The exhibition curated by Simon Ryder of Liverpool Book Art is moving this week from Liverpool down to Bristol. Work by 50 artists all created in response to Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ will be on display at Bower Ashton Library at UWE from 1-28 February. I’m gathering together some of my preparatory materials for my embroidered book to take along to a Show & Tell event at the library on Saturday 2 February, 11am - 12.30pm. I’m really looking forward to seeing all the books and hearing more about the exhibitions in Liverpool.
Really pleased to see my ‘Home’ pocket concertina book as part of Interruptions - an exhibition of prints and artists' books curated by Sarah Bodman and Elena Zeppou, at the invitation of the Greek Printmakers Association (E.E.X.) for Athens Print Fest “18” 4th edition – nóstos / nostalgia. It’s at the Felios Foundation in Athens, Greece, and runs from 3 -27 October 2018. If a trip to Greece is not on the cards, you can always browse a pdf exhibition catalogue here.
My book 'Memento mori' has been exhibited in Liverpool Central Library for the past few months (many thanks for the photos above from organiser Simon Ryder, taken by Robin Clewley). The exhibition finished this week, but will be moving to the Kirkby Gallery from 17 September - 26 January 2019. After that my book will be heading back to Bristol as the exhibition will be transferring to Bower Ashton Library at UWE. In the meantime, I'm working on a small edition of digitally printed concertina versions - the first of which is in another Frankenstein-themed exhibition in the US, at Asheville Bookworks in North Carolina which opened this week. As always, my books are more well-travelled than I am!
There have been a lot of books in production over the past few weeks in preparation for the BS9 Art Trail this weekend (9 and 10 June). I'll be at the Stoke Bishop scout hut again (venue 11) - so come along and say hello if you're in Bristol
Very pleased to announce the opening of the 'Redesigning the Medieval Book' exhibition at UWE Bower Ashton Library in Bristol. The display is an extension of the original exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford earlier this year, and features 40 new books and artworks created in response to the Bodelian's collection of medieval books and manuscripts. I'm very grateful to Professor Daniel Wakelin and all the team at the Bodleian Library for their help in facilitating this extended exhibition, and to Sarah Bodman at UWE and fellow book artist Kate Bernstein for their help and support in setting up the exhibition. It will run from 19 April - 29 June, and there will be an informal 'show and tell' event on Saturday 12 May, 12-2pm, where you can hear some of the artists talking about their books and working process. If you can't visit the exhibition, you can download or view a pdf of the catalogue here.
The grand unveiling of my Frankenstein book ‘Memento mori' in all its morbid glory... packaged and sent off to Liverpool Book Art for their exhibition at Liverpool Central Library. Met the deadline by the skin of my teeth. Here's my statement, which hopefully goes some way to explain why I've spent the past three months stitching dead people...
Memento Mori is inspired by the theme of art as a means of remembrance: a recurring motif in Frankenstein. William was carrying a Miniature of his mother, Caroline, before he was murdered, and this then became a defining piece of evidence in implicating Justine. When Victor returns home from university, he is moved by the Miniature of William on their father’s mantelpiece, under a painting of his mother kneeling by the coffin of her dead father. The death of Victor’s mother acts as a powerful catalyst for his experimentation with creating new life, and the memories of his loved ones lost at the hands of the resultant creature lead to his desire to avenge their deaths.
I have altered an existing hardback book and transformed it into a ‘memento mori’ for all the characters who lose their lives. The book has a new cloth hard cover with a foiled title, and opens as a case in two sections. These contain eight framed oval cut-aways featuring embroideries of all of the expired characters (Caroline, William, Justine, Henry, Elizabeth, Alphonse, Victor, and the monster). The embroideries are vignettes of each individual death, each labelled with the character’s name.
I chose to hand embroider the illustrations as the process forms a symbolic act of remembrance, and embroidery was a popular handicraft of the time. The morbid fascination with death in Victorian times, along with the themes of grief, memory and loss in Frankenstein, are reflected in this new work.
Taking part in the BS9 Arts Trail this weekend (10/11 June) - I'll be at Stoke Bishop Scout Hut (between 15 and 17 Kewstoke Road)… come along and say hello if you're in that neck of the woods in Bristol. New for this year's art trail are prints of Bristol Terraces, beetle mini prints, handmade wooden print stands and lots of new books.
