Book Arts

Bristol Artist’s Book Event (BABE)

The first Bristol Artist’s Book Event (BABE) was organised by Sarah Bodman and Tom Sowden in collaboration with Peter Begen and Snoozie Claiden at Arnolfini in 2007. It has since grown into an international event showcasing artists’ books to the public over a Spring weekend every two years. Since its first outing, BABE has established a great reputation as a relaxed and friendly event to meet and talk to book artists about their work and buy works of art.

The next edition of BABE will take place in 2024.

A potted history of BABE:

BABE – Bristol Artist’s Book Event, 23 – 24 April 2022, at Bower Ashton campus, UWE Bristol. 108 artists, publishers, dealers and presses from all over the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Poland, Sweden, Australia, Japan, Brazil. 4,000 visitors. Special guests from the Nordic / Scandinavian regions supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The Lost Weekend, BABE – The Eighth Bristol Artist’s Book Event, 17 – 18 April 2021, at Arnolfini, Bristol, online. The Lost Weekend with works by over 100 book artists and small publishers from around the world. Showcasing bookworks on video or in the downloadable catalogue from artists and publishers in Australia, Argentina, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, UK & Ireland and the USA.

MiniBABE, Bristol Artists’ Books Event at Home, 3 – 7 May 2020, at Arnolfini, Bristol.
An online event of daily reflections and activities around artists’ books during lockdown.

BABE – The Seventh Bristol Artist’s Book Event, 30 – 31 March 2019, at Arnolfini, Bristol.
103 artists, publishers, dealers and presses from all over the UK, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Poland and Sweden, 13,000 visitors.

BABE – The Sixth Bristol Artist’s Book Event, 1 April – 2 April 2017, at Arnolfini, Bristol. 94 artists, publishers, dealers and presses from The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, South Korea, Denmark, Ireland, Sicily and the UK, 9630 visitors.

BABE – The Fifth Bristol Artist’s Book Event, 11 April – 12 April 2015, at Arnolfini, Bristol. 113 artists, publishers, dealers and presses from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sicily, Spain, South Korea and the UK, 7150 visitors.

BABE – The Fourth Bristol Artist’s Book Event, 20 April – 21 April 2013, at Arnolfini, Bristol. 105 artists, publishers, dealers and presses from the UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, USA, Canada, South Korea and Italy, 7530 visitors.

BABE – The Third Bristol Artist’s Book Event, 30 April – 1 May 2011 at Arnolfini, Bristol.
100 artists, publishers and presses from the UK, France, Belgium, Russia, USA, Canada, South Korea and Spain, 5724 visitors.

BABE: The Second Bristol Artist’s Book Event, 4- 5 April 2009 at Arnolfini, Bristol. 83 national and international exhibitors, 6,467 visitors.

BABE: The First Bristol Artist’s Book Event at Arnolfini, Bristol, 21- 22 April 2007 at Arnolfini, Bristol. 62 national and international exhibitors, 6,498 visitors.

See a timelapse film by Tom Sowden of the auditorium at Bristol Artists Book Event 2015. From set-up to take down, two days in under two minutes here.