Artists’ Books News, April 2017
Stephen Clarke: End of the Season
Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse, Northwich, until 9th July 2017.
Since the early 1980s the artist Stephen Clarke has photographed the seaside town of Rhyl in an attempt to reclaim imagery from his childhood holidays.
Pictures of the fairground, seafront, and caravan park chronicle the resort’s inevitable ebb and flow of development and decline. Drawing on his collection of print ephemera, Stephen’s books, photographs and photomontages reflect upon the idealised scenes in postcards and family snapshots and contrast these with the prosaic reality.
Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse, 162 London Road, Northwich, Cheshire CH9 8AB. http://weaverhall.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk
Tracey Bush – Natural Histories: 201 Bishopsgate, London, until 29th May 2017.
The works showcased in Natural Histories are on loan from the Eagle Gallery / EMH Arts, London. They include the artist’s book Dusk.
The ground floor lobby at 201 Bishopsgate, Broadgate, London. For more details, please visit: http://www.broadgate.co.uk/naturalhistories
Tricking the Impossible – Word and type by Penny Rimbaud and Bracketpress
Special Collections Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University,, until 25th August 2017
This exhibition examines the collaborative relationship between the author Penny Rimbaud (former member of the English punk band and art collective Crass) and typesetter and publisher Christian Brett, who co-founded Bracketpress with Alice Smith.
The exhibition will draw extensively on archive material, from the last fifteen years, held in Special Collections. Bracketpress is an independent and radical publisher of books, pamphlets and limited edition prints, based in Rochdale.
Special Collections Gallery, 3rd floor, All Saints Library, All Saints, Manchester, M15 6BH. https://mmuspecialcollections.wordpress.com.
Artists’ Book Fairs and Events
AMBruno Artist Collective
Tate Britain Library and Archive Show and Tell, 5th May 2017
Tate Britain presents an overview of the work of the artists’ coalition AMBruno, 12.30 -1.30 and 1.30 – 2.30pm. The artists, each with their own diverse practice, are brought together by a common interest in the medium of the book. Participants in the group’s projects produce new work on a given theme; as distinctive as the books are in structure, print technique and visual content, a formal and conceptual thread connects each of them.
On this occasion, complete sets of the book works are on display in the reading room accompanied by a selection of other artists’ publications. Some members of the affiliation talk about their own books, within the context of the group’s activities and in relation to some of the other works on display.
Curated by AMBruno, supported by Katie Blackford (Liaison Librarian). Library & Archive Reading Rooms, Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG, UK. FREE with ticket – booking required: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/talk/library-and-archive-show-and-tell-programme/ambruno
Artists’ Book Market at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead,
Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th May 2017
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, plays host to an annual & national two-day Artists’ Book Market. Over 40 national and regional artists, bookmakers, small press publishers, artist’s groups, zine artists and bookbinders will be exhibiting and selling their work direct to the public. This two-day event is FREE and accompanied by a series of artists’ interventions. http://www.balticmill.com
DIY Cultures – Sunday 14th May, Rich Mix, London
DIY Cultures is an annual day festival exploring intersections of art and activism, running since 2013. The programme consists of a zine fair, exhibitions, workshops, contemporary craft, panel discussions, comic illustration, video art and digital animation exploring DIY practice. The event has established itself as a leading national forum for artist-run initiatives and alternative publishing. DIY Cultures 2017, Sunday 14th May, Rich Mix, London. http://diycultures.tumblr.com
Making Books In Bristol, May – June 2017
Free lunchtime public talks exploring the art of making books in Bristol.
Come along in your lunch hour to hear independent Bristol-based publishers, book artists, and letterpress printers discuss their experiences of book making, and join in the conversation about what books mean to you. Free entry and no booking required.
