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.
The festive ABYB image here is from a photograph sent by Christine Kermaire in Belgium, celebrating the safe arrival of her copy of the Yearbook.
Order your copy online here
This year we have a selection of books and poetry nominated by Csilla Biro, Sarah Bodman, Nancy Campbell and Linda Parr. The exhibition, video and publication for 2020 will be coordinated by Sarah Bodman and Linda Parr.
In light of Nancy Campbell’s book The Library of Ice: Readings from a Cold Climate (Scribner, 2018) we have decided not to travel. Instead we will be travelling virtually through fiction and libraries. Our set texts for WBN 2020 are: W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn (New Directions Books, 1998), Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2018), and the poem ‘Questions of Travel’ by Elizabeth Bishop (1911 –1979). Please choose one or read them all.
In an interview with Tim Youngs (2018) Nancy Campbell talks about the ethical, environmental, cultural and financial considerations of travel, and quotes a line from Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘Questions of Travel’: “Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?”. Nancy then goes on to say of writing The Library of Ice: “A lot of what lies behind my book is sitting in libraries and imagining other places.”. Intertwining ideas of travel with personal reflection and historical facts as an inspiration for WBN had placed Sebald and Tokarczuk on the ‘to do’ list in 2018. But now we need to also consider whether it is necessary for us to travel at all. Can we sit in libraries with books and travel through our imaginations?
WBN 2020: the brief for participation.
We invite you to sit in a library (real or imagined), then send us a postcard describing where you are (text or image). The postcard you send can be an existing postcard, old or new, or homemade, you can write/draw/collage/type/print on one side or both, it’s up to you. If you can’t afford to post us a physical postcard then email Sarah the text or image you would have written or drawn on it and she will stick it onto a blank postcard (Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk please put WBN2020 in the subject line).
WBN United artists will exhibit all the postcards together over the month of April 2020 at Bower Ashton Library, UWE Bristol, UK. We’ll make a pdf download catalogue of all the entries. We will also print a little folded keepsake/folio which will contain one copy of an editioned postcard produced by us, WBN United artists on 23/04/20 (typewriters, collage, rubber stamps etc.) and one of the submitted postcards. Each contributor will receive a little album/keepsake with our postcard and a postcard from someone else as a mail art exchange.
Send your postcard to: Sarah Bodman, CFPR, UWE, Bristol, Kennel Lodge Road, Bristol BS3 2JT, United Kingdom.
Three important things to note: 1) Please write your name and where you are posting it from clearly on the postcard. 2) Maximum postcard size is 15 x 10.5 cm. (3) Please email Sarah your name and postal address so we can send your copy of the mail art exchange keepsake: Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk
Nobody will travel except in their imagination, but we will all be collectively in the library. The deadline for receipt of postcards is Tuesday 31st March 2020.
The feature image here is from a postcard sent for World Book Night 2020 by Glenn Thomas (Amsterdam, The Netherlands). Download a pdf copy of the call here.
Articles in this issue: Ella Morrison, Hand to page: touch, performance, and the artist’s book; Altered Images: An interview with David Ferry by Stephen Clarke; Documenting Craft: A Discussion of Recordness in Book Art by Robert Riter; DAYPAGES – Paris by Daniel Lehan; The Book Tree Press – an accidental imprint by Lucy Roscoe.
Vol 14 No. 1, Autumn – Winter 2019 is now available. Cover, badge and sticker design by Chrystal Cherniwchan. Artists’ pages by: Jane Cradock-Watson, Leonard McDermid, Sylvia Waltering and Maria White.
Subscription info for all issues can be found here.
Bower Ashton Library, UWE Bristol, UK
Monday 2nd December 2019 – 15th January 2020
This exhibition continues the Read To Me project – an experiment made in collaboration with a psychometric reader, as an attempt to transmit the emotional content of stories through a series of physical objects. On Thursday 14th November 2019, an experiment took place at Arnolfini’s bookshop at 6.30pm. In tribute to the Fox Sisters and the artist Susan Hiller’s Sisters of Menon publication, attendees attempted to capture a reading that was transmitted. Others participated remotely and posted their drawings to me. Participants have created 56 drawings, sent from the UK, Australia, USA, The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. The results are on display in the exhibition Read With Me, at Bower Ashton Library until 15th January. Thanks to Jon Hill and Gin Saunders for photographing the event.
You can read more about the exhibition and see some images of the drawings here, the project here and here.
Kate Holland of Designer Bookbinders are running free sessions for UWE students and staff in the library. Book a place through Shaun Oaten in the library, max 12 places per session. Thurs 30th January – decorative techniques, Thurs 27th February – box making, 10.30 – 3.30 each session. These sessions are sponsored by Designer Bookbinders and the Printing Charity. Designer Bookbinders is one of the foremost societies devoted to the craft of fine bookbinding. Its membership includes some of the most highly regarded makers in the fields of fine bookbinding, book arts and artists’ books, each with a passion for presenting the bound text as a unique art object.
Kate Holland is a multi award winning bookbinder, specialising in contemporary fine bindings to commission or for exhibition. She uses traditional materials and techniques to produce a unique, modern binding that reflects the text, illustrations and typeface of the book.
Save the date for visiting artist Theresa Easton in conversation with Angie Butler as part of the new Bower Ashton Library podcast series. Thursday 23rd January 12-1pm, Special Collections area. This is a free, public event and all are welcome to attend. Bower Ashton Library address details here.
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. A series of 13th Anniversary Readings and Events for Al-Mutanabbi Street will be taking place on or around 5th March 2020.