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

Sarah Bodman

Past Research

An Inventory Of al-Mutanabbi Street Project

Researcher participants: Beau Beausoleil - Curator (North and South America, Canada, The Middle East) Sarah Bodman - Curator (Europe, The Middle East, and Asia)
Project duration: 2010-2011
Project details:

Sarah is currently co-curating 'A Call To Book Artist's over 2010-2011 for the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition. The Al-Mutanabbi Street Broadside Project completed its call to letterpress printers after reaching a goal of 130 broadsides from 130 individual printers this year. Now, over 2010-2011 the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition is issuing a new call, to book artists to work on a project to "re-assemble" some of the "inventory" of the reading material that was lost in the car bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street.

The call asks book artists to join the project and further enhance the work of the Coalition by honouring al-Mutanabbi Street, through creating work that holds both "memory and future," exactly what was lost that day. A tour of all the letterpress broadsides is currently underway in the USA and Europe over 2010 -2011, and will also be shown at Iraq National Library and Archive in Baghdad, where a complete set of all 130 broadsides and 130 artists’ books will eventually reside once the project is completed. An Inventory Of al-Mutanabbi Street

Regenerator 2 - Altered Books Project 2010

Project details:
The first altered book exhibition and exchange, Regenerator, turned discarded library books into artists’ books by sending them out to artists to work on and swap with each other. 76 artists took part, selecting a book and returning it after they had created a new piece of work with it. The regenerated bookworks were exhibited at the Off-Centre Gallery, Bristol, and each of the books are permanently archived on the bookarts website, with working notes from the artists and images of the books.

Regenerator II - The comeback (2010) is in progress. Guy Begbie ran some demonstrations for altering /reconfiguring books at our library earlier in 2010, whilst attendees collected their books, the others have been sent out in the post to artists around the world.

66 artists have joined Regenerator II, and are currently working on their selected books, to return here by July 2010. The finished books will go into the library’s Special Collections area, for students to handle, study and be inspired by, where they will remain on permanent display. All of the books are archived in an online gallery on the bookarts website, which will launch in September 2010.

Grant title: What will be the canon for the artist’s book in the 21st Century?

Awarding body: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Awarded to: Bodman, Sarah
Researcher participants: Sowden, Tom
Project duration: 2008-2010
URL Links: www.bookarts.uwe


Project details:
In an arena that now includes both digital and traditionally produced artists’ books, what will constitute the concepts of artists’ publishing in the future?

This project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council from March 2008 - February 2010. The AHRC funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. The quality and range of research supported not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please see the website www.ahrc.ac.uk

This project investigated and discussed issues concerning the context and future of the artist’s book, in an attempt to extend and sustain critical debate of what constitutes an artist’s book in the 21st Century.

One of the key points of this project was to try and include all the book related activity that artists engage with. To include work that was being produced on, and exclusively for, digital technologies within the book arts field, and not leave it floundering uncomfortably on the edge, or subjected to a different terminology altogether, if the artist considered what they were producing to be a book, then we felt it should be included. We also looked at the continued practice of traditional production processes for artists’ books such as letterpress, etching, lithography, screenprint and woodcut, and have interviewed a range of artists and publishers who work with these, as well as those producing livres d’artistes, fine press books, design bindings, multiples, installation and audio books.

All of the outcomes from this project are available as free downloads on the project’s website. They run chronologically from the first interviews onwards. Please see the links for particular presentations as text or audio downloads from our seminars and conference, and focus points such as all the interviews from Poland. http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/canon.htm


Conference: Traditional and emerging formats of artists’ books: Where do we go from here?
This was a two-day conference, held at the School of Creative Arts, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK, Thursday 9th and Friday 10th July 2009 as part of our AHRC project.
All of the presentations are archived online as text and audio files at: http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/conf_trad09.htm

Artist’s Book Yearbook (ongoing)

The Artist’s Book Yearbook was established in 1994 by the contributing editors: Tanya Peixoto, John Bently, Stephanie Brown and Stefan Szczelkun and continues to be published on a biennial basis. The Yearbook serves as a resource for artists, lecturers, students, collectors and researchers. This biennial publication includes essays and information on many aspects of the book arts, artists' listings, information on book arts galleries, archives and collections, book arts courses, events, journals, bibliographies and reference publications, studios and websites, with book arts contributors from around the world. Since 2001, the Artist’s Book Yearbook has been edited by Sarah for Impact Press at the Centre for Fine Print Research.

