Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research
 

Tom Sowden

Senior Research Fellow


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Tom Sowden is currently acting Associate Head of Department: Communication Design and the Programme Leader for MA Design at the University of the West of England Bristol.

He was previously Senior Research Fellow in artists’ books and academic lead for the Centre for Fine Print Research’s laser cutting area. His research is of direct benefit to artists, designers, makers and manufacturers helping them to develop ideas and bring new products to the marketplace through access to his research, digital prototyping, manufacturing, workshops, touring exhibitions, knowledge transfer, advice and CPD courses.

In 2011 Tom completed the AHRC funded project ‘Paper Models: investigating Laser cutting technology to develop new artists’ books and paper based creative practice for arts, crafts and design’. A study into the long-term potential of laser cutting technology for artists, designers and craftspeople working with paper. He also completed a two-year AHRC funded research project with Sarah Bodman in early 2010 'In an arena including digital and traditional artists' publishing formats - what will be the canon for the artist's book in the 21st Century?' This major study was a responsive exploration with a collaborative, international audience of artists, academics, presses, publishers, curators, dealers, collectors and students involved in the field of artists books, in order to propose an inclusive structure for the academic study, artistic practice and historical appreciation of the artist's book.

He is the Art Editor for the Artist’s Book Yearbook and The Blue Notebook and for the last eight years he has been collecting artists' books that reference, mimic, are made in homage to, or just completely rip-off the iconic books made by Ed Ruscha. He collaborates with the Berlin-based poet and conceptual artist Michalis Pichler, another avid collector of Ruscha-esque books, together they have co-curated exhibitions of these books under the Follow-ed (after hokusai) title which was shown at the Winchester Gallery, Winchester School of Art, Arnolfini, Bristol, gallery P74, in Ljubljana, Monash University, Melbourne and Cabinet du Livres d’Artiste, Rennes, France.

Tom’s artists’ books are held in a range of national and international public collections including: Tate Britain, Manchester Metropolitan University, Winchester School of Art, Camberwell College of Arts, University of Plymouth, Mills College, Oakland, USA, and Texas Gallery, Houston, USA as well as private collections around the world.

Research Grants Awarded

2010 Paper Models: investigating laser-cutting technology to develop new artists' books and paper-based creative practice for arts, crafts and design, AHRC Research Grants (Practice Led and Applied) £31,957, Principal Investigator

2008-10 In an arena including digital and traditional artists' publishing formats - what will be the canon for the artist's book in the 21st Century? AHRC Research Grant (Standard) £114,377, Co-Investigator

Contact: Tom.Sowden@uwe.ac.uk



Research Grants Awarded

2010 Paper Models: investigating laser-cutting technology to develop new artists' books and paper-based creative practice for arts, crafts and design, AHRC Research Grants (Practice Led and Applied) £31,957, Principal Investigator

2008-10 In an arena including digital and traditional artists' publishing formats - what will be the canon for the artist's book in the 21st Century? AHRC Research Grant (Standard) £114,377, Co-Investigator

Tom's current CV

Contact: Tom.Sowden@uwe.ac.uk