Bethan Maddocks & Remi Bec
How did you become involved in artist’s books?
It’s all thanks to who we grew up with! Both of us individually have always been drawn to paper and how you can shape and manipulate it, and books are a very direct way of exploring and displaying that kind of work. (Bethan)After my Grandparents died, I came across an old accordion folded book that my Grandma had had tucked in a drawer. It’s a tourist souvenir of the Thames Tunnel and uses the folds of the book to give this incredible long perspective that places you right inside with the illustrated characters. Finding that book showed me the possibility of creating interactive, playful artwork in a really familiar format. (Remi) Books transforming into sculptures (i.e. pop-up books) have always fascinated me from the youngest age: I have blurred memories of my finger being the caterpillar and going through the holes in the book – Plus my grandma also organised a book festival in her home town in France – ‘Continued reading’ – during which an entire book is read out loud by the main public.
What is the focus of your practice?
Light, paper, pop ups and creating tactile work that the audience can explore are key focuses when we create work together. Creating paper-based prototypes is an enjoyable and accessible way to get a point across too!
What are you working on at the moment?
We’ve just returned from a residency in France at the amazing Studio Garonne that was our first official collaboration. We spent two weeks exploring the architecture and history of this amazing semi-abandoned building and created papercut books and pop ups that played with the bright natural sunlight and nooks and crannies of the space. Right now, we are reflecting on that, thinking about where we will go next, and using Sheffield Artist’s Book fair as a space to reflect and share some of the work!