Artists’ Books News, August 2016

Artists’ Books News, August 2016


‘Exploring Artists’ Books’ mini-project with Double Elephant Print Workshop and Exeter Library. Catherine Cartwright of Double Elephant Print Workshop reports on a recent ABPP loan of artists’ books and bookmaking tools from the Centre for Fine Print Research, with an exhibition opening in Exeter:

This five-week project was specifically for adults with mental health problems; the environment, atmosphere and tutor/participant ratio aimed to make the course a supportive, friendly and creative space. We welcomed a keen sign-up of 9 participants and there was much enthusiasm about the project. Each Monday in May and June we spent the day in both Exeter Library and Double Elephant exploring artists’ books; making, looking at and handling books of from CFPR’s collection, and chatting.

We began with accordion folds, quickly progressing to ‘slot and tab’ books and simple stitch binding. We explored making stamps using erasers and foam. Monoprinting and collage also combined with the book forms we learnt. I ran the project with fellow Double Elephant artist Paula Youens. Bookbinder Nina Fenner came and ran a special ‘master’ session in the final week. This project was part of a bigger run of Artist’s Book-Printmaking sessions we ran with Double Elephant at other libraries in Devon, including Ivybridge and Tiverton.

There will be an exhibition of the artists’ books made by the participants at Exeter Library from 1st August – 30th September 2016.

Looking at the artists’ books loaned under the ABPP scheme, and a completed book from the workshops run by Double Elephant artists. Photo: Catherine Cartwright.

Noëlle Griffiths (Hafod Press): artists’ books and paintings in RE-TAKE/RE-INVENT at Royal Cambrian Academy and Oriel Ynys Mon, North Wales from September 2016

From Noëlle Griffiths: RE-TAKE/RE-INVENT is a group exhibition working on the methodology of making new art from old. Each of the sixteen artists involved with this project chose a piece of art from the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff to use as a starting point to make new work.

I chose the large abstract acrylic painting ‘Ligeia’ 1978 by John Hoyland (1934-2011) and the BBC Arena film made in 1979: ‘Six Days in September’. This film explores the creative process of making a painting. Hoyland talks in a direct and honest way, making observations that will resonate with artists who work in the isolation of their studio.

For each painting I have made a book which records the colours used in the act of making each painting. I have made twelve artist’s books and nineteen paintings (including two now destroyed). For each book I have tried to incorporate different aspects of the creative process: studio notes, sketches and a selected transcript of Hoyland’s film. I kept a blog which records the work as it unfolds and you can see a film made in my studio about the project on

Noëlle Griffiths (Hafod Press), artists’ books made for the exhibition ‘RETAKE/REINVENT’. Photo: Noëlle Griffiths.

RETAKE/REINVENT exhibitions:

10th September – 15th October 2016 at Royal Cambrian Academy, Crown Lane, Conwy, Conwy LL32 8AN, UK. Open: 11-5 Tues-Saturday.

24th September – 6th November 2016 at Oriel Ynys Mon, Rhosmeirch, Llangefni, Anglesey LL77 7TQ, UK. Open: 11-5 daily.

Artists’ Book Fairs and Events

The Old School Press will be at the Whittington Press Open Day on 3rd September 2016. From Whittington Press: This year our annual open day will take place on Saturday 3rd September, beginning at 1pm. Added to our usual array of UK based letterpress printers are Russell Maret and Gaylord Schanilec from the USA, Peter Allen from France and Annette Disslin from Germany.

The Press will have three of its presses working, as well as an informal exhibition of its work, including copies of Venice, its latest title, and pages from Matrix 34 which is going on press this week. Neil Winter will be demonstrating the Monotype Casters and there will be displays of marbling, goatskin from Nigeria, hand-made and mould-made papers and hand-printed wallpaper.

