Compiled by Sarah Bodman, Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE, Bristol
Liverpool Central Library. Until 31st July 2016
Liverpool Book Art is curating the world’s only Contemporary Book Art exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare. The exhibition will showcase the work of 40 international artists at Liverpool’s Central Library. The majority of pieces have been made especially for this show, including two site-specific works.
The exhibition will open to the public on Saturday 5th June 2016, and will run throughout June and July. The main venue for the exhibition will be the Library’s Hornby Room, which houses some of the Library’s rare books. This is a brilliant space for showcasing book art.
The show will be complemented by the third Liverpool Artists’ Book Fair taking place on Friday 8th & Saturday 9th July. This is also the opening weekend of the Liverpool Biennial, when thousands of cultural visitors descend on the city. There will be demonstrations, workshops and performances during the course of the exhibition and the fair.
The book in contemporary art
Never Judge a Book…
Richard Booth’s Bookshop, Hay on Wye. Until 17th July 2016
Meadow Arts is curating an exhibition by leading artists on the book in art at Richard Booth’s iconic secondhand bookshop, during this year’s Hay Festival. Many influential artists have made work that uses the book as an object, questioning its function and form, often rendering it unreadable; what is a book that can’t be read?
The works in this exhibition range from the poignant to the celebratory. Harland Miller’s playful re-mastering of the classic Penguin cover offers a Pop Art, sardonic and sometimes nostalgic take on literary themes, as does Michael Craig-Martin’s deceptively simple ‘Untitled (book)’, which succinctly embodies the universal understanding of book-ness. Four vitrines by Anselm Kiefer reference the history of ideas, recalling Archimedes’ discoveries with geometry. Jonathan Callan bends, cuts and wraps books so they become sculptural forms; here he creates an enthralling site specific reimagining of his large installation, Idiot Compression. Rachel Whiteread is a master in the art of showing the reverse, the ghost of objects large and small. Here a row of black books glow mysteriously, like shadows on a black shelf.
Curator Anne de Charmant says ‘For me it is a great testament to the continued power of the printed, versus the digital, word, that so many artists still see the book as an incredibly potent symbol, not just to be revered, but questioned and endlessly explored. This exhibition is an eye-opener from that point of view.’
Richard Booth’s Bookshop, Lion Street, Hay on Wye, HR3 5AA, UK.
For events details visit: http://www.meadowarts.org
The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury. Until Sunday 14th August 2016
This exhibition focuses on the book art of Martha Hall, on loan from the University of New England, and linked to a University of Kent symposium. Prescriptions presents artists’ books by Maine artist Martha Hall for the first time in the UK. Hall’s books, created from 1998 until her death in 2003, document her experiences with breast cancer and her interactions with the medical community. They use many constructions and designs that challenge the conventional book form and demand a physical reading.
The exhibition includes a supporting show of artists’ books by national and international artists responding to themes of art and wellbeing, curated by Dr Stella Bolaki and Egidija Čiricaitė. Supported by the Wellcome Trust.
The Drawing Room, Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, 18 High Street, Canterbury, CT1 2RA. http://www.canterbury.co.uk/beaney/
Admission free. View the catalogue online at: https://issuu.com/prescriptions/docs/prescriptions_catalogue_sm
Bridging the Water
Bridging the Water – A summer show of selected PSBA member works from The Sixth Annual Member exhibition of Puget Sound Book Artists, USA visits UWE, Bristol. Monday 4th July – Wednesday 31st August 2016
The Sixth PSBA exhibition encompasses huge variations: from traditional codex-bound books, to those that can only be described as narrative sculptures. Within the artistic genre many subsets exist: collage and assemblage; folded origami pop-ups; hand-drawn, digital, letterpress and silk-screen printing; boxed and unboxed; multiples and one-of-a-kinds … and many more. An equally wide range of materials can be seen: machine and hand-made paper, of course, but also textile, ceramic, acrylic, wood, glass, found objects, salt, cultured biologic medium – even smashed electronics and broken crockery. Inspirations are as varied as the number of pieces – the book as culture, beauty, personal experience, social justice, the environment, and just plain fun.
