Had a fantastic time at the Turn The Page Book arts fair in Norwich last weekend. I shared a table with Margaret Cooter, Janet Bradley and Chris Gibson who I was with at Camberwell. There was an amazing array of books on every stand and it was lovely to meet people whose work I have admired for a long time.
At the moment I'm spending a lot of time thinking about our final show .. I have a pretty definite idea of what I want to make and have started it already in the hope of avoiding a last minute panic... As I was told in my interview nearly two years ago 'books are slow'.
There is so much to consider but rightly or wrongly I'm working out some of the practicalities first.... It's no good making a book for a show then trying to figure out how to display it ...more importantly how do I encourage the viewer to engage with a book long enough to get something from it? Plus living 2 hours from uni makes dragging a plinth on the train less than an attractive prospect. If I can sort out the details then I can relax and really enjoy the process of making.
I have also been working on some altered ladybird books....They are very satisfying though there is still the twinge of guilt at taking knife to paper. I think for me the cutting is the equivalent of doodling.. while my hands are busy my brain is doing its thing in the background with ideas seeming to flow easier when I'm not consciously trying. The idea is not completely formed so won't give anything away just yet but maybe later.
The book was made using altered photocopied extracts from John Bowlby's 'The making and breaking of affectional bonds.' The text was gradually cut away leaving small sections to produce a narrative. The cover is grey silk and lined with red handmade paper.
It is displayed complete with the removed text - the potential for reparation is still really important to me.
Just a week left to make decisions about the book I am showing for the Book/print show next week.
I have tweaked and remade the pages, (this time some words were chosen and left in place while the rest cut away) but now am trying to work out the most suitable method of joining them into a concertina. Cotton tape worked ok but wasn't quite right and I still haven't decided on covers... do I have any at all? what colour? more cut words? plain.. so many things to consider and as minor as they are they can make the difference between between a success and a failure.
It will be a big show with around 60 students from Book Arts and Printmaking MA. Choosing what to make and negotiating where to show it is great practice for the final show in September. Competing for space and attention got me thinking again the difficulties of showing books. Touch or not to touch? How do you get the viewer to engage long enough to get what you are trying to say but not so quickly that they lose interest? These and a string of other thoughts are pinging about my brain tonight.. I think I will sleep on it.
I started back at Camberwell College of Arts last week for the second year of an MA in Book Arts. As much as I couldn't wait to get back I am dreading the essay which is due in November. I have worked hard through the summer, have enough material for three essays and yet I am still stuck and sit here with my aching brain full of essay soup.
A blog, I thought, might be a great way to warm up for the big stuff ..but what should I write?
Then I remembered this.. “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.." Arthur Ashe
I'm following my bliss.