Librarians' Books Exhibition Tour 2005 – 2006

Librarians' Books Exhibition Tour:
UWE Bristol, 21st June – 20th July 2005
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA,
30th July – 31st August
Reference Library, Bristol Central Library,
23rd and 24th September
Royal College of Art Library,
24th October – 25th November 2005
Library and Learning Resources, London College of Communication,
5th December 2005 – 23rd January 2006

Click to see images and notes for this exhibition:

As part of our research into artists' books, we have built up contacts over the years with curators and specialist artist's book librarians from national and international collections.

Last year, visits to the School and
CFPR by curators from Tate Britain and Winchester School of Art, inspired us to run this project. Meg Duff, Maria White, Linda Newington and Catherine Polley had all mentioned at times that as they spend so much of their working days amongst artists' books, they had considered making a book themselves. We thought this was an excellent idea and subsequently extended an invitation to other institutional and library staff, asking if they would each like to produce an artist's book. This turned into the Librarians' Books project.

Forty five people accepted the invitation, and twenty of the project's participants were able to attend a one-day artist's book workshop here at UWE, in February 2005, where they viewed examples of books from our collection and each made a four-hole, Japanese stab-bind book with
Tom Sowden's guidance, those unable to attend were sent the work notes. They were then left to their own devices, and given 5 months to make and document their artist's book for this exhibition.

         

Unpacking the huge amount of post over the week before the exhibition has been an amazing experience! Some of the contributors have made more than one book in their enthusiasm, and the resulting books made by everyone are fantastic. There is a huge range of formats and ideas in this show, from conceptual books, photo books, handmade books and papers, book sculptures, DVD books and altered books. The participants have spent time filming, photographing, printing, drawing, typing, dyeing, binding, cutting, sewing and recording. The subjects range from art, day to day living, popular culture, religion, small animals, secret diaries, poems, music, their lives, collections of ephemera, people, books, and even things that really annoy them.

Some of them are practicing artists with years of experience, for others, this is the first time they have had an incentive to create an artist's book. What they have each brought to the project is their experience of selecting, defining, documenting, archiving, displaying, repairing, caring for and loving artists' books and most of all; their passion for the subject. They also have the advantage of a vast working knowledge of the history and range of artists' books formats and processes, which has informed the creation and production of these books.

           

The project has been really enjoyable, with such a tremendous amount of work having been put in by each of the contributors, plus the mystery element of what was going to arrive in the post for the show. We are honoured to have such a wonderful exhibition launch here. Some of the participants have also asked to show the books at their own institutions, so if you don't get chance to see them here, then look out for them at the following venues in the Librarians' Books tour:

Tour Dates:
30th July – 31st August at the
School of the Art Institute, Chicago, USA, from 24th October – 25th November at the Royal College of Art, London, then at LCC's Library and Learning Resources Centre, London in January 2006, which is the final venue for the exhibition.

The artist's book contributors for this exhibition are:
Anthony Beeson, Bristol Central Library
Doro Boehme, Joan Flasch Artist's Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Marion Bouwhuis AKI Academy of Visual Arts and Design (ArtEZ) The Netherlands
Dr Stephen Bury, The British Library
Sarah Clifford, Bower Ashton Library, UWE Bristol
Jacqueline Cooke Goldsmiths College Library
Meg Duff, Library and Research Centre, Tate Britain
Andrew Eason, Bristol Central Library
Jennie Farmer, Word & Image Department, V&A Museum
Catherine Flood, Word & Image Department, V&A Museum
Jane Furness, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Library
Lucy Gosnay, Word & Image Department, V&A Museum
Hazel Grainger Learning Resource Centre, University of Westminster
Althea Greenan, Goldsmiths College Library
Clare Hemmings, Winchester School of Art Library, University of Southampton
Cathy Johns, Royal College of Art, London
Éilis Kirby, Bristol Central Library
Rikka Kuittinen Word & Image Department, V&A Museum
Irene Lafferty Word & Image Department, V&A Museum
Elizabeth Lawes, Chelsea College of Art and Design Library
Richard Loveday, Word & Image Department, V&A Museum
Darlene Maxwell, Royal College of Art, London
Linda Newington, Winchester School of Art Library, University of Southampton
Tim Pate Library and Research Centre Tate Britain
Bianca Peters, Word & Image Department, V&A Museum
Alexis Petroff, Joan Flasch Artist's Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Catherine Polley, Winchester School of Art Library, University of Southampton
Anna Sheppard, Royal College of Art, London
Rachel Sim, Word & Image Department, V&A Museum
Logan Sisley, Edinburgh College of Art
Maria White, Library and Research Centre, Tate Britain
Amy Whitehead, Word & Image Department, V&A Museum
Zoë Whitley, Word & Image Department, V&A Museum
Lynn Williams, Bower Ashton Library, UWE Bristol
Yolande Willink, AKI Academy of Visual Arts and Design (ArtEZ) The Netherlands
April Yasamee, Goldsmiths College Library

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