RealTime 121: cover story

Keith Gallasch & Virginia Baxter

Beatrice Chew at work on the RealTime 121 cover

Beatrice Chew at work on the RealTime 121 cover

Beatrice Chew at work on the RealTime 121 cover

RealTime designer Graeme Smith took on the challenge to create the perfect cover for the magazine’s celebratory 20th Birthday issue in collaboration with two young artists Beatrice Chew and Su-An Ng.

Graeme (peonypress.com.au; goodhabitat.com.au), describes himself as a rare communications hybrid: a roughly 50/50 balance of writing and designing for any appropriate medium. He’s a distiller. “I work out what things are, what they mean, where they are now and what and where they may be next, then present the findings in words and pictures. Sometimes the aim is to sell things and other times it’s to try to make places better for living in.”

Beatrice Chew works with Graeme in Good Habitat, a working unit formed with prominent designer-writer Heidi Dokulil. Social and educational programs, government and private, the built environment, talks and workshops, exhibitions and conferences, good food, reporting and publishing are some of the things that come within their sphere of interest and influence.

Beatrice (www.beatricechew.com) created the amazing masks made from back issues of RealTime and worn by founding editors Keith Gallasch and Virginia Baxter. Beatrice is a researcher whose interests include design processes, technology and sustainability (especially in the areas of food and education). She says, “The masks are an exploration in modules. They were executed in two ways: a mathematical tessellation and a floral arrangement that gave birth to: [1] parasitical hexagons engulfing the face; [2] an over-sized floral arrangement made to create contrast and communicate the romance of publication. I am sure in the 121 editions that have been published, there are many parts that make RealTime what it is today. Similarly, with the masks, no one part can exist without all the others.”

Su-An Ng (incognito),  paper sculpture by Beatrice Chew

Su-An Ng (incognito), paper sculpture by Beatrice Chew

Su-An Ng (incognito), paper sculpture by Beatrice Chew

The images were photographed by Su-An Ng, an award-winning animation graduate from Emily Carr University of Art & Design in British Colombia who has shown her work in film festivals here and internationally. She’s recently completed a short animated film with the National Film Board of Canada. Entitled ITCH, it’s an engrossing, short stop-motion film made with ceramic clay, an abstract expression of what it feels like to go through an eczema flare-up. You can see more of Su-An’s multi-faceted visions at www.su-anng.com

Graeme’s brief from the editors was to create an image that celebrated the hybridity that has been the focus of RealTime’s attention over two decades. What he and his collaborators came up with was the miraculous transformation of copies of the magazine into another form—hand-crafted, intricately woven paper masks which become the faces of the editors who are at once themselves and an enduring publication.

Keith and Virginia.
Managing Editors, RealTime

RealTime issue #121 June-July 2014 pg.

© Keith Gallasch & Virginia Baxter; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 June 2014