Artists’ Books news, July-August 2018

Artists’ Books news, July-August 2018


Astro-poems and Vertical Group Exercises: Concrete poetry at CSA, Chelsea Space, London, until 13th July 2018.
Curated by Chelsea College of Arts Librarian Gustavo Grandal Montero, this exhibition reflects Montero’s ongoing research into the evolution of concrete poetry and its influence on visual art in the period 1964-67 in Britain. Looking at the materialisation of language and the role of art schools with Chelsea in particular as places for experimentation and dissemination of ideas. By exploring the work of Edward Wright and Tom Edmonds the show makes connections between artists and graphic designers alongside students and staff, describing their multiple influences, including that of Concrete poetry, but also Constructivism, and later Conceptual art, minimalism and land art.

Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU.


The Book of the Sky – An infinity of Pages

Works by Julie Johnstone alongside items from the Blackie House collection.Curated by Julie Johnstone & William Zachs. Continues summer 2018, ongoing, Edinburgh. Viewing by appointment.


Installation view of the exhibition The Book of the Sky, Julie Johnstone

NB It is important that you contact Julie in advance to arrange to see the show and for instructions on how to access the venue:

 Tracey Rowledge and David Clarke’s exhibition Shelved at Tunbridge Wells Museum, library and Adult Education Centre has been extended until the 25th August.

Bookbinder Tracey Rowledge and silversmith David Clarke’s Shelved is a new body of collaborative artwork developed during their 12-month residency 2016 – 2017 at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery, Library and Adult Education Centre.

Funded by Arts Council England as part of the second development stage of the Cultural & Learning Hub in Tunbridge Wells, the artists spent much of their time foraging in the Museum collections and Library archives as well as discovering the town and its people.


Housed (1-3), Tracey Rowledge and David Clarke, 2018. Pewter, paper, leather. Photograph by Nigel Green.

Taking on the role of the curator themselves, Rowledge and Clarke gathered their own collection of objects purchased from local charity shops or donated by local businesses. Together they reconsidered each object, reworking them in different ways until they were ready for presentation in this new exhibition.

Read more about the exhibition at:

Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery, Library and Adult Education Centre, Civic Centre, Mount Pleasant, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1JN.


LIVERPOOL BOOK ART ‘FRANKENSTEIN 2018’ EXHIBITION at Liverpool Central Library, until 9th August 2018, and touring.

Liverpool Book Art is delighted to present its third major exhibition of Book Art. The theme of the exhibition marks 200 years since the first edition of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus’ was published.

The exhibition opened at Liverpool Central Library on 14th May in the magnificent Hornby room, and runs until 9th August. The Library is open seven days a week, apart from Bank Holidays.

The exhibition will move to Knowsley’s Kirby Gallery from 17th September until 26th January 2019. New works will be created for the Kirkby Gallery show, while some of the works from the Liverpool show will travel to Sarno in southern Italy as part of the SettembreLibri festival. The exhibition moves to the Bower Ashton Library at UWE in February 2019.


Frankenstein, artist’s book by Yulia Sharova.


Book artists from around the world have responded with a hugely creative range of ideas. Some have been stimulated by the themes in the book; others have been inspired by the way the story is told; others have made links between Frankenstein and other classic stories such as Dracula and The Golem. Some of the works have been made in small editions; some are unique works. Many of them are available to buy.

Liverpool Central Library is also the venue for the fifth Liverpool Artists’ Book Fair, taking place on Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th July 2018. The Fair showcases unique hand-made books, notebooks and cards, bookbinding, book sculptures and everything in between.

The iconic Liverpool Central Library is located in the heart of the city centre, on William Brown Street, between the Walker Art Gallery and the World Museum – and just a few hundred metres from Liverpool Lime Street train station.

The Exhibition and the Fair are both FREE to the public. There will also be demonstrations, workshops, talks and performances during the course of the exhibition and the fair. For more information, see LiverpoolBookArt on Facebook and


A Sentimental Journey, exhibition at The Laurence Sterne Trust, Shandy Hall, Coxwold, near York, until 30th September 2018.

