From Autumn 2022, each new issue of The Blue Notebook is available as a free pdf download from our website. Printed copies can be ordered from Peecho. We have physical copies left of Vol 15 and Vol 16 which can be ordered via the button link on the page.
Volume 17 No 1, Autumn – Winter 2022 includes:
ZIENZUCHT – 40 YEARS OF WORK IN 1 DAY. Reflecting on a retrospective exhibition of artists’ books and prints made by Frans Baake the Dutch book artist earlier this year: In the summer of 2021, I made a decision to exhibit all the works I have made over a period of 40 years in a space somewhere in Enschede, The Netherlands.
Article insert: Agency of Error in Post – digital Print – A User Guide by artist Laura Rosser. My artistic practice concentrates on creative use of error within the context of post-digital printmaking. My practice connects me to the errors themselves, by working with an intermix of analogue and digital print technologies, exhibitions and workshops.
Rachel Marsh writes a reflective essay; “Of such will this room tell”- A residency at the Cabin, Bucks Mills, UK. The Cabin is the former summer home of two talented artists, Mary Stella Edwards and Judith Ackland.
Jane Hyslop and Lucy Roscoe introduce Bumperzine, a continuing exploration of collaborative publishing undertaken since 2018 by participants in the event Bookmarks, an Artist’s Book and Zine Fair, held at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA).
Download your free copy here.
Image: Detail from the cover design for Vol 17 No 1 by Rachel Marsh.
For World Book Night 2023, WBN United Artists invite you to read one or both of the following books and consider how you might represent a memory that could be used to create a shared experience, a coming together of voices from the past and present.
I Remember by Joe Brainard
Granary Books, New York City, 2001, ISBN 978-1-88712-348-8 (other editions available)
I Remember (Je me souviens) by Georges Perec
Philip Terry (Translator), David R. Godine, New Hampshire, 2014, ISBN 978-1-56792-517-3
(other editions available)
Our memories give us our personalities but we don’t seem to hold all memories in an instantly reachable database, often needing something to jog memories – smell, sights, sounds, touch and taste (Proust). Memories can be helped to flood up, and a chain of associations unstoppered, a recall from memory forgotten.
So, we would like to receive from you, a memory, to be part of the collaborative World Book Night 2023 exhibition, a combination of memories to document ourselves and our past, and perhaps our future. Using the constraint of something that no longer exists except in memory may jog memories for each other.
Submissions are open now. Your contribution can be text or image, digital or physical, 2 or 3-dimensional. Please download the pdf of the call here and read the full instructions before sending anything in.
Image: Detail from the artist’s book The Night Diana Died/I Remember A Time (Princess) by Roelof Bakker, Negative Press.
SAVE THE DATE: Thursday 30th March 2023 – Printmaking, Artists’ books, Landscape and Nature
LAND2 & Book Arts at the CFPR, UWE Bristol invite you to save the date for a one-day public event on Thursday 30th March 2023: Printmaking, artists’ books, landscape and nature.
This free, one-day event will explore environmental themes including but not limited to water quality, land degradation, pollution and damage to the landscape, interventions and ideas. The event will share some of the outcomes from UWE’s HAS-ACE Connecting Research Project Grant Scheme – Slow Violence and River Abuse: The Hidden Effect of Land Use on Water Quality – alongside curated presentations from national artists, geographers, writers, environmentalists and scientists.
Our aim is to bring together internal and external artists and LAND2 members to talk about some of these issues along with specialists and commentators from other fields.
The event will consist of short talks, group discussions, a pop-up handling exhibition of prints and artists’ books.
Venue: Performance Space, The Station, Silver Street, Bristol, BS1 2AG.
Date and Time: Thursday 30th March 2023, 11am – 3.30pm (doors open 10am, close 4pm).
Places can be booked via Eventbrite.
For more info please contact Sarah at: Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk.
Image credit: Detail from SEMAFORO VOLCANICO MMXIX, Ireri Topete, from the collection at the CFPR archive.
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 2022-2023 issue has essays and articles by: Imi Maufe; David Solo; S. Pringly Binder; Maria White; Jeff Thomas, Jennie Hinchcliff & Chad Johnson; Moritz Küng & John McDowall; Robert Bolick; Tanya Peixoto; Susan Hartigan; Stephen Clarke; Amir Brito Cadôr; Dino Alfier; Rob van Leijsen; Zine Without a Crown.