Award of Excellence juror Ellen Ziegler says, “The 2016 PSBA Show displays excellence in so many areas – originality, concept, execution, typography, use of a wide variety of traditional and invented forms – and without exception, deeply felt ideas, creativity, and hard work. Congratulations, all!”
According to PSBA president Mark Hoppmann, “What makes the PSBA unique is that it is a member-driven organisation committed to education. We view the exhibition as an opportunity for our members to learn the ropes of the curatorial process, so to speak, from inception to opening night. And, all members are invited to exhibit, which sets the PSBA apart from other organisations. What is so great is that we have nationally recognised artists alongside artists just beginning their career. This type of mentoring has helped foster artistic growth and creativity.
Artists whose work is included: Mary Ashton, Victoria Bjorklund, Susan Brown, MalPina Chan, Pat Chupa, Debbi Commodore, Gabrielle Cooksey, Taylor Cox, Kathy Dickerson, Jan Dove, Becky Frehse, An Gates, Pam Gazale, Mari Eckstein Gower, Deborah Greenwood, Lucia Harrison, Mark Hoppmann, Kim Izenman, Bonnie Julien, Lynne Knopp, Bonnie Larson, Cora Li-Leger Judy Lynn, Dorothy McCuistion, Catherine-Alice Michaelis, Peter Newland, Bonnie Thompson Norman, Chandler O’Leary, Lynne Olson, Lily Richmond, Laura Russell, Lynn Skordal, Peggy Smith-Venturi, Jessica Spring, Laurie Strong, Jan Ward, Carletta Carrington Wilson, and Suze Woolf.
Jane Carlin, director of Collins Memorial Library and vice president of the organisation, echoes Mark’s comments, “Many PSBA artists have formed artistic partnerships as a result of our organisation, have had their work published and reviewed, and have been invited to exhibit in juried shows. We are proud of the organisation’s commitment to education and strengthening the book arts community.” The Bridging the Water exhibition at Bower Ashton Library, is organised and hosted by the Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England, in Bristol, England. As Carlin reflects, this connection is a result of the increasing recognition of the work produced by PSBA artists. It is great to think of how artists from our community will be discovered in a gallery almost 5,000 miles away! More information here.
Artists’ Book Fairs and Events
40 artists, 16 stampers, one day = Serena Joy*
World Book Night 2016
Perfectly summed up by artist Jeremy Dixon* who also took the lovely photo here. World Book Night was 23rd April 2016 with a WBN United Artists event taking place in Halifax UK. Forty artists read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and then designed rubber stamp artwork to print on the night. These were sent in from, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Sweden and all over the UK. We printed all day at the White Swan Hotel in Halifax, and made a short video with John Bently, inspired by the book in the evening. You can read more about our World Book Night adventures and see all the artworks produced here.
‘Turn the page artist’s book fair’ will be held at The Forum, Norwich, Friday 24th and Saturday 25th June 2016. 10am – 6pm each day. Free Entry
Books… but not as you know them. ‘turn the page artist’s book fair’ is a UK and International exhibiting and selling platform for artists who are creating work that is inspired by the structural and conceptual properties of the book form.
Held over 2 days ttp has established its place among the top UK Book Art events. Sculptural books, Altered Books, Limited Editions, Zines & Installations. http://turnthepage.org.uk
Australian Artists’ Books and Printmaking lecture
The Multiple group at the Centre for Fine Print Research is delighted to announce that Dr Tim Mosely of Queensland College of Art will give a free public lecture on artists’ books and printmaking to launch an exhibition of Australian artists’ books and prints from the Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research, at UWE Bristol’s (Bower Ashton) City Campus on Thursday 30th June 2016 at 3pm. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception at 4pm. All welcome. RSVP to Sarah Bodman to reserve your place, please find more details in this PDF.
Holding / Held By the Book. Sheppard Room, University of Leeds, 1st July 2016. Keynote speaker: Sheena Calvert (University of the Arts). This one-day symposium considers what it means to hold a book as well as the continuing hold the book has upon its readers. Books come in many shapes and sizes, yet reading, as a process, often makes the book itself disappear. ‘Holding / Held By the Book’ recognises the material dimensions of book culture, but places these in dialogue with the idea of the book more broadly. The book has been many things over its long life and, with the emergence of the e-book, is changing once again. This symposium explores how the form of the book structures its status as privileged cultural object: what happens to the status of the book, it asks, at a time when the book is taking on new forms?
