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.

Help to create a supportive community of artists, interested in artists’ books and making

Would you like to help create a supportive community of artists who are interested in artists’ books, local to north Essex Mersea Artists’ B...