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.