|Research resources on artists’
books for students
All of the links and downloads below are on the bookarts website. Some of them are from guest speakers at seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences we have hosted, or talks we have given at other institutions. Do browse the bookarts website as well for up to date news, Book Arts Newsletter downloads and current projects and exhibitions. The Exhibitions and Events page has an archive of artists’ books exhibitions held here since 2001 and exhibitions we have curated, with plenty of examples and images of artists’ books. The Book Arts Websites page also has lots of links to interesting people and places.
The information below has been arranged in sections to help you find information relating to your interests or research, the sections are:
Using Bower Ashton Library - a quick guide to resources available for studying artists’ books.
MA Printmaking - Developing Practice Module Artists’ Books Reading and Resources list PDF download
MA Printmaking - Practice in A Professional Context Module Artists’ Books Reading and Resources list PDF download
Comprehensive reading list of Reference publications: Books, catalogues, journals, pamphlets.
Reading Room list of Reference Publications from the New Wave exhibition with info on POD books etc.
Some insights into making artists’ books and related works
A folded sheet, a tacked up poster…
Sarah’s text-based response to the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street, the street of booksellers in Baghdad on 5 March 2007. Made for An Inventory of al-Mutanabbi Street, 2011. Published via blurb in paperback and ebook download for iBooks. An epub version of the book to use on any Android or iPad etc. can be downloaded free from Nicolas Frespech’s epub website at: http://lirepub.com/#inventory
Download a PDF of the double page spreads of 'An Inventory'
Drawing with Fire: The Art of Laser Cutting Paper
Tom’s paper given at Impact 7 explores some of the laser cutting methods used by artists, in particular from his AHRC funded project (Paper Models: investigating laser-cutting technology to develop new artists' books and paper-based creative practice for arts, crafts and design, March 2010 - October 2010). The project explored and demonstrated the potential of the laser cutter as a creative tool in terms of design, structure and construction for the production of artists' books and paper-based works.
Drawing with Fire: The Art of Laser Cutting Paper
TOAST: A Night on Weevil Lake
A collaborative book and video produced on World Book Night, Saturday 5th March 2011. In tribute to Douglas Coupland's novel The Gum Thief, an evening of nothing being cooked, Chinese food having to be ordered in and eaten off of paper plates from Staples.
Mette Sofie D. Ambeck: Steam, Salt, Milk and Day Return
The Danish artist Mette Sofie D. Ambeck artist’s book case study for Tom’s Paper Models project. Mette produced two books during a four-day residency in the Laser Cutting Studio in the CFPR at UWE, Bristol in July 2010. Download the case study from the project’s reports page.
Su Blackwell: laser cut works for her installations at the Bronte Parsonage Museum
Much of Blackwell’s work is produced entirely by hand, and she will adapt and alter her three-dimensional cut works in progress as a response to how the material is reacting. Download the case study of works produced during a four-day residency in the Laser Studio in the CFPR at UWE, Bristol for Tom’s Paper Models project in June 2010, from the project’s report page.
Tom Sowden: Goldfinger, Stormy Seas and Corridors
Tom’s own case study for his Paper Models project, describing the works produced. Download the case study from the project’s reports page.
An Exercise for Kurt Johannessen
A free download artist's book by Sarah Bodman
Flowers in Hotel Rooms
A short text on Sarah Bodman’s ongoing series of artists’ books
No Dutch Details
Tom Sowden and Sarah Bodman produced No Dutch Details on an intercity train from Amsterdam Schiphol to Enschede, The Netherlands between 19.47 and 20.00 on Sunday 16th January 2011. The film recreated the zoom-in image format of Ed Ruscha’s Dutch Details, as a chronological tribute to of all his books published between 1963 and 1978, but using only props found or created in miniature that could be photographed on the train.
Watch the movie
Dinner and A Rose
Sarah Bodman & Nancy Campbell collaborated on an artist’s book in homage to the novel The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Regenerator II: altered books project
57 artists selected a book each from a list of library discards, which were then turned into altered artists’ books. You can view all of the books in the online gallery and read the artists’ notes about what they did with the book, and why.
Paul Laidler : Recording Landscape
A free workshop with Paul Laidler - Research Associate at CFPR, specialising in Digital Print and Digital Photography. Participants were shown how to produce and stitch panoramic photographs of the landscape for digital print and books.
Download the worksheet with information and tips
Librarians’ Books Exhibition
A touring exhibition (2005-2006) of artists’ books made by 45 librarians. View all of the books produced, with documentation.
To celebrate the National Year of Reading and World Book Day in 2008 we invited artists to make contributions to Reading Around… Artists responded to the call with pages of artwork, audio recordings and video files which have been collated into the Reading Around website archive for you to enjoy. We have 60 artists’ pages for viewing or download, some short movies and audio pieces about reading / books and a free download PDF e-book, which you can print out and make up into your own book.