It also contains 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.
There are also listings of 420+ new artists’ books that have been made recently, or will be made in 2022-2023, sent in by artists around the world.
Edited by Sarah Bodman. Published by Impact Press at The Centre for Print Research, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. ISBN 978-1-906501-22-8. 292pp, 21 x 29.7 cm, black and white throughout, 503 illustrations. Available now. Order your copy here.
Postcards for Perec is on display at Special Collections and Archives, Cardiff University, Wales, until the end of October 2022.
Georges Perec’s postcards were first published in a French magazine Le FOU parle, in 1978. Far from their description ‘en Couleurs Véritables’ (in Real Colour), they are only postcard messages, with no holiday pictures at all, and entirely in black & white. The messages were translated into English by John Sturrock, and published in 1997 by Penguin Classics, in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces.
The unnumbered messages describe hedonistic vacations of happy holidaymakers, careless about sunburn and with never a hint of the discomforts of travel, nor the bills. There are so many messages that even if you took three holidays a year it would take a lifetime to experience them all.
The project, organised by Linda Parr has responded to Georges Perec’s 243 imaginary postcard messages by making the missing images, then sending real postcards. There was an enthusiastic worldwide response, catching the imagination of students & professors, artists & writers, Perec scholars, translators, mathematicians and architects. Cropped images of the postcards and exhibitions can be found on Instagram: @postcards_for_perec.
Postcards for Perec also visited the Istanbul Architecture Festival on 30th October 2022. It featured as a pop up exhibition within the one-day event of activities organised by Neslihan Imamoğlu (Creative Director, Binat Architecture communication consultants).
Image: Detail of postcard by Judy Archer, UK.
Many congratulations to the two MAMDP alumni awarded First Prize – Linda Parr, and Second Prize, Corinne Welch for their works created for this exhibition. Beyond the Pale is on display in the Proscholium, Old Bodleian Library, Oxford until 6th November 2022. curated by Alexandra Franklin and Lucy Bayley.
Linda Parr: Monotype 1/1
Hawthorn dense black ink on Somerset smooth paper, 408 mm square.
With immense studio help from Maxine Foster. Image by Peter Stone. The Bodleian Bibliographical Press invited contemporary book artists and printers to create printed works that responded to, and engaged with, black shapes on printed pages. They invited submissions of black rectangles of all kinds, achieved by any means of printing. Contributors were invited to think laterally, in keeping with the diversity of the historical examples of black shapes on the page.
In 1968 the English artist Richard Hamilton was asked to design the cover for a new studio album called ‘The Beatles’. It followed ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, whose vibrant pop-art cover featured the Beatles with life-sized cardboard cut-outs of famous people. Hamilton’s idea for the new album was to look for the complete opposite, a clean sheet, and he came up with the idea of a plain black white cover. The thirty-track double album became better known as the White Album and went on to sell an estimated 30 million copies.
Echoing Hamilton’s wish to produce a conceptual opposite, with Malevich’s square watching me from high in the corner, I responded to the call by hand-printing the obverse of White Album – Black Album – unique, black and silent. The print will be on display with the other submissions in the Old Bodleian Library until 6th November 2022, and will then be added to the Bodleian Collection.
Corinne Welch: The hand of friendship – a reverse redaction
360 x 370 mm fabric scroll – digital print and hand embroidery
A response to our current government’s aversion to scrutiny– heavily redacting documents in the public domain. This artwork is a reverse redaction of a speech by Priti Patel, launching the UK and Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership in Kigali on 14 April 2022. Intended as a deterrent to people traffickers, the speech outlined the intention to detain asylum seekers and refugees before flying them to Rwanda for enforced resettlement with no option to return.
The speech is digitally printed onto fabric and made into a scroll to illustrate the performative nature of the announcement of this conspicuously ‘tough approach’ to immigration. The reverse redaction is created by hand-embroidered tally marks revealing the hidden reality of the message. The tallies represent the thousands of individuals whose lives will be impacted by this unworkable and unethical policy.
In June, a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights led to the cancellation of the first scheduled deportation flight to Rwanda. However, for those seeking sanctuary in the UK, far from being offered a hand of friendship, the very real threat of enforced deportation remains. The scroll will be on display in the Old Bodleian Library until 6th November 2022, and will then be added to the Bodleian Collection.
Image: Detail The hand of friendship – a reverse redaction by Corinne Welch.
