Friday, 24 March 2017

BABE at Bristol Arnolfini

I will be exhibiting at BABE next weekend - it is always a reliably good book fair and a brilliant event. I sadly missed it last time as was in Boscastle talking about witchcraft, which was fun too - but really looking forward to seeing everybody again in Bristol; do please come and find me - I'm sharing a stand with Peter - Altazimuth Press; we are against the wall in Gallery Three - middle stand of 5.

And talking of paradise - I was at a lovely event at the Bodleian Library yesterday looking at medieval books all day....Redesigning the Medieval Book

a workshop and competition for book artists
at the Bodleian Library, Oxford

In winter 2017-18 at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, an exhibition Designing English: Early Literature on the Page will show the page design of English literature in handwritten manuscripts and inscriptions across the Middle Ages. It will range through the first thousand years of written English, from Old English picture books to early Tudor plays and manuals for handling swans, from stray notes scratched into Anglo-Saxon herbals and fragments of lost songs in the margins, to learned masterpieces placed centre-page and framed by illustration and gilded borders. It will celebrate the craft of the scribes, painters and engravers who designed these pages and other objects to make English writing speak to people clearly and with authority.

To complement that exhibition, they have set up a competition and exhibition for contemporary book artists: Redesigning the Medieval Book,inviting book artists to design and make new books inspired by medieval manuscripts from the exhibition. A meeting and workshop yesterday was for artists and craftspeople of any specialism who engage with books in their work, including bookbinders, papermakers, calligraphers, illustrators, graphic designers, handpress printers, sculptors, graphic designers, digital artists and other it will be interesting to see how the entries turn out....

Looking at the books and seeing how they work and are made was really inspiring; I am always fired up by medieval artefacts anyway - I like the organic materials and the sturdy straightforward approach. All the books we looked at were actually written and drawn by hand so I think I am looking forward to making something without printing for a change...

All the images are copyright of the Bodleian; more on this project as things progress. A shortlist of entries will be selected for a public exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford from 1 December 2017, which will run alongside the exhibition of medieval manuscripts which inspired them. So some of these books will be shown then; worth making a note in the diary - the exhibition will be on until the 30th january 2018.

Friday, 24 February 2017

New Year Update

I have been meaning to write a post and the arrival of our local Linklater Wildlife Trust newsletter prompted me to post this - click on the link and go to page 7 to see an update on our Spaces in Between book and a talk I gave before Christmas very kindly  put in by John Parry.

Lewes Printmakers are currently fired up by thinking about our next book which will focus on Lewes Trees ( seem to be too many of them suddenly and inexplicably disappearing recently...) - we have some wonderful old trees, some with historical associations, such as those in Grange Gardens which once belonged to John Evelyn

In the same email batch was the good news that our local fight to prevent the Old Turkish Baths - a historic Lewes Building associated with George Gilbert Scott - has so far been saved from being yet another Italian restaurant -(I mean how much more pizza can Lewes folk eat ?) with the council splendidly agreeing to looking into it becoming more of a much needed community space.

I am in the final throes of  writing my book about women artists - to be published next year - more details of this due course, and have two big artist book projects on the go for the rest of the year.
Again pictures in due course and some details of talks related to the women  later in the spring and summer - watch this space....

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Gone to Earth...

but first we went to water; have just had a wonderful trip to Amsterdam to see Dame Antonia Byatt receive the Erasmus Prize, feeling truly honoured and amazingly moved to be in Europe hearing inspiring speeches about the culture that binds us and the importance of recognising the importance of the arts and writing in these fractured times.
'The aim of the Erasmus prize is to carry the spirit of Erasmus - critical, undogmatic thinking, with an emphasis on the power of the imagination - into literature.'
The new laureate, praised for her 'life-writing', herself gave an enlightening, witty and wonderful speech and time for a moment stood still.

The next few days we spent at a life-affirming exhibition about Tingueley at the Stedelik


to the Meermanno Museum of the Book in The Hague, founded by two youthful cousins at the turn of the eighteenth nineteenth century, Wiilem van Weestreenen and Johan Meerman. The museum is in an original house decorated in the style of the time with their collections of antiques and collectables alongside their library of rare books dating from earliest times - even Egyptian papyrus - and there is a small display on the history of printing up to contemporary times. Its a treasure, alongside the Mauritshuis - two treasures in one day.

Back in Amsterdam we enjoyed a conceptual intervention in the Oude Kerk and the van Gogh Museum , where the early works were particularly interesting to see and there was an excellent special exhibition grouping Van Gogh, Monet and Daubigny ( among others). The Daubigny's reminded me of my early passion for being completely enfolded by nature, living well off the beaten track with my goats, ducks and chickens ( and children and cats) and painting incredibly green paintings of grass and leaves......

It wasn't always summer.......

which leads me on to my next up engagement - taking part in  the 2016 Theoretical Archaeology Conference in Southampton next week: exhibiting in the exhibition Sightations and giving a paper about my work in the session called Gone to Earth. I am really excited about this - it is just over 25 years since I was last involved with this conference when I was working on Rituals and Relics, an eighteen month residency on The Downs funded by ESCC and S E Arts...
now my life has spiralled around again, working with a different group of friends and colleagues and looking at my Artists Books now from this angle and seeing how my work has changed - or not - in intent, just in the way it now looks....

old style...( Blogger doesn't like vertical images so has squashed the Whitehawk Skeleton in an extraordinary way - but I rather like it.....)

and ( in horizontal mode only unfortunately...)

