Artists' Books Research
e-mail Address: Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk / Tom.Sowden@uwe.ac.uk
Artists’ books have re-emerged as an energetic contemporary artform over the last thirty years. Developing from their last materialisation in the 1960s as a way of bypassing the constraints of the gallery; as a vehicle for the dissemination of ideas and a radical format for bringing art to a wider public through artists self-publishing their work. This notion of making art in an affordable non-wall based format led to the growth of what we now recognise as the artist’s book.
As part of our research we explore many aspects of artists’ publishing: from the conception and history of the artist’s book to creative processes and output, current developments and critical assessments of the subject. Through our research projects and collaborations, we hope to widen critical discourse within the book arts field.
Developments in Desk Top, Internet, E-book, Publish-on-Demand and Video books, have led to many more artists now producing artworks in these formats. This is not to say that traditional means of production such as letterpress type, etching, woodcut and screenprint have ceased. Advances in technology have meant that the traditional and the innovative can be combined to produce artwork and the renewed interest in the artist’s book has also led to a re-appreciation of traditional creative methods.