AMBruno Editions @ Berliner Liste

Berliner Liste Art Fair 
POSTBAHNHOF, Berlin, Germany
18th – 21st September 2014

“With 112 galleries, from 24 countries, the BERLINER LISTE will once again be the largest of the Berlin art fairs. It will be held from 18th – 21st September as part of Berlin Art Week. The spectrum of exhibited art will range from contemporary painting, sculpture, drawings and graphics to installations, video art and performance. The new Editions Section will also present limited edition art including books, photography and small-format paper artworks. See more at www.berliner-liste.org

I’ll be exhibiting my Brimstone Almanac bookworks as part of this group show at Berlin Liste Art Fair. Artists from the AMBruno collective have been selected to exhibit their artist book and print work by curator Dr. Peter Funken. Exhibiting artists also include Barbara Greene, Cally Trench, Claire Deniau, Jane Grisewood, John McDowall, Judy Goldhill, Julie Johnstone, Kathryn Faulkner, Manya Donaque, Marco Cali, Philip Lee, Sharon Kivland, Sophie Loss, Steve Perfect, and Valerie Mary.

I’m Telling You Stories. Trust Me.

Multiplied Art Fair
Christie’s, London, UK
18th – 21st October 2013

“This year Multiplied returns for the fourth time at the peak of the contemporary art season in London. The fair is unique in offering contemporary art in editions, from prints and photographs to sculpture and artists’ books, showcasing both established and emerging artists from a range of international galleries and collectives. With free entry and works of art priced to suit every budget. Multiplied provides a unique opportunity for collectors, curators and enthusiasts to see and buy contemporary art in editions.” 

The Multiplied Art Fair at Christie’s in London was a new direction for the AMBruno group who had produced a suite of prints especially for the occasion. Each artist in the group submitted a proposal and 18 were selected, myself included. We had lots of interest in the new works and sold not one, but two suites of prints to a boutique hotel in Cheltenham. The hotel are also producing a catalogue to accompany the images to provide their guests with more information about the work. The following is an overview of the project and statements from each of the artists involved. For more images of work and from the exhibition, see http://ambruno.co.uk/trust-me.html

I’m telling you stories. Trust me. 
“For Multiplied 2013, proposals were invited for an editioned print, to be made in response to the project  brief by John McDowall: ‘I’m telling you stories. Trust me.’ to suggest perhaps, the unreliability of representation and narrative, or to tell/un-tell a story in a single plane of vision. Any print technique and process could be employed including intaglio – etching and drypoint, photography, screenprinting, digital, surface – lino and woodcut. The line ‘I’m telling you stories. Trust me.’ is reiterated throughout Jeanette Winterson’s novel The Passion, and is a very apposite encapsulation of the project, though acknowledged it was not an indication that the novel should be a source of the work. The image size and proportions varied, but the paper size was constant at 36 x 46 cm in portrait format, and each print was in an edition of 25.”

In response to the ‘I’m Telling You Stories. Trust Me.’ brief, I produced the the work ‘Tasseography Alphabet’, using a combination of digital print and chine-collé. The work explores the concept of allegory, described by Walter Benjamin as an aggregation of signs which represent fleeting and fragmentary truths. The Tasseography Alphabet therefore depicts a set of pseudo-iconographic images as a divination tool in order to express the way in which we continually try to disseminate received knowledge.

Exhibiting artists included: Louise Atkinson, Karen Blake, Marco Cali, Claire Deniau, Kathryn Faulkner, Ruth Fettis, Judy Goldhill, Barbara Greene, Jane Grisewood, Lydia Julien, Sharon Kivland, Philip Lee, Sophie Loss, John McDowall, Sumi Perera, Shelley Rae, Peter Rapp, and Cally Trench.

Fabulous Books, Fantastic Places

BALTIC Artists’ Book Fair 2013
Gateshead, UK
14th & 15th June 2013

“For two days only, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary art plays host to a national two day Artist’s Book Fair in collaboration with local Book Artist Theresa Easton. Level 1 at Baltic becomes a market place of exhibiting book stalls and interactive exhibitions of book work. There are opportunities to meet the artists, have a go at bookmaking, purchase and collect affordable artwork. You can find out more info about the event here.”

I exhibited here alongside AMBruno and manned the stall with Scottish Poetry librarian Julie Johnstone and fellow Yorkshire artist Barbara Greene. Alongside the fair were exhibitions and interventions such as the North East Photography Network and Yvette Hawkin’s Book Apocethary. The event was a great success with purchases and sales made and I got to meet and chat to Lucy May Scholfield about her BABL project, which I donated some work to, and hope to cite in my research.

