Book Arts

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 Newsletters 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 information below has been arranged in sections to help you find information relating to your interests or research.

PDF reading lists

Using Bower Ashton Library – a quick guide to resources available for studying artists’ books.
Comprehensive reading list of Reference publications held at Bower Ashton.
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

Collage Colloquium with LCBA

Talks by Jean McEwan, Jeremy Dixon, Daniel Lehan and Jeff Rathermel on their collage practices for a colloquium at the London Centre for Book Arts, August 2020.

CFPR Print & Book Festival 2020

Talks by artists and poets, and some practical challenges online with downloadable worksheets here.

Read To Me

Read about the artist’s book project Read To Me at the London Centre for Book Arts (LCBA) 2018.

Found on the Isthmus – World Book Night 2018 project exhibition, video and artist’s book

For 2018, the World Book Night United Artists issued an invitation to read and respond to the short story ‘Watching God’ in the collection Three Moments of an Explosion by China Miéville.

An Inventory

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.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.

Reading Around…

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 Lucy May Schofield 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.

Radoslaw Nowakowski

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.

Andi McGarry

‘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.


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 in 1995. Download a facsimile PDF and view images of his books.

Baysan Yüksel

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)

Producing, Pricing, Exhibiting and Marketing Artists’ Books


PDF downloads of Sarah’s presentation ‘Communities of practice: Building an internationally connected practice in and for the book arts’ visuals and/or text, for Booknesses: Taking Stock of the Book Arts in South Africa, 2017

The Cutting Edge of Artist’s 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

Sarah Bodman
ISBN 978-1-906501-05-1

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.

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!

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.