Why choose Lighthousekeeping Jeanette Winterson as a book to respond to?
“Lighthousekeeping is a sea story, a love story, a lost story, a life story, a bedtime story and my story... It is a story about telling stories. Jeanette Winterson
With it’s beautiful crafted descriptions, we felt Jeanette Winterson’s book Lighthousekeeping lends itself to visual interpretation.. The book resonates with so many aspects of our own lives. With its array of possible starting points, each of us of have responded to a sentence, an image, or thread, using it as inspiration for a ‘new story’ in the form of an artist book.
“And it was discovered that every light had a story - no everylight was a story and the flashes themselves were the stories going out over the waves as markers, guides and comfort and warning”
Stories are what make our lives - the way we make sense of experience and the world around us. Like the child’s game of Chinese whispers, subtle shifts in each retelling gives space for new interpretations to emerge. Viewing this collection of work is akin to the flashes from the lighthouse moving out from a central point, dispersing and creating a continuous cycle of new stories, new beginnings.
A preliminary 'mock up' from Chris Ruston as she experiments with various book structures as part of her response to Lighthoousekeeping.
We are delighted Louise Swain will be joining Artbookart at Gallery 70 in March. Having produced the poster for the show, she has sent us this beautiful glimpse of the work she will be exhibiting. None of us are aware of each others responses to Lighthousekeeping so it is a much of a surprise to us as well as to everyone else!
And so it begins...
Sally Chinea is getting started on her response to Jeanette Wintersons novel Lighthousekeeping. She says "some may say work in progress, others it's just a post-it note attack!". Either way the novel has been read and the next step is underway. With a myriad of thoughts and possibilities to choose from who knows where it will lead!
Meanwhile in another part of town, Gwen Simpson is also beginning her piece. A tantalising glimpse of her first ideas combining wire, paper, and watercolour.
We are presently making plans and preparing a group show to be held at Gallery 70, in March. It is good to be involved with the Essex Book Festival again, and be able to bring Artists Books to the festival proceedings. Lola Swain and Sally Chinea will also be offering a book making workshop at Firstsite on Saturday 23rd March. (details here)
In keeping with festival theme Secret Waters, we are each creating an artist book inspired by Jeanette Wintersons novel Lighthousekeeping. We haven't revealed our ideas to each other, so it will be interesting to see the various interpretations once they go on display.
Details for the show can be found on the poster below.
Gwen Simpson is underway with a 100 day challenge which involves making something each day over the next three months.. Having been thinking about the idea of a "museum to self", this challenge has provided an opportunity to get started by using a dress template. Her aim is to create a 100 pages where each image reflects a significant memory /moment of her life. The development of the project can be viewed here - Gwensimpson.com
"Paper dress patterns were an important part of my life, from my early teens I made most of my clothes including my school uniforms".
"1965 Kansenji High School, Ndola, Zambia. I am made prefect and no one is more surprised than I am! The prefects wore a different uniform to the rest of the school.Here Nisan actual swatch of fabric that has been preserved in a patchwork quilt I made."
"My mother was a talented needle woman who made clothes for the whole family. To supplement the family income she also did dressmaking and alterations. Fabric swatches from one of her dresses".
A few samples of what a day marbling can produce!
and then to use the papers with a Japanese Stab Binding structure
and not forgetting a traditional box
Images by Chris Ruston
An exciting new workshop space is about to open in Leigh on Sea. Christine Wyatt is the studio director and brainchild behind the venture. Create98 will be offering a range of events suitable for all ages and abilities - .from bookmaking drawing, printmaking, pottery, photography, textiles, and lots more.
create98 opens on 8th October and for the first two weeks will offer a range of free taster sessions.
Lola, Karen and Sally will all be offering their skills in various workshops. To keep up todate with what is happening check out their Create98 facebook page.
The next month or two is a busy one as all of us will be involved with a variety of exhibitions, and events - some of it is book related and some more general.
There will be a chance to see work by Gwen Simpson in the Leigh Art Trail Group Exhibition in the Leigh Community Centre, Elm Road, Leigh. The show will feature work around the theme of Painting with Light. and opens from 10th August until 21st September.
Gwen Simpson - Iron Bars Do Not a Prisoner Make.
A homage to all prisoners of conscience.
Altered Book with LED lights.
Chris Ruston will be showing two artist books in a group exhibition 200 Fish, at the North Sea Observatory, Chapel Point Lincolnshire.. The show opens on 23rd August until 3rd September.
Chris Ruston The Thornback Ray,
Unique Artist Book
Pen and Ink.
Karen Apps has been involved in a residency and Southend Art Trail. The work is ongoing.
Karen Apps A Gateway to Limbo,
Altered and redacted book
Not forgetting Lola Swain is taking part in the East Anglian Potters Summer exhibition in the Old Library, Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The show continues until 26th August.
Jane Woollatt will be convening a conferance Reinventing, Rethinking, and Representing Menopause : Beyond the Interdisciplinary Paradigm. it will take place in Cambridge on 29th September. This a call out to interested artists to submit work in response to this theme to be included in an on line exhibition open to all artists. More information can be found here.
Jane Woollatt Tomb
And finally Chris Ruston, Karen Apps and Sally Chinea will be participating in Essex Summer of Art Open Studios at HOFS (Hadleigh Old Fire Station) over the Bank Holiday weekend.
This months gathering included some practical art making alongside planning future events. We will post more as these plans develop.
Sometimes there Is a simple joy to be gained making artwork, or in this instance refreshing skills, in the company of other artists. It is a way of counterbalancing the stressful moments of life, and a good reminder of the importance of connecting with each other in healthy creative ways. An added bonus - everyone left with a sketchbook!
We are a small group of contemporary artists in Essex (UK) who share a passion for art and books.