The ‘Set in Stone’ exhibition opened at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol yesterday evening - open until 27 September, so pop along for a nicotine- themed cornucopia of art. Great to see what everyone had produced - more highlights to be featured later this month - and many thanks to Charlotte Biszewski for organising the project and expertly curating the exhibition.
'Set in Stone' exhibition opening at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol from next thursday evening (date on poster slightly wrong - should be 4 August - 27 September).
A really inspiring show from this year’s MA Multi-disciplinary Printmaking final year students at UWE.
A really lovely weekend on the BS9 Arts Trail… the sun shone and we had lots of visitors at the scout hut (an excellent venue!) Exhibiting with a great bunch of very talented artists this year - Sue Pickering, Charlie West and Jenny Urquhart… all very inspiring. Many thanks to the scout hut for hosting us and providing such delicious tea and cakes. And thanks to everyone who came along and made it such an enjoyable couple of days.
A full-on couple of hours setting up in Stoke Bishop Scout Hut for the BS9 Arts Trail - running this weekend, 11am-5pm.
Spare moments in the first couple of months of this year were spent cutting, pinning and sewing lengths of bunting for the forthcoming BS9 Art Trail. The end result was 140 metres(!) of neon, rip-stop triangular loveliness which will be gracing the venues of the trail this weekend. I may have been smiling through gritted teeth by the end, but I was really glad to have taken part in the great bunting manufacture project. It was a lovely group of fellow stitchers, ably led by Fiona Barr, all of whom will be exhibiting as part of the trail: Jackie Johnson, Olga van Rijswijck, Laura Robertson and Franca Douglas. Top teamwork!
Made the most of a spare hour over lunchtime between meetings in Oxford to pay a visit to the wonderful Oxford University Museum of Natural History. I usually get drawn into the murky depths of the Pitt Rivers Museum at the back, but the sun was streaming in, making the stonework relief carvings on the first floor look even more impressive than usual. I also spotted this photograph on the stairs showing masons (from Farmer & Brindley) working on the same carvings in around 1911. Gratifying to think their hard work is still being admired more than a century later.
A real pleasure to attend an exhibition of student’s work from the Hand Printed Artists’ Books course at Spike Print Studio. Having taught some sessions on lino printing on this course back in the Spring, it was a great to see those concertina books finished, but also the dizzying array of other handmade books on display. So many different formats and styles of working - and all completed since January. Really impressive stuff. The books will be on display in the Tom Trusky exhibition cases at UWE (Bower Ashton campus library) from 7 December to 31 January.
A rather belated post on the wonderful Mark Hearld exhibition ‘Unimagined Treasures’ at York Art Gallery. I only had half an hour before the gallery closed to spend at the exhibition, but could easily have lost the best part of an afternoon. Mark Hearld has created a Lumber Room – “a room of miscellaneous stored objects and artefacts” curated and created following two years of visiting the stores of the Yorkshire Museum, York Castle Museum and York Art Gallery. Many of the objects and artworks in the exhibition have never been on display before. The eclectic mix reminded me of the folk art exhibition by Barbara Jones ‘Black Eyes and Lemonade’ with shades of the bizarre collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. In addition to the curation of this collection, he also commissioned pieces (including the stunning seahorse sign above by The Brilliant Sign Company) and created his own new work: “Works made by me in paper, pot and paint respond to the collection and celebrate its richness and delight to be had in looking on it.” A real visual treat.
A trip up north was a good excuse to visit Bank Street Arts in Sheffield to see this year's International Artist's Book Prize exhibition. There was a selection process this year, so it was considerably smaller than the last exhibition in 2013, but it was still a very eclectic and interesting mix. As my selected photos show, I have a definite preference for folded books. Really excited to see Cathey Webb's book 'On the Radio' - the linocut book she made for the project I set when teaching on the Book Arts course at Spike Print back in April. Very impressed with how she finished it off and brilliant to see it selected. Ironically, my book in the exhibition ('A Short History of Hair') was made as a sample book for that project, and we're even alongside each other in the catalogue as two W surnames. The exhibition runs until the end of October...
Phew, exhibition all set up at The Island. I’ve used various acrylic plate stands and jewellery display plinths to display my books - it definitely seems to help to give them some height without cluttering things up too much.
Hope to see you at the exhibition - opens tomorrow (4 September) and runs until 5pm on 9 September.