Artists' Talks on Artists' Books - archive
One-Day Symposium at Winchester School of Art,
A one-day symposium at Winchester School of Art
co-hosted by the Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE, Bristol &
Winchester School of Art Library, University of Southampton.

Friday 13th July 2007

Guy Begbie
As Book Arts Coordinator and Lecturer at Hereford College of Arts my remit is to deliver book arts to a diverse selection of courses at both FE and He levels. As a specialist college, HCA is resourced with specialist craft workshops managed by professionally practising staff in ceramics, textiles, small metals, wood and metals, photography and printmaking. Computer and digital printing and video editing resources also facilitate as a teaching service area for a number of courses.

I can draw upon my experience and knowledge as a book arts practitioner and HE external examiner in the book arts field to evaluate my book arts contribution to the college curriculum. Book arts projects, electives or modules are structured through my consultation with course leaders, who effect book arts input being delivered appropriately, in other words it is pitched according to particular course requirements. As well as teaching technical skills, I disseminate conceptual and complex ideas in the field of book arts to a wide variety of student learners. This may range from simple construction principles to advanced fine bookbinding techniques, and the delivery of lectures and presentations in order to place Book Arts and Artists' Books in a historical and conceptual framework.

There are several approaches to my mode of book arts delivery.
Working within the parameters of a specific course project brief and the set criteria.
General book arts tutorials. These may enable students to develop research methodology and book arts project objectives.
Self initiated specific projects, with tutorial support.
Practical group workshop sessions.
One to one technical support.
Book Arts specific seminars and lectures. Slide lectures placing book arts in a historical and contemporary context.

Resources for this type of delivery range from researched slide imagery, artists' books from my own collection, the college library resources, a comprehensive growing selection of sample book structures, book arts bindery materials, tools and equipment, technical and theoretical handouts supporting making and contextualising. Students are encouraged to visit book arts archives and collections as well as attending artists' book fairs, exhibitions and related events. Book arts practitioners and speakers are invited to the college to give research lectures. Students are given subject specific reading lists which include informative publications such as the
Artists' Book Year Book and the Blue Notebook, they are also encouraged to subscribe to the Book Arts Newsletter and various online resources.

The library at HCA is gradually building up an artists' book collection and the staff are supportive of book arts activity within the college. A book arts reputation for the production of unique one of a kind works has been established in recent years. We are now promoting more student engagement with editioning and multiples of artists' books. The use of mixed and non-paper based media is encouraged, appropriately dependent on course subject areas.

I have experience of devising and leading staff professional development short courses in book arts both at Hereford College of Arts and the University of the West of England. Passing on and sharing skills with other teaching staff establishes a healthy book arts ethos and in conjunction with the annual competition provides a book arts forum for engagement between departments. Teaching experience of delivering a cross disciplinary subject area at both HE and FE levels constantly informs ones understanding of pedagogy in the context of art & design in general. Likewise students are exposed to a richer integrated learning experience.

For the past seven years Book Arts has been supported as an initiative that is available to all courses throughout Hereford College of Arts. In my capacity as Book Arts Coordinator I organise, manage, curate and deliver the annual cross college HCA Book Arts Competition. This generates a body of work from mainly students, (but with contributions from some staff). There were eighty book works submitted in total in 2007 originating from the full range of art and design disciplines taught at the college. Each year I organise this group of works is into a curated touring exhibition. This is then displayed in a national and international arena by connecting and networking with UK HE institutions to establish a bookarts exchange exhibition programme. The annual ongoing exhibition is also show cased at the
Guardian Hay Festival and four major UK Artists' Book Fairs. Internationally student works have been displayed at the Seoul International Artists' Book Fair, South Korea. A college presence at these events has contributed considerably to raising the profile of HCA in the field of book arts and related media.

Making external connections and developing links with HE institutions through book arts have fostered potential collaboration for exchange student exhibitions. Hereford students have had the opportunity to display their work at: Middlesex University, Northampton University, Edinburgh College of Art, The University of the West of England, Plymouth College of Art & Design and Manchester Metropolitan University. Recently HCA has reciprocated, hosting exhibitions of student book arts work from Middlesex and Northampton Universities. We have also have also forged book arts exhibition, research lecture and funding links with other professional organisations and artists namely:
Bookworks: London, Bookartbookshop: London, The Mappa Mundi Archive and Chained Library: Hereford and The Courtyard Arts Centre: Hereford. Lectures on book arts practice have been presented by artists John Bently, Danny Flynn, Marshall Webber, Helen Douglas, David Ferry, Andrew Easton and Mike Nicholson. Local and national financial benefactors from business and commerce have been encouraged to actively support the college book arts competition.

My overall responsibilities to develop and enhance the quality and status of book arts within the college are directly met through curriculum development as Book Arts Module Leader for BA (Hons) Illustration as well as tutorial input and devising book arts programmes and teaching across a wide range of course areas, namely:
FDA/BA (Hons) Fine Art
FDA/BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design (Media Arts)
BA (Hons) Illustration
FDA/BA (Hons) Spatial Design
FDA/BA (Hons) Photography
FDA/BA (Hons) Contemporary Applied Arts
FDA/BA (Hons) Blacksmithing
FDA/BA (Hons) Textiles
Diploma in Foundation Studies
Portfolio Course
National Diploma in Art and Design

Maintaining delivery to students from this wide spectrum of courses enables the ability to devise effective teaching strategies, while clearly viewing the larger picture, in terms of effective cross-disciplinary curriculum development through the book arts genre.

Guy Begbie mp3 (14mb) to download, right click and 'save as'
Guy Begbie Powepoint Presentation. redone as flash format.