Studio Katie Kerr 3 Someplace Else

  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Katie Kerr
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Member
    Louise Stevenson
  • Client
    Louise Stevenson

Multi-disciplinary artist Louise Stevenson works across painting, drawing, photography, book-making and moving-image to explore a shifting relationship to place and time. At a time when travelling abroad seems like a distant memory, the project Someplace Else speaks to a desire to travel, to discover and experience another country.

The publication holds a body of drawings and written recollections of travel between Hungary and Aotearoa New Zealand from 1991 to 2019. Produced over this period, the artwork draws from a collection of travel ephemera—airplane tickets, bus passes and museum entries—to create intimate works on paper, using collage, stitching, pin-pricks and mark-making. Recounting her experiences of travelling between the two countries, Stevenson considers the tensions of a trans-national relationship split between two places—between home and overseas, foreigner and resident, tourist and citizen. Such travel reverie seems particularly nostalgic now, its future uncertain.

Stevenson chose to work with designer Katie Kerr on the project—who, having spent many years abroad herself, understood the hyphenated life of a perpetual foreigner. A strong collaboration was formed, with both the artist and designer eager to consider the book as an artwork in itself.

Kerr drew directly from the drawings to inform the design of the publication. On the vibrant cover (printed on Curious Matter Désirée Red), she selected elements from the collection to create a new collage which envelopes the content and responds directly to the work. The perforated line, suggesting the tearing of a boarding pass or ticket, and the red thread of the binding echo Stevenson’s stitching methods found throughout the collection. On the front cover, Stevenson hand-stitched a folded paper flap to reveal the title, repeating an action from one of her early artworks. This action was then repeated for all seventy-five copies of the publication, the artist’s hand present in each book.

Inside the publication, the narrative unfolds through layered sections. There are three different types of content, each with their own size, print method and paper stock. The text section was risograph-printed on craft paper to replicate the pre-digital era of printing. Selected travel ephemera appears as hazy memories on tracing paper. In the third section, the artworks are printed on A4 cream paper (Mohawk Superfine Eggshell) to imitate the artwork’s original format as closely as possible. Credit must be given to Sanji Karu at SKAR Image Lab for photographing the artworks. The sections work together to tell a story of travel, memory and an enduring relationship with a country other than your own.