New Wave: artists’ publishing in the 21st Century

Exhibition, as part of the Impact Printmaking Conference
School of Creative Arts, University of the West of England, Bristol
15th - 19th September 2009

New Wave was an exhibition demonstrating examples of concepts and formats of artists’ publishing. The exhibition was displayed over two rooms, a hands–on room of 133 artists’ books, and a reference book reading room of contextual publications, alongside which we showed copies of altered Artist’s Book Tree diagrams from our online artists’ books survey.

This exhibition formed part of a two-year AHRC funded research project which aimed to extend and sustain critical debate of what constitutes an artist’s book in the 21st Century - in order to propose an inclusive structure for the academic study, artistic practice and historical appreciation of the artist’s book.

All of the books are archived online at: http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/newwave09.htm

The Blue Notebook: journal for artists' books

Launched in October 2006 as a peer-reviewed journal of essays and artworks on contemporary artists publishing. Published twice a year by Impact Press, UWE Bristol as a contemporary, artists’ books journal discussing worldwide, contemporary book arts practice.

The journal is published in two formats: an electronic colour version to be accessed at any time online, and a paper, black and white version: Print: ISSN 1751-1712 Online : ISSN 1751-1720. Subscription covers both formats at £10 GBP per annum - UK and international. We welcome submissions of writing on contemporary artists’ books for The Blue Notebook. The submission guidelines can be found at: www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/guidbnb2.htm

Our review panel consists of national and international members:
Jeff Rathermel – Minnesota Centre for Book Arts (USA)
Susan Johanknecht - Camberwell College, University of the Arts, London (UK)
Dr Paulo Silveira - Universidad Federal do Rio Grande (Brazil)
Maria Fusco - Goldsmiths College, London (UK)
Ulrike Stoltz - Braunschweig University (Germany)
Dr Anne Béchard-Léauté - University of Saint-Etienne (France)
For subscriptions, please download the form on our publications page at www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/bnotebk.htm

Artists’ Books Partnership Programme (ABPP) ongoing.

Sarah set up the artists’ books partnership exhibition programme (ABPP) in 2005, which has loaned works to universities, collections, schools, libraries and bookshops in North America, UK, The Netherlands and Finland to date.

The programme loans artists’ books from Sarah’s own collection at CFPR, on a no fee basis - to set up exhibitions and events promoting the artist’s book to a wider community.

Some previous loans include: The Art of the Book: Collaboration, at the University of Missouri, USA, and The Art of the Book: Journals Then and Now (2010), USA and touring, both curated by Marian Amies, Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Missouri; Book Arts Center at the Limfjordscenter Doverodde, Denmark; Cowles Library, Drake University Des Moines, USA; AKI (ArtEz), Enschede, The Netherlands; Stroud College; Stroud College; Quay Arts Centre, Isle of Wight; The Greenhouse, Guernsey; University of Leicester; londonprintstudio, London; The New Art Gallery Walsall; Swindon College; Bristol Reference Library, Yateley Library; Solihull Gallery; Lit & Phil, Newcastle upon Tyne; University of Chester; Internationales Bentlager Druckgraphik - Symposium, Germany and Galleri VOX, Bergen, Norway.

If you would like to borrow some books for a project or exhibition, download the artists' books list or zines and multiples list and contact Sarah Bodman.

Bookmarks - Infiltrating the Library System Projects

Bookmarks was initially a one-year project, but so many artists continued to ask if they could join that we now run it on an annual basis. The Bookmarks projects series aim is to encourage appreciation of work in the format of the artist's book. Participating artists each hand-produce an edition of 100 signed and numbered bookmarks to give away through distribution boxes at venues around the world.

Since May 2004, the Bookmarks series of free artwork distribution has visited 50 venues in Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Poland, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Cyprus, Croatia, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and the USA.

