Tag: artist books

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…

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!

Kiss and Tell Press/Michael Wynne

Kiss and Tell Press/Michael Wynne

How did you become involved in artist’s books? I’d been a writer for about twenty years when I began to feel I wanted more than words. Photography is an old love of mine that I’d kind of forgotten for thirty years. I started taking pictures…

Bethan Maddocks & Remi Bec

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…

Sue Lancaster

Sue Lancaster

How did you become involved with artist’s books? I became involved in artist’s books as a response to developing a project to teach creativity to my adult students. The design of covers developed as a way of using interesting textile surfaces for a functional product whilst also making each book identifiable.

What is the focus of your practice?

The focus of my own practice is design work on paper which develops into textile surfaces which always contain stitch.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I am working on 3 different styles of book. One is a book jacket which can be removed, washed and replaced to both protect a book and also be individual to the owner. Every book jacket is separately made and is unique. The second book style that I am working on is a ‘Colour Me’ book. This is a hand stitched book of cartridge paper pages which are printed with designs in line. The covers are printed cotton with machine embroidery. Each book is identical. The third book is an A6 spiral bound book which slides into its own textiles box. I have altered the interior of each book to inspire additional design work. I am calling these books ‘Doodle Books’. Each book is different and unique inside.

Rachel Smith/Art Smith

Rachel Smith/Art Smith

How did you become involved in artist’s books?As an artist I started making books during my time on the Sheffield Hallam Fine Art MA course, and this interest has continued through my current PhD research. What is the focus of your practice? I am interested…

Christine Nicholls Inkpot and Pen

Christine Nicholls Inkpot and Pen

How did you become involved in artist’s books? I first came across artist’s books at the exhibition Certain Trees: The Constructed Book, Poem and Object 1964-2008, tucked away in a room at the top of the V&A Museum in 2008. Locked away in a case was…

Lynne Barker

Lynne Barker

How did you become involved in artist’s books?

I see the artist’s book as the ideal form to act as an archive for my drawings. The book form makes them easily available to others. 

What is the focus of your practice?

I am interested in the interplay between contemporary archaeology, archives and art and aim to re-examine the overlooked/forgotten/downtrodden.

What are you working on at the moment?

My latest work in progress is an archive of national costume dolls, exploring nationality and identity.

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Less Than 500 Press

Less Than 500 Press

Mark Callard/ Foxhole Magazine How did you become involved in artist’s books? About ten years ago, I started writing poetry as a way of staying sane during a long period of mental ill health and rubbish jobs. My friend’s sister is a graphic designer, and…