This year our selected texts were nominated by Csilla Biro, Sarah Bodman, Nancy Campbell and Linda Parr. The exhibition and exchange for 2020 are 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 decided not to travel. Instead we travelled virtually through fiction and libraries. Our set texts for WBN 2020 were: 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).
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 needed to also consider whether to travel at all. So we asked people to sit in libraries with books and travel through their imagination.
WBN United artists planned to exhibit all the postcards together over the month of April 2020 at Bower Ashton Library, UWE Bristol, UK. Due to COVID-19 we have had to postpone and change that into a virtual exhibition for now. If you posted your card and haven’t heard from Sarah, please email Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk for info.
We will go ahead with the keepsake for each contributor of a physical postcard. This will contain one copy of an editioned postcard produced by us, WBN United artists (made at home with typewriters, collage, rubber stamps etc.) and one of the submitted postcards. This will take place later than planned as we will need to wait until we can access the university again to collect and exchange all of the physical postcards.
We will launch the online exhibition in a virtual postcard album on World Book Night 23/04/2020.
The feature image here is a detail from the postcard sent for World Book Night 2020 by Sue Vallance, UK.
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.
Order your copy online with UK postage here, or international postage here. Please note that we aren’t able to post out any orders currently due to COVID-19 closure. Post will resume as soon as we can get back into work.
Vol 14 No. 2 includes a great set of articles from Sweden, the USA and UK: ‘Some intervals in artists’ books’ by John McDowall; ‘What is material-based poetry?’ A conversation between Joakim Norland and Lina Nordenström; ‘Con·nec·tion’ Rebecca Korn writes about the practice of US artist Lise Melhorn-Boe; Paul van Capelleveen on ‘Five Fragments of Introductions To Robbin Ami Silverberg’s Books’. Roelof Bakker discusses his artist’s book ‘The Spots That Never Went, a personal reflection on the devastation of AIDS in the 1980s/90s and the lasting impact of the AIDS crisis on a generation of gay men and their friends and families. Artists’ pages by Csilla Bíró, Mike Dutton, Heather Green and Nigel Robinson. Cover design by Tom Sowden.
Subscription info can be found here.
Vol 14 No. 1 includes essays by Ella Morrison, Daniel Lehan (visual essay), Robert Riter and Lucy Roscoe plus an interview with David Ferry by Stephen Clarke. Cover, badge and sticker designed by Chrystal Cherniwchan. Artists’ pages by Jane Cradock-Watson, Leonard McDermid, Sylvia Waltering and Maria White.
As COVID-19 is delaying access to our postal capabilities, if you subscribe, or have subscribed, please email Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk for the link to the online colour version whilst you wait for your physical copy to eventually reach you.
Our resources for students page has links to browse some online galleries and information from various sections of the bookarts website. Hopefully this will help with inspiration whilst people are stuck indoors.You can have a browse here. Some talks are from guest speakers at seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences we have hosted, or ones we have given at other institutions. Do browse the bookarts website as well for up-to-date news, Book Arts Newsletters, current projects and exhibitions.
The Exhibitions and Events page has an archive of artists’ books exhibitions, 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 image here is of the artist’s book After Light by Nancy Campbell and Paula Naughton. It is one example from the online gallery New Wave: artists’ publishing in the 21st Century.
We are still planning to go ahead with this in August at the moment: The Centre for Fine Print Research in association with the London Centre for Book Arts (LCBA) is organising a day of collage presentations and viewing of artefacts at LCBA. Do come along and join CFPR on the road at LCBA for our drop-in collage colloquium on Friday 14th August 2020.
Meet artists Jeremy Dixon, Jean McEwan, Daniel Lehan, Jeff Rathermel to find out more about contemporary collage and artists’ books.
This is a free drop in event, 11am – 3.30pm, please save the date and book via the eventbrite link when we publish it so we know how much tea and biscuits to prepare. Email Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk if you wish to be notified when the booking link is live. Image here is a collage by Daniel Lehan.
London Centre for Book Arts
Britannia Works, 56 Dace Road, London E3 2NQ, UK.
Whilst people are stuck indoors, we are offering a deal if you place a pre-order for Vol 15 of The Blue Notebook, which will help us towards future printing costs. If you spend £10 to subscribe to the next issue now, we will email you an access list of a few Blue Notebook colour back issues to browse for free. The image here is from Tom Sowden’s cover design for Vol 11, No2. Subscription info for Vol 15 can be found here.
Our next biennial festival the Bristol Artist’s Book Event (BABE) will take place in Spring 2021. We had planned to hold a MiniBABE event at Arnolfini over the weekend of the 2nd – 3rd May, but have had to cancel that due to COVID-19.
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.