Thursday, 24 May 2018

Prepping for Turn The Page

25 - 26 May 10 until 5

Only a couple of days away and I'm busy getting new work ready for tpp 

Meresig is a new piece, inspired by listening to curlews on the estuaries around West Mersea.

It’s magical hearing the curlews call late of an evening in Mersea, this atmospheric song is surely one of the most evocative sounds of the British countryside, but curlews are in crisis. On mainland Britain between 1995 and 2016 the number of breeding curlews plummeted by a whopping 48%!

The RSPB are running a Curlew Recovery Programme, looking at how to manage land in a way that increases curlew numbers.

Please take a look

Memories. We all have favourite places, it could be some far-flung location, the coast or perhaps, your own back garden. This is a contemplation on a time and place, and the memories that can be held for us in particular locations.


Thursday, 1 March 2018

Mini Flutter Books

Sometimes it’s a good idea to try something new, to try a different approach. This isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do when one works alone, sometimes it’s difficult to challenge myself especially when I’m deeply embedded in a comfy rut . . . so, some outside input was required! 

With this in mind I signed up for a booklove e-course at 

Because of prior commitments I knew at the time I wouldn’t be able to keep to the class schedule, but that was no reason not to take part as everything is online for a few months and I could keep going at my own pace. I’m so glad that I did.

To get us going, in chapter one we bind a series of fluttering mini books.

Creating mini flutter books is a fun thing to do and it’s a great form of thinking play . . .  it’s a refreshing change to let my hand and eye do the thinking rather than my usual, more convoluted, planning in one of my many sketchbooks (of course some are more successful than others, but isn’t that often the case?) 

As someone who always gravitates back to the concertina fold, making pamphlet bound books feels like a novelty and the mini books small scale means its a quick process, which I do rather like!

Also because there’s not a particular project in mind, I’m freed up to make books without spending too much time reflecting and mulling over all the possible permutations of a particular idea or thought. 

And it was the perfect opportunity to indulge my inner stamp making queen. 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Hinterland - walking along Mersea sea-wall in the Autumn

Hinterland is inspired by walks along the sea-wall in Mersea, observing the constant shifts in light and mood over the strood, and watching birds in flight.

I had it in mind to use a drum-leaf binding because of the small size of the sheets that I'd marbled. I thought that this would reveal the unique nature of each page, and in turn suggest the changing nature of the salt marsh and the tumbling display of a marsh harrier.

However, the book felt too small, too enclosed . . . I wanted a feeling of empty space and expansiveness. 

My desire to create a book reflecting the mutability of a watery landscape (which is always subject to change) prompted me to think again.

Handwriting, by its nature variable, would add an element of flux that print wouldn't and hand-printing stencils vary each time they are printed, so would further this effect, but subtly.

I set to and soon had a series of proofs waiting to be bound . . .

The format of this book is slightly larger and concertina bound. 

Alongside the negative space on the page, the effect of opening out a concertina bound book also suggests a sense of space, and I liked the effect. Although if I'm honest, this may not be the final incarnation of Hinterland . . . I feel something more is required, but as of yet I don't know what. 

Maybe a change of scale . . . or paper . . . 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Ex Libris: Altered Books at Bucks County Museum

There is still time (just) to visit, Ex Libris: Altered Books at Bucks County Museum, Aylesbury - open until 24 February.

Altering books is a very old method of 'recycling'.

Long before the printed book, monks recycled old parchment manuscripts by scraping off the ink and adding fresh text and illustration. When I recently visited Designing English I noticed quite a few examples of words, illustrations and annotations added (at a later date) to the margins.

As they say, there is nothing new etc. etc.

You could say that this exhibition, organised by the group Sparksartists, is therefore following in a very fine tradition!

These are just a few of my favourites . . . there is so much more to see!

Barbara Pearman: From a Cornish Window
Made while artist-in-residence at Cape Cornwall.

Dorothea Reid: Full Fathom Five
Original book, Shakespeare Survey 1 ed A Nicoll 1948

Jean Crow-Stewart: Deadwood
Original book, Simple Pruning by N Catchpole RHS 1948

Heather Hunter: Summer
Original book, Pictures of Britain Series: English Garden Flowers  by George M Taylor 1946

Barbara Pearman: Water life of Britain
Original book, Readers Digest water life of Britain

Kate Crossley: Nil Admirari - Let nothing astonish you
Original books, Bolingwood and his times, volume 1 & 2 by S Sichel

Nancy Campbell: Itoqqippoq
Itoqqippoq means 'washing line' in Greenlandic. The narrative of this book is created from a series of photographs of frozen washing, observed in west Greenland. In the Artic, laundry is left out to freeze-dry all winter long, but these sheets were dancing in the wind - a sign of spring.