Over 250 artists have contributed more than 25,000 bookmarks to the five projects to date. Contributions are collated into sets; one full set being sent to each of the contributing artists and the rest divided and sent in distribution boxes to participating galleries, bookstores and libraries around the world, for visitors to take.

Each bookmark is stamped with the current Bookmarks project website address, which directs the taker of the bookmark to the gallery section of the website. Visitors to the site can view works by the artists and contact contributors via their website and email links on our site.

For archived pages of each project please visit the Bookmarks homepage at: www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/bookmark.htm

Arcadia id Est: artists’ books, nature and the landscape

The Arcadia exhibition, symposium and accompanying small publication examined how nature and landscape are interpreted and utilised in a narrative format: through the use of image, text, structural and site–specific works in relation to the artist’s book. The 119 artists’ books in the exhibition ranged from traditional landscape works to social, ecological and political works.

The exhibition launched at TRACE Gallery Dorset, in March 2005 and toured over the following 34 months to: UWE, Bristol; Centre for the Artist's Book, Australia; Moufflon Bookshop, Nicosia, Cyprus; Eagle Gallery, London; Hartley Library, University of Southampton; AKI, Enschede, The Netherlands, Rikhardinkatu Library, Helsinki, Finland The Yard Gallery at Wollaton Hall; the John M Flaxman Library at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Ginkgo Reading Room at the John M. Olin Library, Washington University, USA; The Fleet Library at Rhode Island School of Design, USA; Noosa Regional Gallery, Tewantin, Australia and The National Print Museum of Ireland.

Arcadia included special events such as exhibition tour and talk (by Laurie Whitehill Chong) at the Rhode Island School of Design, USA; student workshops (Arcadia and the Metropolitan Landscape, led by Jana Harper and Jane Wolff), and panel discussion at Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and Washington University Libraries, USA; A Day in Arcadia at UWE, Bristol and a six-week programme of events for Arcadia’s visit to Noosa Regional Gallery, Queensland, Australia in September 2007, as part of Books 07, curated by Deirdre Brollo.

The Arcadia project, with online essays and a gallery of all the books can be viewed at: http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/arcadia.htm


All material on artists’ books research projects, exhibitions, lectures, publications and events to date are archived on the CFPR website of artists’ books activity at: www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk

Book Arts study through MA Print, UWE

The MA in Multi-Disciplinary Print, has broadened its discipline over a period of several years to encompass a far wider range of students from varying practices. Sarah provides specialist teaching materials and input into all MA modules for students interested in artists’ books. Research resources for students are also available online at http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/resources.htm

BABE: Bristol Artist's Book Events at Arnolfini

In 2007 and in 2009 Arnolfini, in collaboration with The Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England, Bristol, held the Bristol Artist's Book Event at Arnolfini. Fifty stands of artists’ books from 85 local, national and international artists. Artists and publishers showed works from: the UK and EIRE, Poland, Germany, Republic of Korea, USA and Canada. 6500 visitors come to Arnolfini over the weekend for each of these events. Free ‘book surgeries’ for artists, walking tours of the event, displays, workshops and performances take place over each event. BABE continues as a collaborative, biennial event again in 2011.

Librarians’ Books project and exhibition tour

During discussions on contemporary artists’ books with curators and librarians, it became apparent that many of them would like to make a book themselves in order to experience the creative processes of producing artists’ books. We invited institutional and library staff from national and international collections, to produce an artist’s book for the Librarians’ Books exhibition and held a workshop at UWE in 2005. Forty-five books were subsequently made for the exhibition.

The exhibition tour from 2005-2006 included UWE Bristol, The School of the Art Institute, Chicago, Bristol Central Library, Royal College of Art Library, and London College of Communication. Participants making a book for this project are from: Tate Britain, UWE, Winchester School of Art, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh College of Art, Goldsmiths, Chelsea College of Art and Design, Bristol Central Library, V&A Museum, The British Library, Royal College of Art, School of the Art Institute, Chicago USA and AKI, The Netherlands.

All of the books are archived in an online gallery at: http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/librar05.htm

Artists’ Books Creative Production and Marketing: a guidebook for book artists, 2005, 2007 and 2010

A one-year (June 04 - June 05) AHRC supported survey project resulted in the publication of a free downloadable 50pp guide for book artists (ISBN 0954702514) in 2005. The guide includes advice on pricing, approaching collectors, dealers, whether or not to use ISBNs, book fairs, shops and events, lists of paces to sell work and useful websites and publications. The guide was well received and subsequently more information was forwarded to us from artists and collectors.