Regenerator: altered books project
82 artists selected a book each from a list of library discards, which were then turned into altered artists’ books. You can view all of the books in the online gallery and read the artists’ notes about what they did with the book, and why.
John Bently’s Liver and Lights Scriptorium, 20th Anniversary Exhibition
Text and an online gallery of John Bently’s books and related works. Poet, artist, writer, musician. You can also listen to John Bently talk about his practice on the audio file link, and watch a live performance of Afterabbit.
Lucy May Schofield
Book Artist, talks about her practice. You can see a PowerPoint show and listen to an audio file.
Ø - Cherry Blossom Island Tree
Sarah Bodman and Tom Sowden: a cherry tree on a small island, dreams of all the other islands it might meet as it travels across the sea leaving a trail of island blossom in its wake. Watch a video of a book being made and its journey to Denmark.
An interview with the writer and artist about his own books and the development of artists’ books over the last 20 years in Poland. This interview took place in Nowakowski’s home in the hamlet of Dabrowa Dolna near Kielce, where many of his books are based. You can download a text file and watch videos of him talking about his practice.
O Pão Nosso - Livros de Artista / Our daily bread Artists’ Books
A Collaborative Artists' Book Project curated by Mara Caruso, Brazil. Watch a film of the exhibition opening and the books.
New Wave - artists’ publishing in the 21st Century
An exhibition demonstrating examples of concepts and formats of artists’ publishing. 133 artists’ books, and a reference book reading room of contextual publications. You can view al of the books in the online gallery.
' The themes for my latest artists publications in film follow on from my artists’ publications in book form. Visualise an inky figure running through a landscape. On paper or in a movie. Exploit the differences…' Listen to an audio file, read a text and watch some of Andi’s movies.
Creation and Sources
Sarah’s talk for a workshop (Artists’ Books: Creating, Collecting, Cataloguing, ARLIS UK and Ireland Art Libraries Society, Chelsea College of Art and Design 2006), illustrates some of the creative methods used by individual artists, projects from the Centre for Fine Print Research and the production of some of her own artists’ books. The text should be read in conjunction with the PowerPoint presentation for illustrations, and the web-sources and places lists re the links to the websites of artists and books mentioned.
A public art exhibition of contemporary and imaginative responses to the books on the bookshelves in the bookshop, organised by Jolanta Jagiello. Each bookmark was allocated to a book in the bookstore selected by Jolanta. A gallery of images show bookmarks with post-it notes indicating the book they have been placed inside.
The History Book That Never Was (2003)
27 artists who work within the field of artists' books were invited to contribute an artwork on paper, creating a visual description of a book that was never made. The premise of this project was not for the artists to physically create a book, but to describe its essence and any alternative historical impact it would have made if it had existed. A Gallery of printable images can be used to make up into your own artist’s book.
Sarah’s Artist's Residency Southern Cross University, NSW, Australia
February - March 2006
May be of interest as it documents the making of an artist’s book using Tim Mosely’s pulp-printing technique, with information on the papermaking research at SCU. The photo gallery link shows the process from start to finish. Links from any of the pictures show the related text.
Some Notes Towards the Meir Agassi Museum®
Meir Agassi’s thoughts on his practice and reflections on artists' books - published by Meir Agassi in1995. Download a facsimile PDF and view images of his books.
I always wanted to make my own books. But in 2006 I started to make artists’ books as part of my art. I use drawing, painting, collage, typography and sometimes sewing…
The Thy Bottle -Top Badge Project
Whilst attending the Limfjord Book Arts Festival in Doverodde, Denmark this May, a lady called Marianne approached UWE Masters student Angie Butler, carrying a largish plastic bag full of bottle-tops. 'Can you make something nice with these?'
Nature/landscape and artists’ books
Life, the universe and everything: the artist’s book as a means of theoretical, political and social consideration of the natural world
Sarah’s paper given at Impact 7. Nature and the landscape surround us and we depend upon them. Many artists explore our relationship with the natural world and society at large, and those discussed in this paper work predominantly in the format of the artist’s book. Their work also utilises the Internet, performance, video and music to explore the wider questions of how we live in, observe, treat and understand our wider natural surroundings
Life, the universe and everything
Artists' books, nature, landscape
A themed talk by Sarah Bodman of Collections and Observations of nature, Textscapes, Journeys through landscape, Working in the landscape, The politics of landscape, Altered books and nature, and A darker (then lighter) side of nature.
Download the slideshow
Download the handout
Andrew Norris, Cover Me in Cowhide - Umjetnicke Knjige
The artists’ books, book-works and book-objects that Andrew Norris has been making over the past 20 years have, as a common theme, the landscape.
