Gwen Simpson and Chris Ruston have spent two delightful days taking part in this years Turn the Page Artist Book Fair held in the Forum, Norwich. The event showcased forty plus book artists - so something for everyone. to enjoy. The Turn the Page moto - 'books but not as you know them' proved accurate, with a wide variety of work demonstrating various forms of what constitutes a book.
Gwen presented her enormous textile work Connecting Threads. It hung impressively from the first floor balcony, tumbling down to the ground. At a total length of of twenty four feet, the work consists of 1130 contributions from people wanting to remember the lives lost in the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory. 1130 pages coming together on to one enormous page highlights an important issue regarding the working conditions of textiles workers.
Chris's focus this year has been on seeds. She presented 'an ark for our time'. 'The Ark - From deep blue to troubled green we pass" encapsulates the traditional flood story with the unfolding flood story of rising sea levels.. The initial idea began after reading an article about a flood in the entrance area of the Global Seedbank on Svarlbard. The work also explores seeds in the wider context of culture and ideas.
The drawback when you are exhibiting is not being able to get around to see other peoples work! Unfortunately we are not able to do justice to all the exhibitors but here's a snapshot of just a few. However more information about individual artists can be found on the Turn the Page website.
A stunning glass book inspired by Seabold's Rings of Saturn by Jen Fox.
Marion Stuart's installation of ceramic ink pots and cynatypes.
Heather Prescott's humorous letterpress work.
Rosie Sherwood's beautiful boxes with bronze seedpods.
Carol Kearns beautifully illustrated botanical books.
Books made from Vegetables and Fruit by Dizzy Pragnell.
And finally Cups and Saucers by the talented Christine Nichols of inkpotandpen.
Chris Ruston and Gwen Simpson will be joining a host of other book artists at Turn the Page Artist Book Fair 0n 17th & 18th May. Chris will be showing her new work 'The Ark", which consists of eighty pages of drawings. The work was inspired by a news report in which the Global Seed Bank on Svarlbard had experienced a small flood. The vault was set up to preserve biodiversity and houses seeds from around the world.
Chris responded to the article by exploring the idea of the Seed Bank as a 'modern ark' and linking this with the 'modern 'flood story presently unfolding as we hear more and more concerns re sea level rise and melting glaciers. The work references the traditional flood story and brings together aspects of our shared human histories.
more info here
Gwen Simpson will be showing Connecting Threads, a community project which she has been coordinating over the past year or so. The work seeks to highlight issues around the real cost of cheap clothing and directly relates to the Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013. Participants eagerly responded by making a small textile 'page' which has been beautifully sewn into one large piece - demonstrating what small actions can achieve when everyone comes together on the same page.
more info here
This year Kinetika are teaming up with Create98 to offer a series of exclusive workshops for 2019’s T100 walking festival – ‘Welcome to the Kitchen Table.’ and all are free!
The programme is building on last year’s very successful T100 Recipes and invites people to share personal stories, recollections and recipes connected with food and join a series of walks around and along the estuary in Essex and Kent.
A series of workshops are taking place at Kinetika’s studio in Purfleet, in Gravesend, at Create 98 in Leigh and Southend. You can learn how to make your own pocket sized sketchbook from recycled materials – perfect for capturing thoughts and images on the move, also learn art-journaling and photography and print workshops!
Workshops are aimed adults but children are welcome
See all available workshops here: http://thurrock100.com/workshop-details-for-2019/
Sally Chinea and Lola Swain have been busy at Firstsite Arts Centre in Colchester having organised two workshops for the Essex Book Festival. - one for adults and one for children.. Participants have had the opportunity to create their own hand made book, and learn basic book making skills.. The response was great with both workshops being fully booked.
Children made their own mini book Secret Waters. The basic structure was made from one sheet of A4 paper, with additional 'secret' maps hidden inside.. Great fun!
It is so satisfying trying something new, and going home with your very own hand made book! Both Sally and Lola offer regular workshops at Create 98 in Leigh on Sea.
Further details can be found here - Create98
A few more images from our group show
Louise Swain and Sally Chinea
Gwen Simpson and Jane Woollatt
There was a wonderful 'buzz' of conversations on the opening night of the show. We are grateful for all the support shown on the evening, Thank you for venturing out on a cold, wet windy evening and special thanks to Emma Bell (Gallery 70, Leigh on Sea) for providing us with an exhibition space.. The show continues until 21st March.. Here is a 'taster' of everyone's responses to Lighthousekeeping. but more details about each artists work and the show can be found here.
Details of work by Jane Woollatt and Karen Apps
Details of work by Chris Ruston and Louise Swain
A Strandline installation by Lola Swain
Images of 'Silver' by Sally Chinea and Gwen Simpson
Sally Chinea and Lola Swain are busy preparing for their forth coming workshops as part of the Essex Book Festival. They will be offering two workshops at Firstsite, Colchester on 23 March. The morning session will be for adults 10.30 - 12.30 (tickets available here ) while the afternoon session will be for children, 2.00 - 3.30 pm. ( tickets available here )
To maximise the time and to make sure each participant leaves with their own hand made book, all the materials required have been collated into individual packs. If you are curious and would like to join the fun follow the links above.
A busy month ahead as Lola Swain and Sally Chinea will also be running two book making workshops at Firstsite, Colchester, as part of the Essex Book Festival.
More information is available on the links below.
Bookmaking for Adults
Create a Secret Treasure Island Bookmaking workshop for children
We are a small group of contemporary artists in Essex (UK) who share a passion for art and books.