A new exhibition pays tribute to Laurence Sterne in this 250th anniversary year. A Sentimental Journey was first published 27 February 1768 and, three weeks later on 18 March, Sterne died. His final work of fiction was published incomplete and although a message to the subscribers promised a further two volumes at a later date, this was not to be.


White kid leather gloves, 1775, French, ‘il n’y a pas de mal à ça’ Kindly loaned by Calderdale Museums. Resting on a book: A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, Laurence Sterne, pp. XVI, 220.Large quarto, New York: J.W. Bouton, 1884. Illustrations by Maurice Leloir. Binding by Zaehnsdorf. Photo: the Laurence Sterne Trust

This exhibition contains a selection of original pen and ink drawings by two outstanding illustrators of A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, T.H. Robinson (1869–1954) and Martin Rowson. New work by the internationally acclaimed ‘miner of books’ Brian Dettmer can be seen, as well as work by visual artist Carolyn Thompson, and an historic work entitled The Starling (1937) by Adeline Newman (a mysterious artist about whom little is known).

Shandy Hall is open to the public every day (except Saturday) during the exhibition.

Shandy Hall, Coxwold, York, YO61 4AD.


Events and artists’ book fairs



The fifth Liverpool Artists’ Book Fair, Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th July 2018.

Liverpool Central Library hosts the fair which showcases unique hand-made books, notebooks and cards, bookbinding, book sculptures and everything in between.

The iconic Liverpool Central Library is located in the heart of the city centre, on William Brown Street, between the Walker Art Gallery and the World Museum – and just a few hundred metres from Liverpool Lime Street train station.

The Fair is free to the public. There will also be demonstrations, workshops, talks and performances during the course of the exhibition and the fair. For more information, see LiverpoolBookArt on Facebook and

South London Comic and Zine Fair, Saturday 14th July 2018

South London Comic and Zine Fair returns to Stanley Halls for a second year. We will once again host a cornucopia of London’s most talented zine and alternative comic creators and throw a spotlight on the capital’s most exciting micropublishers.


There will be over 30 artists and independent publishers selling their comics, zines, prints and DIY art, including Avery Hill, Centrala Books, Kugali, Good Comics and many more. Plus we’ll have the return of our famous communal table, open to all budding creators, this year coordinated by top comics blog Broken Frontier.

The fair will be open from 12 noon to 6pm. There will be a kids’ drawing area and a bar open all day. Stanley Halls, 12 South Norwood Hill, London, SE25 6AB.


Conference: Letterpress Printing, Leeds, 19th – 20th July 2018

Featuring keynote lectures by Johanna Drucker, Will Hill, and Dafi Kühne, this this two-day conference explores the survival, legacy and relevance of letterpress printing in the digital era.

During the twentieth century, printing changed from a craft-based to a technology-led process. The composing room moved from hand- to machine composition, from photo-setting to digital; while the press room shifted from letterpress to off-set lithography and latterly digital methods of production. Technical progress, however, failed to completely usurp traditional printing and today there is a marked increase in those engaged with older methods of production, whether for pleasure, profit, or scholarship.

For example, housed in the basement of the School of English at the University of Leeds, there is a range of letterpress machines and moveable type. Originally used to teach bibliography, this facility fell out of use as academic fashions changed. Today it has been resurrected by a new generation of scholars curious to practice craft techniques in order to enhance their understanding of the past.

Similarly, when the printing industry jettisoned letterpress in favour of contemporary technology, some of the equipment survived and was appropriated by artists as tools for creativity, or salvaged by museums as relics of the past. Some of this historic equipment was requisitioned by a new generation of printers keen to satisfy market demands for traditional printing and often used in tandem with contemporary techniques.

Letterpress Printing: Past, Present, Future brings together a wide range of scholars, printers, curators and artists to discuss letterpress printing in all its uses. It will be held at the University of Leeds, 19th – 20th July 2018. The full programme can be found at:


Living Well With Books – Conference at the Centre for Material Texts, Richmond Building, University of Bristol. Wednesday 5th – Friday 7th September 2018

Since the invention of the codex, the lives (and afterlives) of books have been intertwined with the lives of people. This interdisciplinary, transhistorical, and transnational conference organised by the Centre for Material Texts, University of Bristol, aims to explore how books have affected and continue to affect our daily lives and well-being. How we have lived with books in the past, how do we live with them in the present, how we might live with them better in the future, and how might we help others do the same?