We later interviewed new participants, dealers, gallery owners, curators and artists over 2007, and invited the 24 case study artists to update their information, for an updated 2nd edition of Artists’ Books Creative Production and Marketing which was published as a free download on our website in August 2007 (www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/surv07.htm ). The 3rd updated edition was published in June 2010.

Regenerator - Altered Books Project 2007

An online article from the New York Times in April 2006, about an altered books project inspired us to do something similar. An exhibition involving Portland library and the Maine College of Art in Portland, USA; Long Overdue: Book Renewal, saw 200 artists recycle books that were withdrawn from use, into artists' books. This instigated something similar with the books that had been boxed up for withdrawal from our School's art library at Bower Ashton. Due to space, the library didn’t want them back, so we ran an artist’s book exchange project. Regenerator turned discarded library books into artists’ books by sending them out to artists to work on and swap with each other.

76 artists took part in Regenerator, each selecting a book and returning it after they had created a new piece of work with it. We had a brilliant response with some absolutely beautiful creations made from old and ragged books. From altered books which still resembled the original, to sculptures, paper cuts and objects made from the books' pages, and sound pieces based on the site of the original book. The regenerated bookworks were exhibited at Off-Centre Gallery, Bristol from Weds 25th April - Friday 11th May 2007.

Library staff from Bower Ashton made drew names from a hat during the exhibition, to swap the books back artist by artist. One of the books in the exhibition will be returning to the library as an artist’s book, by special request from the artist Steve McPherson; whose artists' books often take years to complete, with him spending up to three months per page. These are all hand worked in a variety of processes, with hand stitching, photographs, found objects, hand lettering and drawings. McPherson is reworking Elias Canetti's Auto Da Fe at his own pace, which will be kindly donated to our library's artist book collection by him on completion.

The project, and each of the books are now permanently archived on UWE's bookarts website, with working notes from the artists and images of the books: www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/regen1.htm. Regenerator II runs until September 2010.

Artists’ Talks on Artists’ Books 2007

A one-day symposium at Winchester School of Art, co-hosted by the Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE, Bristol and Winchester School of Art.

This collaborative symposium provided an opportunity for artists to find out more about ways in which they can work, collectively and independently, to publish their artists’ books, and gain inspiration from both established and younger artists’ views of how they can translate their ideas into a book format. 80 people attended the symposium.

Artists’ Talks on Artists’ Books: included six talks on artists’ ideas behind making, collaborating, publishing, exhibiting and education in book arts. The symposium also included a special focus on John Bently’s 23 years of publishing and performance as the Liver and Lights Scriptorium. There was a ‘make a musical book instrument’ workshop led by John Bently, for participants to produce an instrument to play for the closing performance with Bently’s band Afterrabbit. Exhibitions included:
The complete collection of Liver and Lights published artworks from the last 23 years. This is the only such resource on L&L in existence, and was shown in its entirety on the day as part of the celebrations.

Six Sacred Sites: Six artists produced book works in response to a variety of sacred locations in the UK, including an ancient long barrow, contemporary, spontaneously-created roadside shrines, and four religious sites. At The Winchester Gallery, WSA.

Sitting Room: an exhibition of artists’ books in a sitting room environment, curated by Tom Sowden and Lucy May Schofield. At The Winchester Gallery, WSA.

The entire project is archived online at: www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/winarc07.htm. Podcasts of all of the talks and a video of the finale performance which can all be viewed or downloaded for play free from our website. We will collaborate again on future projects.

Artist’s Book Fairs (ongoing)

Ongoing promotion of UWE Bristol at various book events includes: The Mainzer Minipressen Messe; Pyramid Atlantic, Washington; Small Publishers Fair; Oxford Fine Press Fair; Leeds Artist’s Book Fair; Seoul Book Arts Fair, Manchester Artist’s Book Fair, Glasgow Artist’s Book Fair and BABE.

For more information on Sarah’s projects, please also see
URL Links:www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/projects.htm