Month: November 2019

Thank You!

Thank You!

I am delighted to share with you a sneaky peak at the wonderful selection of Artist’s Books that have been gifted to us since the fair in October. As we were funded by the arts council for the event and so were able to offer…

Exhibition up at Kollider

Exhibition up at Kollider

We were asked by Kollider to install an exhibition of some of the books from our collection. They were a little bit blown away by the sheer volumn and quality of what was on show during the fair (as were we all!). So last week…

Sarah Grace Dye

Sarah Grace Dye

How did you become involved with artist’s books?

Years ago when I was teaching at the Arts University Bournemouth we taught a unit about artist’s books. During the unit the students learnt how to make paper and had sessions to introduce them to a number of book binding techniques. I think I learnt as much as they did and I was hooked. I stayed behind after their sessions and made lots of paper trapping bits of my drawings in the layers of paper and my first book just kind of happened.

In recent years, Artist’s Books have become integral to my practice because they are portable and can be made anywhere with anything. I travel a lot so need a portable practice but more importantly having moved and down-sized twice in the past year I am aware that whatever I make needs storing in small spaces.

What is the focus of your practice?

I think this is very much still evolving! I am someone who loves a process and playing and it is only later on that I understand why I’ve made what I have. I enjoy materials, especially paper, so I am always collecting particularly papers that others have discarded.  

I collect stories real or imagined, I love finding objects and imagining where they came from and who owned them before me. But, also making a book is about trapping a moment in time, memories and thoughts and keeping them safe and away from harm. Drawing, cyanotype and collage work really well in this process.

Over the last few years, I have lost each of my immediate family members to cancer and with that inherited so many objects that have stories and memories attached. I am now the sole keeper of many memories which sometimes weighs heavily giving a great sense of responsibility. I think this has fed into my practice and challenged me to reimagine ways of collecting and recording memories, people and ‘stuff’.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have a series of matchbooks to finish from a trip around South India earlier this year. I collected all sorts of ephemera as I travelled around and a diverse range of matchboxes. I have made thirteen matchbooks so far and have about three left to do. I am also in the middle of a project that is a compilation of holiday scrapbooks from my childhood summers in North Wales, reimagined into a deconstructed old Welsh story book that I picked up in a charity shop in Porthmadog on a recent trip. Finally, I am just beginning to put together work for a publication of recipes, drawings and stories from my travels that will focus on gluten free food.

Instagram @sarah_grace_dye  &  @thenomadicnortherner

www.sarahgracedye.com

www.thenomadicnortherner.com

David Barton

David Barton

How did you become involved in artist’s books? From 1964 until his death in December 1966 I was a student of the late Anton Ehrenzweig and began a series of what he called “Tease & Worry” books. In these notebooks, drawings, paintings and written texts…

Holly Serjeant

Holly Serjeant

How did you become involved in artists’ books? I did my degree in Bookbinding and Calligraphy which gave me a good grounding in techniques employed to create a range of different bindings. I’ve exhibited my work at Manchester and Liverpool Artists Book Fairs where a…

Girasol Press

Girasol Press

How did you become involved in artist’s books?

Haphazardly, really. We – that’s Leire Barrera Medrano and Dan Eltringham – did a letterpress workshop in London with the marvellous Pixel Press, and caught the slow-speed bug there. We bought our letterpress, trays of type, rollers, black, green and yellow ink, paper and brightly coloured card, and started learning how to use them. Our background is in literature not visual art, so the curve has been steep and we’re still fairly amateur compared to letterpress experts. Hopefully that is part of the charm of our little pamphlets. We made our first two pamphlets in our London kitchen at the time – we couldn’t cook for a week with the pages drying across every available surface – and got our friends to help sew them, just in time for the launch in Madrid. That was in 2014, and we’ve averaged one book a year since then, fitted in around the edges of other things––it really is slow publishing! 

What is the focus of your practice?