Flora and fauna: a selection of plant, flower and animal inspired artists’ books.
A small selection of works and short related texts from an exhibition in The Netherlands.
Arcadia id est
A 34-month touring exhibition of 119 artists’ books based on nature and landscape. You can view all of the books online.
Talks and essays to read:
Introduction to the project (Sarah Bodman)
In Pursuit of the Arcadian Dream (Sarah Bodman)
On site-specificity and storytelling (Patrick Eyres)
Nature Landscape & Book (Helen Douglas)
8 Lost Songs - background to the production of a ‘hybrid’ artist’s book.(Iain Biggs)
Nature and Artists’ Books (Tracey Bush)
Also see the LAND2 website www.land2.uwe.ac.uk for artists using landscape and nature including book works by Helen Douglas, Iain Biggs, Yvonne Buchheim, Mick McGraw.
Producing, Pricing, Exhibiting and Marketing Artists’ Books
Sarah was interviewed by Michael Shirrefs, Feature Producer of ABC Radio Australia’s ‘Artworks’ programme, at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. Their conversation was broadcast in December 2011, and can be listened to or downloaded at The Cutting Edge of Artist’s Books.
Books of all stripes: artists' publishing in the 21st Century
Sarah’s talk at State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, September 2011.
The Hand Printed Page
Sarah’s short essay on artists hand producing their books, for BITE - A new show of artists making prints, Mall Galleries, London, 2011
The Hand Printed Page
Artists’ Books in the Digital Age
Tom Sowden’s talk on artists’ using digital publishing at Doverodde Book-arts Festival, Denmark, Friday 8th May 2009. View a slideshow and download an info sheet.
Artists’ Books Creative Production and Marketing, 3rd Edition, May 2010
Information and interviews with artists about producing and distributing their work, and the importance of artist’s book fairs and events for building relationships with purchasers and other artists; curators, collectors (both institutional and private) bookshop and gallery workers and dealers.
Download a free, 87pp PDF version with colour images.
The artist’s book market
Sarah Bodman and Marcus Campbell discussed the artist’s book market, and the relationship between the artist and purchaser within this field. (Beyond the Book Symposium, V&A Museum, London, 18 April 2008) A transcript of Sarah’s marketing advice for artists.
Alternative methods of distribution
Maria Fusco - writer, critic and editor, Director of Art Writing at Goldsmiths College, London, discusses alternative methods of distribution, with particular focus on a number of contemporary artists’ projects that challenge conventional boundaries of production and presentation. Listen to the audio file.
Utilising the Internet
Dr Jackie Batey (Senior lecturer in Illustration, in the School of Art, Design & Media, University of Portsmouth) talks about how she uses the Internet for showing and marketing her books, and showed some Internet work in progress, including how to build a website. Listen to the audio file.
The quiet democracy of the contemporary artist’s book (or why do artists make books?)
Sarah’s talk from the Books That Fly Conference (University of Brighton, July 2008). A selection of book works by artists, drawing on examples that deliver a message in an available and affordable format.
Download a PDF essay.
light-trap press: seeing projects from conception to publication and beyond.
Angela Gardner (light-trap press, Australia) uses her perspective as an artist, poet and publisher to look at the independent yet mutual role between artist and poet in collaborative projects.
Tom Sowden talks about Sitting Room a touring exhibition, he curated with Lucy May Schofield, of over 100 artists’ books travelling in a sitting room environment.
You can download a text file or listen to an audio file.
Collections, Centres and Museums
Artists and librarians: making art in and out of books
Sarah’s talk about some of CFPR’s projects involving librarians and libraries, for The Artist in the Library symposium hosted by: Library and Learning Services, University of East London Docklands Campus, London.
Collaboration in Artists' Books
Sarah’s talk about some of the collaborative book projects at CFPR for ‘With a little help from our friends”: Collaboration and art libraries’. An ARLIS Education & Professional Development day at Westminster Reference Library, London (2010) for collaborative ideas for libraries to work with external partners.
Collecting artists’ books
Catherine Polley and Linda Newington, talk about Winchester School of Art Library, Artist’s Book Collection. Read notes and listen to an audio file.
Janusz Pawel Tryzno and Jadwiga Tryzno
An interview with the founders of the Book Art Museum, Lódz, Poland - an amazing institution which has been publishing works for many years, and which houses a working press studio and bindery, full of rescued machinery which is all maintained and used to produce editions. See images and download a PDF text.