As readers, writers, creative practitioners, educators, researchers, curators, consumers and producers, how do books feature in our lives? How do they share our living and working spaces? How might books contribute to health and wellbeing? Do books keep us apart from each other, or can they enable us to connect with communities? What are the consequences of not living with books? How far do the answers to these questions depend on location, or income, class, gender and other variables? How might the answers to these questions have changed over time? What is the value of asking these questions in an increasingly digital age?


 Cambridge Print Biennale

Later this the year Serena Smith will be speaking and showing a collection of recent book works, at the Cambridge Print Biennale. Talk: 3pm, Sunday 23rd September at the Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1RB.


Serena Smith, Iconostasis 2, stone lithograph.

Free event but seats need to be booked, details available from July on the Biennale website.


Hold the Date – Friday 26th October 2018

On Friday 26th October, CFPR will be hosting a free, one-day public symposium on artists’ books in the city of Bristol. This is funded by a UWE Bristol Research Collaboration Fund, award for the project ‘Artists’ Books in Australia, Brazil and the UK – looking to the past to read into the future’.


Kanage Pholu Wanda, Tim Mosely, 2014, one of three artists’ books in the Archipelago of Remnant Gardens series.

Speakers include: Dr Amir Brito Cadôr, Escola de Belas Artes, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Dr Jennifer Batt, University of Bristol, Centre for Material Texts, UK. Sarah Bodman, CFPR, UWE Bristol. Angie Butler, letterpress and book artist, PhD student, UWE. Marian Crawford, Senior Lecturer, Fine Art, Monash University, Australia. Dr Rhiannon Daniels, University of Bristol, Centre for Material Texts, UK. Dr Tim Mosely, Lecturer, Fine Art, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Dr Paulo Silveira, Professor for Art History, Instituto de Artes, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Tom Sowden – Head of School Design, & co-director of the Centre for the Book, Bath Spa University, UK. Please save the date, more information will be coming soon.


 Internet news


Abbas Yousif: This is Your Name

Bahraini artist Abbas Yousif translates Palestinian poetry into calligraphy artworks. Yousif uses a mix of modern techniques, experiences and texts to create a multi-layered array of work. Showcase’s Kerry Alexandra went to see his unique approach to classical Arabic calligraphy, which he describes as being a comment on the fate of Palestine. You can view a video of the recent exhibition at:

Materiality, creativity, material poetics

Axon: Creative Explorations, Vol 8, No 1, May 2018

Material poetics is not a new concept. The last century has seen the boundaries between creative genres dissolve, allowing attentiveness to materiality – once the exclusive concern of sculpture and craft – to pervade and tantalise less tangible practices. The development of a digital realm has not destroyed materiality, as originally feared, but served to foreground it; and the collaboration that can take place between digital and analogue, verbal and visual, is what drives this issue.

The new issue of the free access journal Axon, focusing on materiality, creativity and material poetics is now live. You can find it at:


Barbara Tetenbaum, The Slow Read

A summer long simulcast of Willa Cather’s My Ántonia created in honour of the centenary of its publication.


The Slow Read is a public literary and fine art project conceived and produced by Barbara Tetenbaum. Follow the news section on the website for updates and events related to the project:


From John Bently: Chiara Ambrosio has made a film to celebrate the new bonesandtheaft song One Shoe Mickey. This short fragment introduces Mickey to the world and will eventually form part of our forthcoming collaborative full length film, book and bonesandtheaft album One Shoe Michael, a London song cycle.


 From Jurgen Wegner: Passing on a link to a new online resource on bookbinding ‘Cover to Cover: Exposing the Bookbinder’s Ancient Craft’ developed by Lee Hayes from an exhibition she curated last year at the Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide. Lee’s detailed text illustrated with examples from the University of Adelaide Rare Books and her own collection will be a valuable reference for anyone interested in the craft and history of bookbinding.


New Artists’ Publications

Read to Me

Sarah Bodman

I will be undertaking a short Residency at the London Centre for Book Arts (LCBA) in early July to make a new edition of an artist’s book, Read to Me. The edition will be risograph printed in LCBA’s studios as part of the A6 books project.

