Sketchbook no. 1 (c.1968-71)

Large ‘Spirax’ brand notebook, labelled ‘Me Book in 1970’ (c.1968-71)

20 ruled pages, c.33 x 20.3 cm (foolscap size)

State Library of Victoria: Howard Arkley collection, MS 14217, series 2, no.1 [F BOX 4255]

The earliest of the sketchbooks preserved in the Arkley archive, many of them dating from the early-mid 1970s. This book contains pen and pencil drawings and some notes (and hence perhaps could also be seen as the artist’s earliest ‘visual diary’: see now separate listing), and hence provides valuable indications of Arkley’s developing ideas during his late teens.

Notable in particular are:

  • stories (one re ‘Logland’, a fantasy realm of Arkley’s own invention) and poems etc., dated 1968-70
  • a page re mysticism, signed ‘Howard Arkley (humble) admiration of Paul Klee’
  • a page with creatures used as symbols in the text (reproduced here)
  • pages near the end with notes on Surrealism etc. (quoted in Carnival 162)
  • on the last page, a drawing of a cylinder/figure, signed and dated 1970