With the more recent restrictions due to Covid, we will be hosting a ‘lost weekend’ version of BABE over the weekend of 17 – 18 April 2021 as an interim BABE in the run up to our usual larger event which we now plan to hold at Arnolfini in 2022.
For 2021 Arnolfini will stream talks/readings/performances in the auditorium, showcase some real books in the reading room, host public workshops and perhaps live performances, there may even be a themed cocktail on sale in the bar. Our aim is for the public to be able to visit over the weekend.
We are inviting BABE participants old and new to join us remotely – or in person perhaps if you are nearby – by proposing ideas to our committee by 1st December 2020. Please see the pdf download for the call out.
The ABYB is a biennial reference publication focusing on international activity in the field of book arts. It serves as a resource for artists, academics, students, collectors, librarians, dealers, publishers and researchers, in fact anyone interested in artists’ books!
The 2020-2021 issue has essays, articles, and lots of useful information on: Artist’s Book Publishers & Presses; Bookshops for artists’ books; Artist’s Book Dealers; Artist’s Book Galleries & Centres; Collections, Libraries & Archives; Artist’s Book Fairs and Events; Book Arts Courses and Workshops; Design, Print & Bind; Print Studios; Journals and Magazines; New Reference Publications; Organisations, People, Projects and Societies. In the Artists’ Books Listings section, you can also discover hundreds of examples of new books made by artists in: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, the UK and the USA. Cover design: Tom Sowden.
Vol 15 No. 1, October 2020 includes a great set of articles from writers in Australia, Norway, USA and the UK: ‘Codex Polaris – book projects from the North’ by Imi Maufe – CODEX POLARIS established in 2013 – is a book artist group based in Bergen, Norway that creates opportunities and exhibition platforms for artists who make books in the Nordic region. Alongside the exhibition programme Codex Polaris invites guest co-organisers to work on various networking projects, and writers to contribute with text works to raise the profile of book arts, spanning both local and international perspectives; Aaron Cohick, founder of NewLights Press writes from Tucson, Arizona, USA and asks – What role can a micropress/artist-publisher play in dismantling white supremacy?; ‘Filling in the gaps: 25 Years of the Field Report’ by Sue Hartigan (Australia) – The Field Report has been filling in the gaps as an assembling publication since 1995 on the peripheries of the art world; ‘Movable type: birds, thoughts, print’ by Caroline Harris – Type Flight is a hand-typeset and hand-bound limited edition poetic artist’s book that disassembles and reassembles a simple three-line poem to experiment with questions of metaphor and its layering, the type letter as a thing in itself, and relationships between human and nonhuman in the making of material poetries; ‘Place and nature in the work of Helen Douglas’ by Maria White examines the importance of Deuchar Mill and its surrounding area in the Yarrow Valley, Scottish Borders, in the work of the artist.
Artists’ pages by Sara Elgerot, Jessica Ho, Leyla Moazzen, Steve Parsons / Sue Vallance. Cover, badge & stickers designed by Sarah Bodman for the collage challenge #wishiwaswhere. Subscription info for Vol 15 can be found here.
A call for participation from Linda Parr: Covid-19 has affected our personal and artistic lives more than we could have imagined, isolating and distancing us from our friends and colleagues. There have been imaginative online events to help us reconnect and share our practices such as the CFPR Print and Book Festival, and the recent Collage Colloquium with the London Centre for Book Arts.
One of the questions posed during the Collage Colloquium asked why postcard projects seem so popular at the moment? Certainly they are cheap and small, thus available and democratic, a good start. They can lift spirits, being neither bills nor flyers. Historically the rise of postal communication in the C18 fostered long-distance discussions on art and philosophy, the sharing of ideas with the like-minded, the so-called Republic of Letters. Today, the physical sharing of post gives us a chance to reconnect our book art network, a Republic of Postcards.
Postcards were sent home from travels, the precursors of selfies from a mobile. It was sometimes an effort to decide what to write home as news, the communication seeming both a slight obligation and perhaps a chance to boast.
Georges Perec parodied these postcard messages in ‘Two Hundred and Forty-three Postcards in Real Colour’, dedicated to his fellow writer and friend Italo Calvino. Help us to make these imaginary postcards become reality, become postal postmodernists in a Grand Tour via Perec’s Postcards. If you would like to take part, please download the call for participation here.