The book is the result of a collaborative experiment between myself and a psychometric reader, telling stories to objects which were then ‘read’ back to me. The book will be available from August 2018.


Three of the objects from Read to Me, Sarah Bodman


You can read more about the development of the project in a photo essay written for Axon: Creative Explorations, free access online journal at:

More information on London Centre for Book Arts can be found at:


Twenty Library Book Shelves

Cathey Webb

A boxed collection of twenty artists’ books produced during a residency at Bower Ashton Library, UWE Bristol over April-May 2018. Each artist’s book represents a shelf of Bower Ashton Library. Books can be purchased as a set or individually.


Twenty Library Book Shelves, Cathey Webb

From the library: ‘We were delighted this morning to be presented with this exquisite box of 20 editions by our Artist in Residence Cathey Webb. Each book features poetry inspired by the print collection at Bower Ashton and will form a library exhibition in the autumn.’

Essence Press
Originally conceived as an interactive and meditative installation for an exhibition on the theme of the breath for the StAnza Poetry Festival in March 2018, it is now available for purchase in a limited edition of 45.

BREATH features work inspired by the theme of breathing. Text works, poems, and poem fragments by Jane Hirshfield, Autumn Richardson, Jayne Wilding and JL Williams are intermingled with drawings of melodeons by the artist Laurie Clark.



Box work, contains approximately 60 cards (h150mm x w110mm) that can be read singly in turn or removed from the box for isolated display, printed inkjet on Bockingford watercolour paper, each contributor’s work is printed in a different tint of black, all texts and artwork used by kind permission of the contributors, edited and designed by Julie Johnstone, limited edition of 45.  £25 + £5 p&p.


My mother’s names

Maria White, Essence Press

As the title suggests, the books explore the changes in names of the artist’s mother, detailing her life and perhaps her identity. Book I traces the differing first names her mother was known by throughout her life, and Book II traces the differing versions of her surname. An act of documentation yet also a poignant tribute.

mothers copy

My Mother’s Names, Maria White, Essence Press.

A two-volume booklet set. 120 x 105 mm; 12 pages; printed inkjet in grey and cyan on 6 facing pages, blue endpapers, cover in Bockingford watercolour paper. £10 for the set.




Julie Johnstone, Essence Press

Selected text works from 2005-2017, many originally in vinyl installations, cards or small folded works, here reset in a new collected setting exploring placement in book form.

brevities copy

Brevities, Julie Johnstone


Booklet, 150 x 155 mm; 40pp, printed inkjet, inner pages in 100gsm paper; cover in 300gsm Bockingford watercolour paper; endpapers in tracing paper. £20 Available at:



Revised Edition

Philppa Wood & Tamar MacLellan, The Caseroom Press

 Produced in response to the WLYB theme of 2017 – ‘intersect’ this collaborative edition was informed by coincidental purchases made by the two artists within a day of each other; the acquisitions were two charity shop embroidery books, one type based, the other pattern based.


This pamphlet-stitched book is based on a system of utilising a typewriter symbol to represent each vowel within the text matter of one book, and interpreting it onto the pattern papers of the other, enabling the two books to intersect.

30pp. 190 x 170 mm. Hand-typed onto existing book pages. Letterpress over-printing to original cover, and original book inscription letterpress printed to inside front cover. Unique edition. £30. Please contact Philippa Wood for further information


Page 99 – Librarian’s Edition
Philippa Wood, The Caseroom Press

A second edition of Page 99 – which again examines the theory that, according to English writer Ford Madox Ford, if you open a novel at page 99 then ‘the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.’


This edition is based on the favourite novels of 9 librarians from universities and local libraries across the UK. The hand-typed book is based on a traditional library card – with each page highlighting a fragment of text taken from page 99. The cover is date stamped with the publication date of each novel.

12pp. 58 x 110mm. Wire stitched.  Each edition is individually hand-typed and contained within a small manilla folder. Covers are letterpress printed and date stamped. Edition of 9.  £9.00 each. Spring 2018. Please contact Philippa Wood for further information


Sarah Bodman, Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England