Wednesday 17th May – Richard Jones from Tangent Books at Bristol Central Library, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TL, 1-2pm
Wednesday 24th May – Greet Pauwelijn from Book Island at Bristol Central Library, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TL, 1-2pm
Friday 16th June – Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow for Artists’ Books, Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE at The Bristol Folk House, 40a Park Street, Bristol BS1 5JG, 1-2pm
Friday 23rd June – Nick and Ellen from The Letterpress Collective at The Bristol Folk House, 40a Park Street, Bristol BS1 5JG, 1-2pm
This is a project run by Books at Bristol, a group of researchers at the University of Bristol who study books and book culture from different historical and linguistic perspectives. For further details visit: www.booksatbristol.wordpress.com
turn the page artists’ book fair 2017
Friday 26th and Saturday 27th May at The Forum, Norwich
turn the page artist’s book fair returns to the Forum, Norwich in spectacular form for its sixth year. The fair provides a unique exhibiting and selling platform for contemporary book arts. An eclectic mix of fine press limited editions, sculptural and altered books, zines, book installations and multiples.
Alongside more than 60 artists and printmakers, turn the page (ttp) organisers have revealed that as well as talks and exhibits on the theme of ‘Home’, artist Anna Yevtukh, now based in the UK, will be creating the centrepiece for the fair. Yevtukh plans to make a leather bound ‘Street of Books’ which will represent the artist’s interpretation of the quote ‘There’s no place like home’. In making the unique book sculpture, Yevtukh will explore ideas of belonging, habitation and environment.
The event has also attracted Barbara Beisinghoff, whose work has been exhibited in China, Peru, Israel, Egypt, Korea, Italy and the USA. Beisinghoff will be showing a selection of her etchings, artists’ books and handmade paper. Jules Allen will be showing her latest project through ‘Art for the Senses’, a collaborative bookwork with music penned by herself and singer/songwriter Marina Florance.
This year’s programme will include poetry and music: Francis Bingham will read from her latest novel The Principle of Camouflage, an exploration of place, exile and home. It has been described as ‘A true work of the imagination transporting Prospero’s island, and us, to wartime Britain on a shining wave of sea images’. The Society of Bookbinders and volunteers from John Jarrold Print Museum will also be demonstrating their specialisms over the two days.
There will also be the ever-growing Norfolk Longbook on show: ttp’s very own community-based project for people who live in or are inspired by the beautiful county of Norfolk. ttp 2016 Graduate Prize winner Tim Burrough and runner-up Jude Lau will be displaying some of their latest work, alongside student groups including Camberwell College of Arts, Cambridge School of Art and Lowestoft College. Open from 9.30am to 5.30pm both days. http://www.turnthepage.org.uk
Listings call for the Artist’s Book Yearbook 2018-2019
Deadline 30th May 2017
The Artist’s Book Yearbook (ABYB) is a biennial reference publication focusing on international activity in the field of book arts. It serves as a resource for artists, academics, students, collectors, librarians, dealers, publishers and researchers, in fact anyone interested in artists’ books!
The next issue for 2018-2019 will be published in Autumn 2017. You can list your library, collection or organisation etc. free of charge until 30th May 2017 by downloading and returning the listings form.
The biennial publication includes essays and information on many aspects of the book arts, artists’ listings, information on book arts galleries, archives and collections, book arts courses, events, journals, bibliographies and reference publications, studios and websites, with book arts contributors from around the world. Deadline 30th May 2017
Upcoming – save the dates
Shipley Wayzgoose, Shipley, Saturday 3rd June 2017
The inaugural gathering of Printers, Bookbinders and Type Founders in the Aire Valley region and beyond. A ‘Wayzgoose’ was at one time an entertainment given by a master printer to his workmen each year on or about St Bartholomew’s Day (24th August). It marked the traditional end of summer and the start of the season of working by candlelight. Later, the word came to refer to an annual outing and dinner for the staff of a printing works or the printers on a newspaper.
Fine Press Books / Artists’ Books / Private Press Books / Letterpress / Ephemera / Posters / New & Used letterpress type / Books / Secondhand Equipment / Bookbinding / Paper Marbling. Cafe Open / Bar.