As well as books and ephemera there will be an array of printers equipment and type for sale and the open day coincides with the village fete so if you fancy your chances at skittles or own a talented dog you could be going home with a few prizes . . . More information at:


ASP2 – The Sequel at the ICA, London, 10th September 2016

ASP 2 (the Artist Self-Publishers’ fair) will host 70+ UK and international independent artist self-publishers for this one-day fair. As with 2015 the fair will feature artist self-publishers only, and will continue to avoid the restrictions and market dominance of much of contemporary arts culture.

The publications are still the art works; affordable and available, and remain free from the fetters of the institution or gallery, the ideas images and text are produced and published by artists who understand the restrictions and freedoms of the printed page. With the generous help of the ICA London, ASP seeks to celebrate and promote artist self-publishers and their work.

The Old School Press will also be at the Oxford Guild of Printers Wayzgoose, 22nd October 2016, 10am-5pm.
Dora Cohen Hall, Wheatley Campus of Oxford Brookes University.


Interesting links

Now available online as a free PDF download: Timothy Mosely’s PhD thesis: The Haptic Touch of Books by Artists, Griffith University, Brisbane, 2014.

Abstract: The book as a medium for creative practice proliferated during the twentieth century. The early stages of this period were marked by an engagement with visible language driven largely by poets and, to a lesser degree, artists. From the mid-twentieth century, a distinctive literature and discourse for these books began to emerge. It was not until the late-twentieth century and particularly through artists’ conceptual engagement with it that the book as a medium was afforded recognition as a distinct field, termed ‘artists’ books’. Within the growing literature, a consistent tension relating to the multidisciplinary nature of the field is evident. It has led to concern that, until the discourse reaches the level of a critical field, the field itself is in danger of losing its identity. While this view has received widespread support, how to mature the discourse has proved contentious. At the turn of the twentieth century, when the West’s privileging of sight began to attract critical attention, the haptic (pertaining to touch and materiality) was identified as a means to address the effects of that privileging. Together with a renewed interest in materiality, it informed the early-twentieth-century poets and artists’ engagement with the book. In recent decades, the haptic has emerged as a disciplinary focus in many fields, particularly aesthetics. Within artists’ books discourse, the haptic nature of a book has now been raised as a potential focus for the field. Research into the literature of haptic aesthetics, as it is being termed, soon uncovers a wealth of significance for artists’ books relating to the sense of touch and its role in perception. With such an historical and a contemporary presence, the haptic warrants investigation as a focus for artist’s book practice and discourse. Available at:


New Artists’ Publications

 A new book from The Old School Press: The Lost Colours of the Cyclades by John Sutcliffe.

In his capacity as a decorative artist, John Sutcliffe has done a great deal of work in the Cyclades, in particular on the small island of Schinoussa. One of the outcomes of this has been a growing fascination with what happened to colour on the buildings of Greece and the islands in particular. Why are so many buildings today white? Has that always been the fashion there? White is what we tourists expect, but is that white authentic for the Cycladic islands in particular? John has researched the answers to these questions, visiting the islands and examining the walls of older buildings, looking for traces of the ‘lost colours’ and their history. An enthusiastic cook, he has also taken the opportunity to sample – and weave into his researches – the cuisine of the Greek islands. Parallels emerge between colour and food, driven largely by the same external forces.

Like his previous book with The Old School Press, The Colours of Rome, this new title has colour at its core. Standard copies take the form of the case-bound book presented within a sleeve to the inside of which is attached a portfolio of twenty large, individually hand-painted cards illustrating the representative colours that John found, together with a swatch card with colour chips of each. Within the book there is coverage of each of the colours accompanied by further hand-painted chips. The colour paints used have been specially mixed to match John’s field records. The book itself is bound in full cloth that has been silk-screened with stripes in the colours of the Greek national flag. The sleeve is a simple case, bound in blue cloth with a spine label, and the portfolio is formed from a heavy mid-grey paper. The text is all letterpress printed in Perpetua on Madrid Litho paper. 135 standard copies at £185 each. (The fifty de luxe copies have all been sold.) More details and photographs at

John Sutciffe, The Lost Colours of the Cyclades, published by The Old School Press. Photo: The Old School Press.