More information about the exhibition can be found here.
Text by Tom Sowden: For the Scandinavian Artists’ Books Partnership Project, librarians from the Nordic/Scandinavian countries, and those in the UK, were challenged to make an artist’s book that was influenced by the books produced by Ed Ruscha.
During 1960s and 1970s, Ed Ruscha produced 16 small, self-published books that became a catalyst for how artists could approach the book form. He was not the only artist of the time to consider the potential of books, but his reputation has been cemented as a revolutionary in this new approach to artists’ books. This reputation has grown, and his influence on book artists remains strong to this day to the extent that his books are appropriated across the world by successive generations of artists. The numbers of these appropriated books are well into the hundreds, if not thousands now.
When appropriating Ruscha’s work, the librarians were asked to consider how to use his work as the influence. They were asked to research the books made by Ruscha and were also provided with a video showing how artists had previously appropriated his book works. Ruscha’s originals are well documented and discussed online but, if possible, the librarians were encouraged to see them first hand. When appropriating Ruscha they could consider the look, or the numbered naming system of a (photographic) collection, or the systems, or the subject matter, or even a direct copy. The choice was up to them.
The project was to involve library staff in considering the making and components of an artist’s book, how it might be created, handled, perceived before it joins the library collection for cataloguing. However, by producing a book that directly references Ruscha, the librarians have also become part of a community of artists and a community of knowledge. Looking at art as a collective activity rather than as an individual pursuit.
The entries that have been submitted are fantastic takes on Ruscha’s books. Each one shows how the librarian/artist has engaged with the originals to understand, appropriate, and reinterpret in a contemporary (and artist’s book and library) context. Welcome additions to the community.
The books in the exhibition are on display until 31st October 2022:
A FEW LIBRARY BOOKS, Doreen Barnaville, 2022
AN (OTHER) LOOK AT THE SPECIAL COLLECTION, Marianne Paasche, Pedro Vasquez & Ola Søndenå, 2022
CHWECH AR HUGAIN SAFLOEDD BWS (TWENTYSIX BUS STOPS), Jenn Pearce, 2022
NINE CYAN SQUARES, Julie Johnstone, Essence Press, 2022
NIO LIVS, Astrid Olsson, 2022
SIX PHYLLISES AND ONE BILL, Nick Triggs, 2022
SOME BUILDINGS CONTAIN LIBRARIES, Karen Pierce, 2022
TWENTYSIX TIMES MY CAT GOT IN THE WAY, Morwenna Peters, 2022
TWENTYSIX PLACES NAMED AFTER NUMBERS, Shaun Oaten, 2022
VARIOUS SMALL ARTISTS’ BOOKS AND WINE, Maria White, 2022
VARIOUS SMALL IDEAS AND TREES, David Kjellin, 2022
You can read a little more info about our project and see images of all the books produced here.
Image: Detail from VARIOUS SMALL IDEAS AND TREES by David Kjellin.
It’s the new year for Artist’s Book Club at UWE, which is open to any of our students, alumni and staff.
Our sessions this year include: An invitation to make a book for our themed exhibition in July 2023 at Bower Ashton Library. Corinne Welch – talks about her 2021 garden residency and the books made as part of that year’s work. Artist Rachel Smith zooms in to talk about her exhibition Promise the Infinite: Drawing out Babel that is being installed in the library today. Rachel Marsh talks about her practice and letterpress printing. Leonie Bradley and Catherine Cartwright give a talk on collaborative artists’ books. LAN2D and ABC event artists’ books, prints and nature – Bristol. Angie Butler talks about her practice with artists’ books. Vicky Kaye – visual poet and artist talks about her work including Fractured Light: An Anthology. Rae Holden talks about the Late Night Press and Letterpress. Bower Ashton show and tell session of books made this academic year.
A £5 membership fee helps us cover the cost of events. ABC meetings are a mix of physical and online meetings. Details of how to join in are sent out before each meeting. To join, please contact Sarah at: Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk. See the programme with meeting dates here.
Image: Detail of Candide, by Linda Parr.
This touring exhibition is 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. 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.
Selections from the related Shadow and Light project are currently on show online at UC Santa Barbara Library, California, USA. View them online here.
The image shown here is a detail from Gloomy Monday by Allison Bianco and Lara Henderson, USA, 2012. You can read more about the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here project on the LAAF Festival website.