Registration is £10 and includes lunch. Register via link here.
Frome Small Publishers Fair
Saturday 2nd July 2016
The inaugural Frome Small Publishers Fair takes place on the first Saturday of Frome Festival 2016. Frome has a long-standing connection with printers and publishers and a wealth of writers currently live in the area. Come along and see artists’ books on the Impact Press stand by local and international artists, including Stephen Fowler, Rachel March of Semple Press and Tim Mosely who will all be joining us on the day. Angie Butler and Hazel Grainger also have a stand so look out for AB Press and HG Makes, plus Uniformbooks and Object Books… Free entry. 10am – 4pm. Venue info here.
Guy Begbie in Australia: Multidisciplinary book artist Guy Begbie has been artist-in-residence at the Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research (GCCAR) at Queensland College of Art, Brisbane, Australia recently. Guy travelled to Australia to present the State Library of Queensland’s Siganto Foundation artists’ books lecture in May; you can watch an online video his talk here.
From Angie Butler: Paper Talk is an ongoing series of interviews by Helen Hiebert featuring artists and professionals who are working in the field of hand papermaking. http://helenhiebertstudio.com/products/series/paper-talk/
From Remo Weiss of Trademark Publishing in Frankfurt, news of an artists’ publishing platform created by Hubert Kretschmer in Munich, so-VIELE.de: An artist’s book – to independent artists’ magazine – an artists’ magazine with an open concept. The production of the books lies solely in the hands of the artist, that is, each artist created their own book and funded the printing. Distribution of books is done by the publisher and the artists involved, in cities, locally at the publishers and travelling (see the irregular distribution section at: http://www.so-viele.de/hefte.html).
Each book gets its own ISBN number and is listed in bookstores. All books are available directly from the publisher or through booksellers. Visit the website for more information: www.so-viele.de. To download a free PDF version of any of the publications visit: http://www.so-viele.de/hefte.html
From RRB Photobooks: a new online shop. We are specialists in old and new, carefully selected photobooks. Following ventures in antiquarian books and publishing, German-born Bristolian Rudi Thoemmes established RRB Photobooks to share his passion for interesting, rare and out of print photobooks. He also established Photobook Bristol in 2013, holding festivals and other events dedicated to the celebration of photobooks. In 2015 RRB Publishing was established to publish new work and distribute selected titles. http://www.rrbphotobooks.com/collections/all
New Artists’ Publications
All This Rotting by Alan Trotter
A brilliant experimental text by Alan Trotter. An unstable story about an unstable mind, it is a story about deaths: one sudden and violent, one slow and incremental. It’s a story about loss – of a daughter, a sister, a child’s feet, of a man’s mind. Approach All This Rotting carefully, because like the story, it is very fragile.
Published by Editions At Play with Visual Editions, April 2016. Alan Trotter is a writer who also works in publishing. His short fiction has been published by McSweeney’s and the Electronic Literature Organisation and he recently completed a novel (called Muscle). He wrote All This Rotting while living in Brixton and now lives in Scotland. Available from:
Artist’s Book Yearbook and Blue Notebook bargain bundles. Help us clear our bookshelves by filling yours!
Next summer we will be moving to a new room. Help us clear our shelves by filling yours up! We have made two bundles available: Two randomly selected back issues of the Artist’s Book Yearbook for a bargain £10 and five randomly selected back issues of The Blue Notebook journal for artists’ books for a bargain £10! Both available on the online store.
Death of a Foster Son by Nancy Campbell
Bird Editions, Oxford, 2016
The hunting habits of bears have more in common with those of humans than any other animal: both hunt seals using similar techniques, both – sometimes – hunt each other. Some of the hunters on Upernavik push the correspondence further, and still wear the bearskin trousers that have always been their best protection against the cold. There is a belief that once a bear enters its den in the winter, it removes its fur and acquires a human appearance…
Death of a Foster Son explores the uncanny point at which the lives of bears and humans meet. The text merges two Arctic stories: a contemporary encounter with a polar bear in Upernavik, Greenland, and a traditional Inuit folk tale ‘The old woman who had a bear for a foster son’. The illustrations are based on traditional catch-share diagrams recorded by Inuit hunters for Knud Rasmussen’s Literary Expedition of 1903–4.
