Noel Sheridan – artist’s book – Everybody Should Get Stones (1978)
(Ireland 1936 – Australia 2006)

Everybody Should Get Stones (1978)


Everyone Should Get Stones is a tour through many philosophical approaches to reality. Sheridan sets up procedures for selecting beach stones with the advice, ‘Any stony beach will do.’ In Part 1 stones are numbered from 1. A to 26. Z with the notation that a stone may be selected because it is (18. R the softest or 19. S the coldest); from 27. AA to 52. ZZ, because it is most like (47. UU a bicycle or 52. ZZ a baby) and from 53. AAA to 78. ZZZ, because it is most apt (58. FFF as a rosary bead or 77.YYY as a musical instrument). From these selections we are now able to select a stone because it is (79. A + B to 1782. EEE+GGG+GG+S) etc.
Part 2 is more personal. It take place Sydney and, probably due to lack of stony beaches, Sheridan carries out the procedure solely in his head. The first two sets of instructions are unnumbered; they recommend selecting a stone because it is (odd or ludricous) or because it is most like (your self or your worst habit). The third set is numbered 1. to 26. select a stone because it is most apt 1. for giving “a stone’s throw away” directions or 16. for “leaving unturned”.
‘Part III is neither here nor there. Select a stone that answers to that description and you will be ready for Part III.’ In Part 3 we are invited to select a stone because it is most like a work by an artist, ‘an Arp of a Judd’. The selector may add an ascription…early, late etc. We now wander through quotes by philosophers, writers and artists and are asked to select a stone because it is most apt to Deutcher’s statement, for drawing attention to “if” in the statement; “if p then q” or Cezanne’s statement to evoke “the small sensation”. Edition unknown. Unsigned.
Experimental Arts Foundation.

Britton, S (ed.) 1984, A Decade at the E.A.F. – A History of the Experimental Art Foundation 1974-1984, Experimental Art Foundation. p. 78.
Buckley, J, Rogers, M, Rubbo, K & Sheridan, N (eds) 1978, Artists’ Books/Bookworks, Institute of Modern Art, Ewing and George Paton Galleries, Experimental Art Foundation. p. 111.
Campbell, K & Moline, K comp. 1987, IN PRINT. Vol.1. Artists’ Books, The Power Gallery of Contemporary Art, The University of Sydney. no. 18.
Grahame, N (ed.) 2015, Une historie du livre d’artists australien, numero uno publications, grahame galleries + editions. p. 51 (illustrated p. 50)
Tonkin, S 2015, ‘A defining decade: Australian artists’ books in the 1970s’, in D Cowley, R Heather & A Welch (eds), Creating and Collecting: Artists’ Books in Australia, La Trobe Journal No. 95, State Library of Victoria. p. 49.

Collection: Centre for the Artist Book, grahame galleries + editions