Book Arts

An exhibition hosted by Bower Ashton Library, Bristol, UK

Roelof Bakker: Negative Press London, 10 Years

Wednesday 2nd – Wednesday 30th November 2022

For the past ten years I have been exploring the potential of the juxtaposition of image and text in book form through my imprint Negative Press London. Apart from publishing my work, the press also facilitates collaborations with other artists.

I’m interested in discovering what a book can be or say, where process and experimentation might lead. Each title has a unique design, with form, content and paper working as one: the tactile experience being key. Using digital printing technologies, I produce books in small editions often designed in a standard A-size. Recent work has a focus on the handmade, on the book as precious object.

Negative Press books respond to a broad range of current and historical social issues or events that have a personal connection: forgotten queer history and the devastation of AIDS, how to respond to a Holocaust photograph first seen as a child, the lies of Brexit, the aftermath of war, the demise of the physical archive.

My artists’ books are often the start of other activities, like an exhibition, a talk, an article, or a lumen print.

Grouped together the twelve Negative Press London books are a mini-archive, a mini-library, which will temporarily relocate to a much bigger library, Bower Ashton, a welcome change of book scene.

Below is a brief description of all Negative Press London books published since 2012 (in descending order).

The Love That I Need, Roelof Bakker (RB)
A postcard-size handmade book recalling crossing the Channel looking for a new life. 2022

The Night Diana Died, RB
A box with two handmade A5 books pays tribute to Princess Diana as a gay activist and humanitarian. 2022

All The Sunflowers, RB, Vincent van Gogh
A book on loss and finding new ideas in old work, reproducing van Gogh’s Arles ‘Sunflowers’ paintings, all flowers removed by hand. 2021

I Think Of You, Martin Crawley
Prints of imagined architecture combine with writing about casual encounters and friends dying of AIDS. 2021

Unprocessed, RB, George Rodger
A book exploring ways to present and discuss a Holocaust photograph, 2020

The Spots That Never Went, RB
A tabloid newspaper and broadsheet print remember the AIDS crisis in brief sentences and abstract visuals. 2018, reprint 2020.

Printed Lies, RB
A reproduction in book form exposes implicit and explicit lies in a 2016 Vote Leave campaign video. 2017

How Many Hopes Lie Buried Here Mother, RB
A bundle of postcards contemplates the squander of war and the lost hopes of dead soldiers. 2016

In Camera, Nicholas Royle, David Gledhill
Paintings and fiction explore surveillance and photography in Stasi East Germany. 2015

Placing Stones, Martin Crawley
Remembering family friends and lovers in writing mixed with pencil drawings of stones. 2015

Strong Room, RB, Jane Wildgoose
A response to the lack of physical presence and the tangible in the digital world; multiple paper stocks reclaim the tactile. 2014

Still, RB, editor
Photographs of vacated spaces inspire new fiction by 26 writers including Evie Wyld and Nicholas Royle. 2012

For more information on Roelof Bakker and Negative Press London, visit and

Roelof is also on Instagram @roelof_bakker
For purchase enquiries contact:

This exhibition is open to the public Monday – Friday 9am-5pm. No booking needed. The library is on the first floor of B block.

For more information on Bower Ashton Library, visitor access and campus map, see the library website. You can also follow the library’s Twitter feed.

UWE Bristol, City Campus at Bower Ashton, Kennel Lodge Road, Bristol BS3 2JT.