue between artists from around the world focusing on art books. This year's exhibition and associated programs ran from 5-19 September and its theme, Error, encouraged artists to develop creative responses to two important historic sites in Vercelli: Museo Leone and Studio 10 City Art Gallery.
Copland's work is concerned with the subjective and symbolic aspects of identities in transit, themes of migration and human rights. His book Mesopotamia was created specifically for the exhibition. 'Mesopotamia' refers to the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers that reach across modern day Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, parts of Turkey and Iran. Using a concertina book format and a timber container, Copland's book explores the troubled history of Iraq.
Copland explains Mesopotamia "is about Iraq and the major political error that has changed the world we live in. I sought to show the historic and beautiful culture the area is home to with symbols and historic references, like our childhood dream of the word, Mesopotamia."
Since 1986, Copland's work has featured in 33 solo national and international exhibitions, including projects presented in museums in Cuba, New Zealand and Melbourne. Copland has been a finalist in the Wynne, Sulman and Blake Art Prizes.
The 7th International Artist's Book Triennial will tour to Lithuania in October 2015, and will be shown in venues in Austria, the US and Australia in 2016.