Book Arts

The Secrets of Metahemeralism
23 April 2012

An artist’s book, letterpress print and video launch on World Book Night 23rd April 2012, for our project in tribute to The Secret History by Donna Tartt. The annual collaboration organised by Nancy Campbell and Sarah Bodman to produce an artist’s book in tribute to a particular novel began in early April.

To date books have been made for Patricia Highsmith‘s Ripley series and Douglas Coupland‘s The Gum Thief. This year we used Donna Tartt‘s novel The Secret History, with the first part of the collaboration taking place over the Easter weekend, in an aptly situated venue in Oxford, UK.

The Secrets of Metahemeralism by Anon – artist’s book
The typed version of the group’s collaborative essay: The Secrets of Metahemeralism, written (awfully) in the style of Bunny Corcoran was used as the basis for an artist’s book, colour photocopied in tribute to Richard’s part-time job at college. The book also includes copies of postcards, notes, and scraps of paper produced for the project. Contributors to the book were: Helen Allsebrook, Helen Barr, Sarah Bodman, Angie Butler, Simon Butler, Arthur Buxton, Nancy Campbell, Jenny Gal-Or, Hazel Grainger, Charlotte Hall, Anna Lucas, Kirsten Norrie, Simon Smith and EF Stevens.

Edition of 25, 25 single-sided pages, colour copied on A4 recycled off-white paper, bound with a black plastic spine bar in the style of a student thesis. The book is available at 10 GBP including postage. If you would like a copy, for details, all proceeds will go to the Letterpress Etiquette Network at UWE.

Letterpress poster by LEN
Angie Butler and Hazel Grainger of The Letterpress Etiquette Network have printed a beautiful, letterpress broadside edition with lines of text selected from the evening, and a rubber stamp addition designed by Nancy Campbell. Paper size – 42 x 29.7 cm, 100gsm printing wove paper, printed in an edition of 50, available at 5 GBP each including postage, the poster can be ordered via the online store.

All proceeds will go to the Letterpress Etiquette Network at UWE.


The Secrets of Metahemeralism by Anon – video

Collaborators brought their typewriters, paper, inks, pens, pencils and cameras for the evening. Food and drinks from the book were served throughout the night by our hosts, including dangerous looking mushrooms, wonderful bakes, fine wines, an array of meats, frozen cheesecake, Bloody Marys and even food from Bunny’s funeral at the Corcoran’s house. The video is a selection of images from the initial walk in the words and of the book in production over the evening in Oxford.

Running time: 4.14 mins

Contributors to the video were:
Helen Barr, Sarah Bodman, Angie Butler, Simon Butler, Nancy Campbell, Jenny Gal-Or, Hazel Grainger, Anna Lucas, Kirsten Norrie and Simon Smith.

The typists: Sarah Bodman and Jesse Heckstall-Smith;
the whistlers (in the style of Bunny): Philip Bowden, Paul Laidler and David Sully.