Collections, case study of a book arts centre, and new publishing formats
Sarah Bodman and Tom Sowden - report on new publishing media shown at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Plus, USA: an overview of MCBA Minneapolis as an example of best practice for traditional book arts and interview with director Jeff Rathermel; Doro Böhme and the collection policies of the Joan Flasch Artist’s Book Collection at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago; Sara Ranchouse Publishing as a model of ‘artists’ publications’; Clifton Meador’s use of traditional and P-O-D bookworks, and E.F. Stevens’ Awaiting Transmission phone book project. See Session 2 to listen to the talk as an MP3 audio file and view the PDF file of images.
Exploratory essays, experimental texts and historical reflections on artists’ books
A Manifesto for the Book
Sarah Bodman and Tom Sowden February 2010
Download the colour 187 pp publication A Manifesto for the Book, which contains our statement for a manifesto, and an edited selection of interviews, essays, presentations, case studies, and some ABTREEs from the project What will be the canon for the artist’s book in the 21st Century?
Focus on artists’ books in Poland
Sarah Bodman and Tom Sowden - report on artists’ publishing in Poland: Krakow, Kielce, Lodz, Warsaw and Poznan. How artists and writers work with the book format with examples of regional variations of the book; from traditional fine press publications to performance, Internet and experimental works in the book format.
Listen to an audio file and view a PDF of images and see links for more information and background reading.
The Cover of a Book is the Beginning of a Journey
Clare Thornton, Paul Clarke - members of The Performance Re-Enactment Society, and Julian Warren, Arnolfini’s Archivist, in the form of a dialogue, open the work of the book to both the art event it documents and the actions it calls-for or produces.
A book works’ call to future action, re-making and re-performing rather than re-reading, opening the frame of book works to events that come before and after.
Listen to an audio file, read the text and view images.
Artists’ Books Around the World in the 21st Century
A talk by Sarah for Doverodde Book-arts Festival Doverodde, Denmark, Friday 8th May 2009. View a slideshow and download an info sheet.
Liberature: Literature In The Form Of The Book
Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer show the development of liberature (from Latin liber, i.e. 'book'), a literary genre that integrates text and its material foundation into a meaningful whole. But it is the writer who intentionally shapes the form of the book to suit the text. The spur to propose liberature as a genre different from artists' books and concrete poetry came from a self-reflection on form, space, as well as the book and text as literary media.
Listen to the audio file and read the whole text from the presentation with links to videos of the books.
Francis Elliott’s Possible Strategies For Exploiting Wikipedia For The Dissemination and Profiling of Artist’s Books and Multiples on the Internet.
Listen to the audio file or download a text PDF.
Wikipedia - NPOV
Emily Artinian took a closer look at how the artist’s book pages on this collaborative encyclopaedia have evolved. There was specific consideration of the site’s Neutral Point of View (NPOV) rule, the widespread phenomenon of wikivandalism, and the ways in which some instances of this may constitute artist’s book activity. The talk included a live intervention with audience participation - They brought their digital spray paint!
Guy Begbie on his work as Book Arts Coordinator and Lecturer at Hereford College of Arts - his remit is to deliver book arts to a diverse selection of courses at both FE and HE levels. Listen to an audio file and watch a Flash movie.
Focus on Artists’ Books III (2006)
Artspace Mackay, Queensland, Australia
Focus on Artists’ Books is an annual event to promote the book arts throughout Australia, via exchange and contact with practitioners in the field of artists’ books.
Find links to Australian organisations in Sarah’s report.
Page on Page - an overview of Contemporary British and Irish Artists’ Books.
Sarah’s text from a talk for Beautiful & Useful? Supporting the Arts & Crafts in the 21st Century (ARLIS UK and Ireland Annual Conference July 2007). Contemporary artists' publishing covering a range of production methods from digital print, photographic and traditionally produced artists’ books, to zines, handmade and unique books.
Download a text PDF.
Book Art: Changes and development in the 2nd half of the 20th Century: the 50s - 90s
Dr Bibiana Crespo (Universitat de Barcelona). In order to understand the concept and evolution of the contemporary Book Art and to establish the foremost parameters that will shape the canon for artists’ books in the 21st Century it is necessary to analyse the changes and the development that evolved during the second half of the 20th Century. Listen to an audio file, read the text and view images.
The book is a public place
Kathleen Walkup (Mills College, USA). One way to consider the trajectory of emerging formats in artists’ books is to examine where they’ve been. In the 1970s the several strands of conceptual art, letterpress craft, contemporary poetry, comics, little magazines and photography began to find some common ground in the output of many small presses in the US and the UK. These artefacts, which came to be called artists’ books or book art, were also affected by the major technological shifts in production that paralleled their rise. Listen to an audio file, read the text and view images.
escape routes exist
A performative text by seekers of lice, UK. Why do the phrases bookart and bookartist seem to negate both words, as if the works produced are not real books and not real art? Listen to an audio file, read the text and view images.