books

Sheffield Artists Book Prize 2013 #1

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I visited the fatherland recently, in particular to see the Fourth Sheffield International Artists Book Prize at Bank Street Arts, in which I have a book on display. This is a great exhibition, not least because of the scope and standard of work shown, but also because this is one of the few exhibitions that you are actively encouraged to handle the work.The entire gallery is full of books of all description (and many defying description) and is a fantastic source of inspiration for book artists, along with anyone who is visually stimulated.

There were a lot wonderful pieces and I took a lot of photographs. This is the first of two posts showing some of the books that drew my attention…

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Each room in the gallery has been fitted with shelves on two or three walls, and filled with a real mixture of formats, styles and content.

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One of the first pieces that caught my eye was this matchbook book by Isla Miller; a simple idea done very well.

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I then went upon a visual spree, and in my excitement did not record the names of some of the artists (sorry!) but here are a few books that I captured during this phase. The one above had a fixture for a quill included as part of the binding. The one below is a version of the Turkish map fold with a triple spine affair by Vincent Larkin…

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These very detailed sewn books were irresistible…

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As were these tiny boxed accordion books:

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These two were placed together and were just as small (the bottom one was about 3 inches tall) and delicate as they look. ‘Bookerfly’ is by Naomi Perry and ‘Rain’s Song’ is by Veronique Scholl.

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‘Passage of Time’ by Christine Ryan was a real tactile delight; old, weathered wood, rusty metal, old waxed papers all sewn and pasted together…

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Again, I do not have the name of the artist for this next one (I had begun to photograph the name cards by this point, but unfortunately this one was unclear) but I really loved this book.

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A little more traditional than some of the others but this one appealed to me through its linocut lettering, printed onto the cloth of the cover boards. The five accordion folds opened the book impressively (it was a little under A4 when closed) and continued the linocut inside:

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Another traditional book format by Sarah Harrison ‘One Hundred doors of Budapest’ interested me with the richness of its imagery:

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Chris Rustons piece ‘Ice Matters, Tracing Memory Lines of a Vanishing World’ was a rich, textural exploration in blue:

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Coptic bound between smooth, polished boards, the pages revealed a series of textures, marks and traces that were irresistible to touch and encouraged close inspection:

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For a while, this book by Susie Leiper was my favourite. Housed between hinged wooden boards cut from an artists paint palette, this slim book called ‘Pentland Palette’ was elegant in its simplicity:

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The accordion folds revealed overlayed textures in a natural colour scheme.

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And my book? The Book of Nothing is in the first gallery on the far end of the left wall by the window if you’re interested…

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The Fourth Sheffield International Artist’s Book Prize is open until 30 November 2013 at Bank Street Arts

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