Janet Bradely, who organised the recent poetry reading/ exhibition for the anniversary of the bombing on Al-Mutanabbi Street, welcomes Beau Beausoleil and his wife to England. He is hoping to meet various artists and participants of the project, and will be speaking at the John Rylands library where the exhibition continues until July.
Everyone gathered in the British Museum,- a place where the cultures of the world come together, and were able to take the opportunity to get to know each other over a cup of coffee.
"On the Line" is a large scale arts/hertitage project that will work with twenty Essex schools - (both primary and secondary) which are based along the Thames Estuary. The aim is to follow the route of the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway.
The Project is both funded and curated by Metal and aims to create a high calibre arts priject that will result in a greater understanding of the shared histories of the communities that exsist along the north bank of the Thames and will look at how they have developed in relation to the Estuary and railway line. Twenty artists will each be paired with a school, and the first exhibition is scheduled to be shown at Chalkwell Hall in June. Phase 2 of the project will be shown in the new Southend musuem when it is built.
Local artist Sally Chinea will be holding various workshops with 45 students from Chase High School. The participating students range in age from year 7 to year 13.
Work is underway, and they will be focussing on Southend seafront, and some the technological developments during the Victorian era. Until the advent of the railways Southend had been viewed as a rural community. Rail travel allowed day trippers to escape the city and spend the day at seaside resorts like Southend.
Students will be invited to explore the theme of "A Day at the Seaside", and incorporate the Victorians love of collecting. Part of the project will create a "cabinet of curiosities"
These wierd and wonderful objects will be housed in a replica of a Victorian Bathing machine. It will include an interactive space for viewers.
Work is underway with a scale model of what Sally and the students will be building.
Bathing machines would have been a common site along our coast during the Victorian era. No lady would have considered bathing without it's protection. These were rooms on wheels, which provided a secluded private space in which a lady would peel away the layers of her petticoats, and remove her corset, changing into a suitable bathing costume. These beach houses would be pulled into the sea by horses where upon the lady could discreetly enter the sea while retaining her modesty. Once bathing was complete the carriage would be returned to the shore.
Gathering books from the Victorian era which will be featured in the show.
Recent work, and pieces in progress.
"Val de la loire" - drawings, collage, typewriter, pamphlet stitch
Louise has also been working on an altered book, featuring the short story Bernice by Edgar Allen Poe. One of the main themes of the story is Monomania. To depict this she has made all the "the;s" bold to convey monomaniac behaviour. Monomania means to to be fixated or obsessed by one particular thing.
Wikipedia defines Serendipity as a "happy accident" or "pleasant surprise"; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.
This was never truer than when Karen Apps made a little paper bear as part of her MA studies. She submitted the bear for selection to show at the Turn the Page artist's book fair 2013. When organisers later used it on their publicity material it was seen by a researcher for the BBC's One Show. The researcher contacted Karen and asked her to to make something for their upcoming feature 'Fifty things to do with Fifty Shades" and, a week or so later, Karen's Shades of Grey puppet made a very short appearance on the show. (you can read more about it on Karen's website here.)
It just goes to show that you never know what the littlest thing might lead to..
Several of us from Artbookart were welcomed to the Forum and the Turn the Page Norwich Book Fair. What a venue, a delightful open airy space, complete with sunshine!
Chris Ruston presented work which reflects her interest in Ice, and what is happenning to the worlds glaciers. Entitled "Ice Matters" her display included a large Ice book, which was richly textured with various shades of Blue.
Chris Ruston with her work Ice Matters
Karen Apps Janet Bradley and Margaret Cooter's table contained a variety of work, - so much of interest in such a small space!.
Karen brought along the Winnicott Bears ( as seen on the posters adverising the event).They were popular with visitors.
Margaret Cooter displayed some of her smaller Memory Balls, alongside her beautifully made "Binders Keepers". Unique handmade pouches for all your bookbinding tools. These were very appealing judging by the number sold,- nine out of fifteen.
Janet Bradley hung her thoughful "prayer flags" and displayed her The Three Rosas, a book. which recorded an installation she had previously done.
Karen Apps, Margaret Cooter, and Janet Bradley setting up.
Karen Apps display
Magaret Cooter Binders Keepers.
Miranda Campbell and David Howe complemented each others work, both drawing inspiration from the natural world They use bark and twigs but very differently. David had used large branches to create a wheel which formed the background to his dispaly. Miiranda's books were delicately put together .
Andrew Law returned for a second year, with his display of hand painted books in which areas are worked over,and over, giving a sense of history.
Jean Mold Hart has previously shown her work at a number of Book Fairs including the ICA, and presented various works incorporating her hand made papers. Dark and brooding, her book based on the Penelope myth, was a real treat. Other pieces incorporated gold and were beautifully textured.
The Society of Bookbinders were on hand to give a demonstration of the traditional skills of Bookbinding.
While textile designer Kate Marsden had knitted a diary using colour and pattern to reflect her various moods.
It was impossible to ignore Emma Lloyd's altered books which were stunning.. Hours and hours of work go into creating these incredible book sculptures.
Finally after two very busy days, and lots of interesting conversations it was time to say goodbye to Norwich. However the drive home rewarded us with the most spectatular sunset. A fitting end to a great weekend.
Photograph taken by Gwen Simpson.
We are a small group of contemporary artists in Essex (UK) who share a passion for art and books.