My talk is called, Sir Thomas Browne and the Man in the Moon, The Falcon Bride and an Elegy for Donegal - a look at some of my Artists Books as repositories of collective memory and buried beliefs.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Fun Fun Fun

More theatres, ( and see below ) and more in my head ....but I should be doing other things....

come and see them at the Tom Paine Printing Press shop 151 High Street, Lewes ( opposite the Bull House where Paine lived and worked) on late night shopping night thursday 1st December from about 5pm onwards until 8.30-9 or when we get tired and cold and crowds thin out. As well as packaged A3 and A4 digital sets to make up or give as gifts, there are also cards, singly and in packs - useful for the festive season?

Don't forget to come and see Lewes Printmakers book launch and meet the artists event and demonstration - at the Linklater Pavilion tomorrow Sunday 27th - 3pm - tea and cake in aid of the Linklater, which is at the end of Railway Lane, Lewes BN7 2FG at the entrance to the Railway Land nature reserve - all welcome. See two posts back for details and images from The Spaces in Between. The book is also now available in the Tom Paine Press shop.

19th - 21st December I will be exhibiting at SIGHTATIONS as part of the TAG (Theoretical Archaeology Group) conference at Southampton University, and speaking and presenting at the Gone to Earth session on the wednesday (21st).
It's a quarter of a century since my previous involvement with the Group when I was preparing and touring the work from  my Rituals and Relics residency and touring exhibitions, so I am really looking forward to it, especially as the Gone to Earth session is organised by people from the Women in Print group I have been involved with over the last 2-3 years - I love the way life spirals around adding depth to experiences. I have just digitised all my old slides of my work so I might paste some up here  after Christmas when I have more time and report back on the conference maybe....

Monday, 21 November 2016

Punch and Judy

Tis the season to be merry - nearly - even tho its all a bit grim - so what better than Punch and Judy to distract one; I have been trying to keep my sanity by living in paper theatre land, inspired by all the things I saw in Palermo.
I hope to do more as 2017 unfurls - plenty more trying to stay sane to come.

As I was filing away some images I found these from back in early summer - halcyon days. Started work to find a peacock peering in my window. He hung around for quite a few days - liked couscous, spurned cat food despite google recommendation. Thought he'd gone, but opened the front door a few days later and was eyeballed fiercely. What bliss.

Missed him when he moved on ; every home should have one.......

Monday, 31 October 2016

The Spaces in Between

I've just been on Rocket Radio talking about the publication and launch of our new Lewes Printmakers Book....

                                                             image by Cynthia Eraut

Lewes Printmakers Printmaking Demonstration Event and Book Launch

3pm  - Sunday 27th November   -  Linklater Pavilion , Railway Lane, Lewes

refreshments available – teas, coffee, cakes

We will be exhibiting the original hand-made and printed copy of our book, made up of all the original prints, alongside launching our limited edition copies of the new publication, available for sale at £12.

The Spaces In Between is a communal project, the work of eighteen local artists. It comprises a set of twenty-six individual print reproductions in a folder, and an integral sixteen-page booklet with description and notes for each print. It’s the ninth in our series of publications about Lewes – the last three including Railway Land and Ouse: the Sussex River and The Battle of Lewes.

 Left is Charlotte Matthews
St John sub castro churchyard - very suitable for hallowe'en

right is Simon Wood's view down a twitten

below Miki Brightmore's
Woodruffe's Yard

The book is available now in the Tom Paine Printing Press shop
151 High Street, Lewes....

This book celebrates wild spaces and unexpected vistas around Lewes as it changes, increasingly rapidly. Change can be exciting; it can jolt us out of well-worn ruts and
encourage a spirit of optimism, but it is not reactionary to make a positive case for the importance of some wild and fallow space to be left in the centre of the busy towns
for the unexpected to happen - for an impromptu event, a sudden encounter with wildlife, for a space to take a minute to relax and recover equilibrium, and just enjoy the wonderful glimpses of the countryside. This is a book about our less well-considered and ever-changing gaps,
and a celebration of our beautiful twittens*.

*It was Peter Linklater of course who wrote the forward to the Friends of Lewes survey of Lewes twittens in 1991.

We will talk briefly about the subject and why we chose it, and show the printing blocks – wood, lino, collograph and drypoint plates, and demonstrate how we make and print the images.

Lewes Printmakers’ Books are a not-for-profit enterprise, supported by seed money from the Town Council, and our home has been for the last few years the exciting space of the Linklater Pavilion. Free entry or small voluntary donation to this event, in support of the Linklater’s future projects.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Autumn resolutions

I suppose one of my new resolutions is to put up things on my blog more frequently - so here as an opportunity is the publication of the new issue of the London Magazine with a detail from one of my images of a woodpecker on the cover - which they have done very nicely - it is always exciting to see a new take on one your own images (as long as it turns out ok!)...

This time last two years ago ( how time passes) they used my Rook from Who killed Cock Robin....
perhaps I should try and keep up an autumnal sequence of slightly melancholy birds...although autumn - I love it - makes me feel even more creative.....
Am working on too many projects to itemise, even more so after a wonderful trip to Sicily with churches like stage-sets, marionettes galore and processions in the street with fireworks, lights and doves...manna to the heart of a girl from a Bonfire this space.....