Text and cyanotype prints created during a residency at Ilulissat Museum, Greenland. Litho printed by Tompkin Press, Nottingham. Hand-sewn binding.
Design by Roni Gross. £15. Available at: http://nancycampbell.co.uk/work/artists-books/death-of-a-foster-son/
Flowers In Hotel Rooms Volume V by Sarah Bodman
Volume V in a series of books inspired by Richard Brautigan’s novel, The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966. Each book contains 10 images/performances/tributes for 10 books read whilst travelling. Tributes in Volume V include: thinking of Chichikov’s purchases in Gogol’s Dead Souls. In Melbourne, the Jerilderie Letter alongside Peter Carey’s manuscripts for The True History of the Kelly Gang. In The Netherlands, plastic palm trees for John Fante’s Ask The Dust, in Scotland an empty fridge for David Sedaris’s Barrel Fever, and after interviewing the Russian artist Dmitry Sayenko eating ‘mashed peas’ in Manchester for Daniil Kharms.
Edition of 25, May 2016. Concertina format. Archival inkjet print from original photographs on Woodstock Superfine paper, bound with six-sheet card and old wallpaper covers, screenprinted text on inside covers. 10pp. 14 x 10 x 1.2 cm (extends to 88 cm when opened). £25. Please contact: Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk
GIFT: I Made This For You by Sarah Bodman
A book inspired by the ‘Angel of Bremen’, produced to resemble the type of pamphlet publication / recipe book given away with newly purchased gas cookers in the 1940s-50s. It contains 14 ‘recipes’ for 14 people. Each of the dishes was cooked and photographed by the artist. Printed in an edition of 500, June 2016. Offset lithography, 214 x148 x 5 mm. Lunched at Miss Read, Berlin, June 2016. GIFT in the English language means a present, it is also the German word for poison. £5. Please contact: Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk
Tendências do livrode artista no Brasil: 30 anos depois
Amir Brito Cadôr and Paulo Silveira recently co-curated an exhibition “Tendências do livrode artista no Brasil: 30 anos depois” (Artist’s book trends in Brazil: 30 years later), at the Centro Cultural São Paulo, Brazil (28/11/2015 – 20/03/2016).
The project was in honour of the exhibition “Tendências do livrode artista no Brasil” that took place at the same location in 1985. The new iteration included a guided tour and a round table with Amir Brito Cadôr and Paulo Silveira, along with the curators of the original exhibition, Annateresa Fabris and Cacilda Teixeira da Can exhibition guide of the books included in the show at: https://issuu.com/colecaolivrodeartista/docs/folder5
A small editioned catalogue is now available, documenting the project. If you would like to purchase a copy of the publication, please contact Paulo Silveira: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Death of the Poet by Elisabeth Tonnard
This literary artist’s book excerpts texts from the biographies of nineteen different poets to fabricate one single, time and space crossing, remarkable story. B&W digital printing, paperback, size 13 x 19 cm, 48 pages. Edition of 125 copies, not numbered. Priced at €24, plus shipping. Order at https://elisabethtonnard.com/works/the-death-of-the-poet/
Uniformagazine No.6 Spring–Summer 2016
The new issue of Uniformagazine is now available, including: Angus Carlyle A Downland Index; Les Coleman TCP; Colin Sackett Aggregate; Stuart Mugridge Hashkerville; John Bevis Artificial Rubbish Heap; Michael Gibbs Journey-Book; Erica Van Horn Some Ironmongery; John Kannenberg Why Listen to Museums?; Stephen Duncalf A Little Chantr’y for Spring; Les Coleman TCP; Jeremy Cooper Book Things; Tom Wilkinson Google Landscapes
ISSN 2056-6301. 32pp, 215 x 145 mm. £4.00. Order for national or international delivery at: http://www.colinsackett.co.uk/uniformagazine.php
Uniformagazine, No. 6 Spring-Summer 2016.