Friday, August 27, 2010

Artists Books

Artist's books:  from inspiration to conception the artist's book is a unique piece that involves its audience by engaging their sense of discovery and exploration.  From the textile sensation of the book to the journey through images, words, objects - it is part book, part sculpture and an all-encompassing experience.  I have always had a fascination with books, strolling through old book shops for hours on end but this artform has made me appreciate books in a very different way.  Often taking for granted the process of producing a book, I now find myself wondering about the binding techniques and papers and inks used as I touch and turn each page. 


Artist's Books can be done in a series, produced multiple times or as one-off pieces.  The creativity is endless - sculptural pages, materials like clay and lucite, precise cut outs and folds.  This book above, "Nietzsche 'Beyond Good & Evil' altered book", by Steve McPherson was created for a Newport, Wales exhibit entitled 'Rich & Strange' where they allowed the public to check all the books from the exhibition out on loan.  Allowing them to explore and familiarize themselves with the piece so that they may gain true insight into the artists' vision but also to develop their own interpretations.    

It is said best by book artist Clifton Meador who explains that "a book (or at least the book I am interested in making) is portable, creates its own context, has an intimate relationship with its reader, and exists in multiple. The reader becomes immersed in the book, an act of willful self-hypnosis that is unique in art. The reader experiences this immersion in the book over time, allowing for complex, layered meanings to accrue. I am very interested in the development of an idea over time, from the accumulation of small details, hints, tiny nuances, broad gestures, and overwhelming contrasts. Every part of a book presents interesting possibilities for expression, discovery, and meaning."

... And so I begin etching out my first artist book.  A recent trip to a fantastic exhibition has left me inspired to create and combine a million ideas into one unique piece.  Stay tuned ~ I will post more details and inspiration as I go.

xoxo love,

{photo sources: 1, 2&3. 100 Layer Cake, 4, 5&6. Steve McPherson, 7. Visual Arts Network, 8. Steve McPherson}      

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