Instructions

Artists’ Bookmarket 2013
Fruitmarket Gallery
Edinburgh, UK
20th April 2013

“The Fruitmarket Gallery is excited to introduce the third Artists’ BookMarket, this April. For one spring day, The Fruitmarket Gallery will transform into a marketplace where you will find unique artists’ books and publications for sale, come face to face with the artists who make them and join in book-making workshops. Stallholders are travelling to the Gallery from far and wide. You’ll find work to interest you from the likes of Switzerland, Canada, London and a bit closer to home too. 

The BookMarket programme of fairs, events and kiosks provides platforms for artists, designers, publishers and makers from the Gallery’s extended creative community to sell and present their work at The Fruitmarket Gallery. Recent events have served artists’ book makers, contemporary designers, art students and Scottish art publishers and have been occasions for networking, partnership-forming and driving sales.”

This year, I took part in the Fruitmarket Bookmarket with Artist Book Collective’s first curated stall on the theme of instructions. Taking inspiration from Fluxus, mail art and relational practice, each participating artist provided works for sale, loosely based on the idea of a guide, almanac or puzzle. I also be gave a talk about the history of the Artist Book Collective during the day. The artists in the show were Craig Atkinson, Black Dogs, Manya Donaque, Alex Hetherington (Modern Edinburgh Film School), Benedict Phillips, Louisa Parker, Archie Salandin, and myself. The curatorial brief was inspired by Fluxus, mail art and relational practice, so each artist provided book works which were loosely based on the idea of a guide, almanac or puzzle. A full list of images and text can be seen on ABCarchive. All in all, it was a very interesting experience and I even got to meet Alec Finlay!

London Art Book Fair

Whitechapel Gallery
London, UK
23rd – 25th September 2011
Curated by Sophie Loss & John McDowall
As part of AMBruno

Just back from another productive weekend in London. The London Art Book Fair at Whitechapel Gallery was buzzing with the who’s who of the London Art Scene from Saatchi Gallery and Haunch of Venison to smaller galleries likeParasol and independent exhibitors such as David Faithfull.

Making the most of my time in the capital, I went to visit an independent artist bookshop and gallery in Hoxton calledbookartbookshop. I’d exhibited there in the past in a curated show by Foundry Press but hadn’t been able to visit till now. I was greeted with a small room chock full of weird and wonderful publications, all available to browse and buy.

I had already set my hopes on stocking my work there, and as luck would have it, I managed to catch up with Tanya, the friendly owner, back at the fair. Of course, a little forward planning and emailing helped too. So editions of Incidental Press artist books will now be stocked at bookartbookshop, hopefully in time for their centenary celebrations next year.

But it didn’t end there. On Friday, I decided to attend one of the talks held at the event by Felicity Allen, the former head of learning for Tate Britain. The lecture was all about her new book called Education about the role which art plays in learning and pedagogy. Again, I’d prepared for this eventuality with some hurriedly printed UIK enrolment forms and, after the Q&A, managed to offload one into her hands with a brief spiel about the project, before she rushed off to her book signing.

I was on a high after this coup and sauntered back to my co-exhibitors AMBruno, feeling pleased with myself. I noticed I was one book down since I last looked and enquired as to its whereabouts, expecting a routine sale, or more likely that it had just been moved. Claire looked at me with a huge grin and told me that a lady from the V&A had been and bought a copy of each of our books for their permanent collection!

The rest of the trip is a bit of a blur, but I also came back with a limited edition poster by Lucia della Paolera from the Information as Material stand, cataloguing a chronological list of all of the directives given to the author in one day.

Blue Book

This is the blue book created for the London Art Book Fair at the Whitechapel Gallery. The project was developed from a collaboration between myself and writer Gareth Durasow and sparks the launch of my new book venture – Incidental Press, the name for any of my future solo and collaborative publications.

The book explores written and verbal language as a primary form of communication to describe our subjective experience. Language also often attempts to evoke other senses such as reading a menu and ‘tasting’ the food before we order, amounting to a vague form of synaesthesia.

However, different subjectivities mean that language is often at best an approximation, what Derrida calls Différance: ‘the notion that words and signs can never fully summon forth what they mean, but can only be defined through appeal to additional words, from which they differ. Thus, meaning is forever “deferred” or postponed through an endless chain of signifiers’.

A particular example of this is the subjective experience of colour. Experiencing this purely visual with no objective context, it is impossible to imagine how someone else views the same colour. As with Derrida’s Différance, colour can also be changed in relation being seen in context with other colours. Producing a decorator swatch book of blue paint samples with associated names attempts to highlight this disconnect between word and image.

Image: Louise Atkinson & Gareth Durasow, Vintage Brecht, Artist book, 2011