Venice – Expired Polaroids by Franticham, published by Redfoxpress, Ireland.

Polaroids taken with expired films (125, 669, 679). Photographs taken by Franticham in Venice in February-March 2014 with Polaroid Land Automatic cameras during a stay at the Emily Harvey Foundation. 40 pages, 2016, 31 x 21 cm. Laser printing on Verona bulk 130 gr. Chinese binding. A signed edition of 69 copies. £38. Order online at


A Modest Proposal is a limited edition book to be published by Stoney Road Press in 2017 to mark the 350th centenary of the birth of Jonathan Swift.

2017 marks the 350th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift, writer, satirist and Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin from 1713 until his death in 1745.  During his long life Swift wrote prose, essays and poetry and is perhaps best known for two works: Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal.

To celebrate Swift’s birthday, Stoney Road Press are republishing A Modest Proposal, his most famous text in the form of a limited edition book, together with etchings by the celebrated satirical artist and illustrator Gerald Scarfe.

A Modest Proposal was a short pamphlet, published anonymously by Swift in 1729 and has since become one of his most notorious pieces of writing. In it Swift suggests that the impoverished Irish of the time might ease their economic woes by selling their children as food for the tables of the rich;

A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout.

Gerald Scarfe is no stranger to satire and the lampooning of establishment figures. His work for The Sunday Times, Yes Minister and Pink Floyd has made him a household name. He has been commissioned to make 3 etchings to be included in this publication. Each book will be numbered and signed by the artist.

A Modest Proposal will be published in 2017 by Stoney Road Press in an edition of 175 at a pre-publication price of €1,000. If you would like to reserve a copy of A Modest Proposal at the pre-publication price, please contact

Stoney Road Press, Dublin, Ireland.

A Modest Proposal will be published in 2017 by Stoney Road Press in an edition of 175, with three etchings by Gerald Scarfe. Photo: Stoney Road Press.

Announcing WSW’s newest artists’ books: Unfolding Practice by Arzu Mistry
The City Within by Natalie Draz.

 Women’s Studio Workshop is excited to announce the publication of Art-in-Ed Artist’s Book Resident Arzu Mistry’s Unfolding Practice: Reflections on Learning and Teaching. Flowing across five chapters, the double-sided accordion book has been curated from ten years of recorded conversation between artist-educators, field notes, planning, sketches, and teaching. The front of the book weaves text, illustration, cutouts, and silkscreen prints, journeying through artistic process and educational practice. The back of the book is a guide, expanding on the practice of using accordion books as a tool for capturing, visualizing, and building upon reflective thinking. The back flap of the book is left open, unglued from the cover to allow for a continued conversation between author and reader. $400. Read more about the development of Unfolding Practice at:

Unfolding Practice: Reflections on Learning and Teaching, Arzu Mistry, published by Women’s Studio Workshop, USA.Photo: WSW.

Purchase your copy of Unfolding Practice: Reflections on Teaching and Learning at:

WSW has also published a kinetic bookwork exploring cartography and fantastical anatomy, The City Within by Artist’s Book Resident Natalie Draz. Juxtaposing bird’s eye maps and hand-drawn street-level maps with a rib cage of text centred around Montreal’s downtown core, The City Within overlays the heart of a city with the interior body of a city dweller. Both a bookwork and a sculptural object, this multi-layered book is able to be read and explored through many pathways. Using metaphoric imagery and a transforming book structure as an open-ended narrative, Natalie Draz combines traditional print media of intaglio and screenprinting with flag, tunnel book and pop-up structures. Housed in a wooden box. $1100. Read more about the development of the city within at:

Purchase your copy at:

The City Within, by WSW Artists’ Book Resident Natalie Draz, Arzu Mistry, Published by Women’s Studio Workshop.

 Sarah Bodman,

Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE, Bristol