We’re interested in hand-made poetics, community arts and experimental translation (thus far, between Spanish and English, as those are the languages we speak and translate between). Our work with Girasol Press sits between the world of poetry-pamphlet publishing, which is often fast & ephemeral, and the slow-paced ethos of the artist-book. The aesthetic is bright, bold colours, paired or contrasted for sunflower-like visual vibes. It’s not particularly subtle, and that’s how we like it. Our most recent pamphlet, SEAMS/COSTURAS, by Cristina Rivera Garza and Jessica Sequeira (whose texts are in turn translated reversions of a text in Juana Adcock’s Manca), has black card covers with text in silvery-white ink, and white inners. It’s pretty goth and we think it’s our most handsome book yet. The cover art and illustrations inside are abstract linocut responses to the text by the artist Ángela Lavilla Cañedo. This gives a sense of our collaborative ethos and the way we try to work between design and text. Our five pamphlets to date – involving Mexican, Spanish and Scottish authors and translators among others – are printed using an Adana 8×5 traditional hand-press, in limited runs, on fully recycled paper and card. We’ve also worked with linocut artists for our covers and within the books, and hope to collaborate more in this way in the future. 

In the last couple of years we’ve also started what we’re calling Girasol Local, in order for us to pursue other projects that don’t fit the ‘expanded translation’ remit of Girasol. We’re keen to use the platform as a meeting-place for community-arts publishing projects that stress tactile creativity, print technologies and book-design. Under this rubric over the last two years we’ve co-published two issues of Route 57, The University of Sheffield’s creative writing journal: Issue 14, Loco-Motion (with the National Railway Museum, York) and Issue 15, Environs: Modern Natures (with The Hepworth Wakefield). These anthologies of creative work by staff, students and alumni are wonderfully designed throughout by the book artist Abi Goodman and printed on risograph in collaboration with local risograph printers, La Biblioteka’s Choriso Press (Sheffield) and Footprint Workers’ Co-op (Leeds), respectively. Abi conceived each volume as a cohesive conceptual response to the theme and to the manuscript, and her attention to detail on every page of these books really plays the words’ meanings off against her visual intellect. The authors were delighted to have their words set in such a beautiful and original way. It is also slightly mad that we did the whole books using risograph printing, a medium usually reserved for posters and cards, or zines at a push. Ask Alex at La Biblioteka / Choriso Press about whether he ever wants to do 150 pages again! 

With both projects we’ve also made plenty of print ephemera – posters, bookmarks, cards, postcards – as a way of recycling off-cuttings, trying out colour and card combinations, and generally messing around. We’ll be selling these at the Artist Book Fair separately for around £1 and giving them away with any book purchase (except the posters, which are £6 each). Which is a bargain, by the way: they are gorgeously artist-designed settings of three of the strongest poems from Route 57 Issue 14, again interpreted by Abi Goodman and printed on riso in limited runs. Some are signed by Abi and by the poet. 

What are you working on at the moment?

Our next book is going to be a departure in several ways, as it won’t be fully letterpressed: we want to do something longer, and letterpress really limits you to 10 pages max. So we’ll letterpress the covers, inner titles and illustrations, but print the body text conventionally. We’re really excited about this one – I think we can say this – it’s going to be Sheffield-based poet Alex Marsh’s translations of Michelangelo’s sonnets, but with a catch: each sonnet is translated three times, getting progressively queerer in the process. Alex is interested in the ‘trans’ in translation, in Michelangelo’s androgynous sculpture, and of course in the queering of language itself. Stay tuned!

Jacqui Dodds

Jacqui Dodds

How did you become involved in artist’s books? After graduating with a Fine Art Degree, I was invited to take part in funded projects where I explored place and objects within them.  I found artist’s books an accessible way to show my printmaking work without it being…

A. Rosemary Watson

A. Rosemary Watson

How did you become involved in artist’s books? I became interested in artist’s books almost 20 years ago through a friend who created artist’s books. Over the years I visited, artists’ book fairs and attended workshops and gradually the media formed part of my practice…

Best Books by Bernard and Anwyl

Best Books by Bernard and Anwyl

How did you become involved in artist’s books?

Both of us got involved through an art tutor who introduced us to the vast breadth of creative possibilities and options within the field of book arts when we were studying for Fine Art MAs. 

What is the focus of your practice?

We work separately but have similarities in our points of view. Discussions always bring up interesting ideas. The focus of the practice is to turn both everyday and complex ideas into novel and engaging narrative structures which are reflected in the resulting book form. 

What are you working on at the moment?

Bernard is currently working on a number of new works, initially constructed as handmade single edition works then converted into a limited edition online print run. Anwyl is looking into fact-based work in a zine type style. 

Peter Knight – The Common Press – Crich

Peter Knight – The Common Press – Crich

How did you become involved with artist’s books?  I’d always been interested in books and illustrated books in particular. I was developing my work with a strong printmaking approach and discovering historical work by George Cruickshank-( see The Tooth-Ache, 1849) and other historical graphic artists.…