From 11am-5pm at The Kirkgate Centre, Shipley, BD18 3EH. Music in the evening from 7pm. www.kirkgatecentre.org.uk
ELCAF 2017 (East London Comic & Arts Festival), Friday 16th to Sunday 18th June 2017, 12-7pm. Exhibitors include Micro Library Books, an independent publishing platform specialising in the design and production of miniature, limited edition books and packaging. “Established in January 2012 we launched the first of our book works ‘Engineerium Micro Library Box Set’ at Publish and Be Damned Book Fair, ICA, London. All books are handmade by artist and designer Lee Shearman.” www.microlibrarybooks.com
ELCAF was founded by Nobrow in 2012. It began as a small one-day festival designed to showcase some of the most exciting works in comics and illustration. From its conception in 2012, ELCAF has grown to become one of the leading festivals of its kind in the UK. Attracting over 3,000 visitors annually, ELCAF continues to spotlight emerging talent and celebrate the dynamic community of individual artists and collectives that are pushing the boundaries in their creative fields. http://www.elcaf.co.uk
The 4th Liverpool Artist’s Book Fair will be held on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July 2017.
The Fair will take place in Liverpool’s spectacular refurbished Central Library, and will be free to the public. The Central Library is in the heart of the city centre, between the main city art gallery and museum, and just a few hundred metres from the main train station. See http://liverpoolbookart.com and LiverpoolBookArt on Facebook.
New Artists’ Books
BOOKISHNESS – World Book Night project 2017
For 2017, the WNB United Artists video and artist’s book tribute is to all the weird and wonderful, scientific and practical, believing and sceptical endeavours recorded in publications on the Loch Ness Monster – hence the apt title of BOOK ISH NESS devised by Linda Parr.
On 10th March 2017, a research party of 13 members met at Fort Augustus, Scotland. The Loch Ness Investigation Bureau (officially formed in 1961 closed in 1972) was rebooted in early 2017 after a myriad of monster sightings in lakes, rivers and seas from Denmark and Sweden, to Germany and even in Minnesota, USA.
The LNIBR research team had five days in which to conduct their investigation of Loch Ness, keeping watch by day and night. The investigation report is supplemented by the many sightings recorded and printed in the publication. Alongside this photographic evidence, we have published for the first time, a bibliography of new editions on the subject of the Loch Ness Monster sent in by authors and the general public.
The ‘BOOKISHNESS’ publication launched at Bristol Artist’s Book Event (BABE) 1st and 2nd April 2017 at Arnolfini, Bristol, and the video launched on World Book Night (23/04/17). A copy of the publication was sent to each contributor; the remaining 40 copies are available to purchase at £5 each, including worldwide postage. To purchase a copy please contact Sarah Bodman at: Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk
Read more about the project and watch the video at: http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/events/bookishnesswbn2017.html
A new Sci-Fi artist’s book by Otto: Fold a space ship
The first inspiration for this book came from noticing tulip leaves and the way they fold in on themselves. From that I experimented with unusual folding patterns with a sheet of paper. The result is what I call the ‘Cross-cut fold’. It is a way to fold and cut a sheet diagonally, so that it fits into a small rectangular format but breaks out when unfolded. It makes for some interesting shapes that help with narrative and design, and I have applied to get it registered.
The narrative is made to go with that structure, which is about folding the Space-time continuum in a corresponding space ship, in order to get away from current world problems. It is of course fully illustrated over 5 pages with accompanying text by myself, screenprinted and bound by me. I designed a retail display unit, which hopefully will help with those point of sale issues.
A signed and numbered test edition of 30 is available for £20. In April I will follow this up with an open edition. Folded 9.5 x 12 cm, screenprinted on 100gsm (inside) and 300gsm card (cover). 2 colours outside, 3 colours inside.