We are delighted to announce that UWE bookarts has received an award from the Nordic Culture Point to run a new project until 2022. This is in collaboration with Megan Adie (Aviary Press, Denmark), Sarah Bodman (CFPR, UWE Bristol) Angie Butler, (CFPR, UWE Bristol) Imi Maufe (Codex Polaris, Norway), Lina Nordenström (Grafikverkstan Godsmagasinet, Sweden) Joakim Norling (Timglaset Editions, Malmö Sweden), Morwenna Peters (Bower Ashton Library, UWE Bristol), Tom Sowden (School of Art & Design, UWE, Bristol) and Maria White (Independent curator, UK).
Our project will facilitate knowledge exchange between librarians, artists and the public that will expand understanding of arts practice, and work towards a more sustainable, innovative and culturally successful discipline. It will change attitudes towards and the perception of artists’ books. You can read a little more info about our plans here. The featured image here is of Imi Maufe’s, Norway in a Bookshelf, collection of artists’ books.
Artists’ Books Club is open to any UWE students, alumni and staff. It is coordinated this academic year by Jo Barnfield and Sarah Bradicich.
Due to social distancing restrictions, ABC meetings will be taking place digitally on Thursday evenings. Details for how to join in will be sent out before each meeting.
If you would like to join in, please see the ABC homepage for 2020-2021 dates and membership info here.
Centre of Gravity is a month-long exhibition project at Soapworks, the former Gardiner Haskins store in Bristol, from 2nd October – 1st November.
As part of Centre of Gravity, Jo Barnfield, Sarah Bradicich and Csilla Bíro are coordinating the Facility’s Print Workshop, for which Sarah Bodman is offering free one-to-one artist’s book surgeries on 17th October. More info can be found here.
Sarah Bodman is giving a keynote talk on artists and libraries for the Arlis/ANZ Biennial Conference – re-imagining the material: artists’ books, printed matter, digital transformations, engagement, at the State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 10-14 November 2020. Angie Butler is giving a paper at the event for ‘The Material Artist’s Book’.
Angie and Sarah will also be showing artists’ books at abbe (artists books brisbane event) in partnership with Arlis/ANZ and State Library of Queensland. The Artist’s Book Fair is curated by Dr Tim Mosely, Queensland College of Art (QCA) Griffith University and will include works by artists from the QCA print studio and the abbe community. More info on the events can be found here.
Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison feauture in Sarah’s talk and also have a concurrent exhibition here at Bower Ashton Library. To celebrate the two, Gracia & Louise have produced two new zines for virtual conference attendees and exhibition visitors to download. “A zine about rodents, for amusement, and a zine about bats, for discussion.” Both can be downloaded via their exhibition page.
This exhibition is on tour as part of the ongoing al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Coalition projects. The online Inventory gallery was launched to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street on 5th March 2012, for which project partners around the world held commemorative readings and events. Since then the Inventory has grown as artists’ books created for the project have arrived. The gallery pages show images and information for each of the 260 books completed for the project.
Exhibitions held since the launch of the tour include:
The Westminster Reference Library, Westminster, UK; The Powell Library Rotunda, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA; Salt & Cedar Letterpress Studio, Detroit, Michigan, USA; The Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; The Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA; The John Rylands Library, Manchester, UK; The San Francisco Center for the Book, San Francisco, California, USA; Gallery Route One, Point Reyes, California USA; the Center for Book Arts, New York in association with Alwan for the Arts, Columbia University Libraries Butler Library, International Print Center New, Poets House, New York, USA; Literary & Philosophical Society Library, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington, USA; Curry College, Milton, Massachusetts, USA; American University in Cairo, Egypt; Arab – British Centre, London, UK; The Mosaic Rooms, London, UK; Kate Chappell ’83 Center for Book Arts at the University Of Southern Maine, USA; The Hague Public Library, The Netherlands; Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada; Jaffe Center for Books Arts, Florida Atlantic University, USA; Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, Rochester, New York, USA; Goddard College, Vermont, USA; Arab American National Museum, Dearborn/Detroit, Michigan, USA; Idaho Center for the Book in partnership with The Arts and Humanities Institute at Boise State University, USA; George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA; Herron School of Art and Design, The Herron Art Library of IUPUI University library, USA; Keats House and the Iraqi Cultural Centre, London; the Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, USA; Idaho Center for the Book in partnership with The Arts and Humanities Institute at Boise State University; Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016 a partnership between George Mason University’s School of Art and George Mason University Libraries, Split This Rock, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, McLean Project for the Arts, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at The George Washington University, Busboys and Poets, Georgetown University, Cultural DC, Smithsonian Libraries, Brentwood Arts Exchange, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University Student Media and Fourth Estate Newspaper; Rosenberg Library at the City College of San Francisco, USA; Konstlitografiska museet, Helliden, Sweden.
The image shown here is a detail from Monday by Kathleen O’Connell. You can read more about the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here project at the LAAF Festival website.