The Polar Tombola: A Book Of Banished Words
A Book of Banished Words brings together words gathered during two-year live literature project The Polar Tombola, which toured the UK to raise awareness of Arctic languages added to UNESCO’s Atlas of World Languages in Danger. Participants were asked “If you could lose one word from your language, what would it be?”
The book contains 100 full-colour reproductions of words donated by writers, artists, curators and the general public, accompanied by seven texts examining the theme commissioned from writers Vahni Capildeo, Will Eaves, Pippa Hennessy, Nasim Marie Jafry, Lisa Matthews, Phil Owen and Richard Price.
A work of concrete poetry, loss lit, or artist’s book? You decide…
Foreword Sarah Bodman. Introduction Nancy Campbell. Texts by Vahni Capildeo, Will Eaves, Pippa Hennessy, Nasim Marie Jafry, Lisa Matthews, Phil Owen and Richard Price.
Typeset by Bracketpress and printed in the UK by Tompkin Press. 128 pages, illustrated in full colour on 125gsm Munken Polar, with grey Colorplan covers. ISBN 978-0-9928091-2-6. Price (including P&P) UK: £14.99; Europe £17.50; Rest of World; £20.00; or £4.00 (pdf). Order online at: http://nancycampbell.co.uk/work/artists-books/the-polar-tombola-a-book-of-banished-words/
Sewing Secrets from The Caseroom Press
Sewing Secrets presents a collection of memories associated with the craft of stitch within the format of a limited edition artist’s book.
Sewing is part of our heritage, and as girls growing up in the 20th century we were introduced to this craft during the early years of school life, where a pencil case or dressing table set enabled us to practice our cross-stitch. Later, in Needlecraft we would be instructed in the correct operation of a sewing machine and progress to the production of an actual garment. Being encouraged to develop these skills by our teachers or mothers was always well intended, although not necessarily enjoyed, and would apparently equip us for our domestic futures!
This publication offers memories of sewing traditions, guilty pleasures and the odd act of rebellion, all of which highlight our relationship with needle and thread. The book is formed of 12 pattern envelopes that are zigzag-stitched together, within each ‘envelope’ is an individually typed story illustrated using collage and letterpress. Limited edition of 12. £30 each from Philippa Wood and Tamar MacLellan: firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.the-case.co.uk
The Blue Notebook: Journal for artists’ books
Volume 11, No.2 Spring – Summer 2017
In ‘Damp-in-Ditchwater: A satirical staged narrative revealed through an artist’s book’, Dr Jackie Batey explores the balance of text and image in a multi-layered exploration of the absurdity of everyday life, and posits an alternative to the crude polemic in making criticisms of the role that industry plays in the life of the community. Omiros Panayides introduces us to contemporary artists’ publishing practice in Cyprus, through curating contributions from four local independent artists/publishers working with independently printed and published forms of speech and image.
In ‘Unconventional narratives’, Otto presents his personal alternatives to conventional narratives, as explored in his practice as book artist and illustrator, from his first book ‘Helping you back to work’ to recent experiments with format and content. Nancy Campbell interviews book artist Ken Campbell, discussing his new publication, ‘You all know the words’, and the signal works created during 40 years of artistic activity. Campbell recalls his wartime childhood in the East End of London and its influence on his way of seeing, and describes how his early books emerged in the punk culture of the 1970s as a synthesis of his interests in graphic design, fine art and poetry. Noëlle Griffiths reflects on her part in the RE-TAKE/RE-INVENT project featuring fifteen artists responding to the art collection at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. Noëlle Griffiths selected a painting by John Hoyland to examine her own creative process making a series of paintings and related artists’ books.
Artists’ pages by: Marian Crawford, Daniel Lehan, Ton Martens, Philippa Wood. Cover design: Tom Sowden
Volume 11 No.2 (Spring – Summer) published April 2017. The price includes both issues as hard copy (b&w) and colour PDFs, at £10 GBP including UK or international postage. http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/publications/blue-notebook.html
Sarah Bodman, Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE, Bristol