Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Bristol Artists Book Event

'Wear the old coat and buy the new book'.
Austin Phelps 

From 11 – 6 on Saturday 30 April and 11 - 5 on Sunday 1 May there will be 80 stalls of artists bookworks at the Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA. Admission free!


If you're in the area it would be very nice to see you there, it should be a very good show. And, looking at the following list you'll see lots of exhibitors, including me with Teacup Press!

ABC @ BIAD, abombpress, Alex Pritchard, Altazimuth Press /Tom Paine Printing Press, AMB(ambruno), Ambeck, Andrew Law, Antic-Ham, Artist Book Collective, artistsbooksonline.com, Artists’ Books Club UWE, Atlantic Press, Bob Howe Letterpress Type & Equipment, Book Transformations, bookartbookshop, Bookbinders Collective, Booked, Books About Nothing, Books to Change Your Life, Borbonesa, Bow of Burning Gold, Cally Barker, Charlotte Vallance/Jat Bains, Colin Sackett, Covet and Whistle, Decadence Comics, DISPERSAL, EAK Press, East London Printmakers, Editorial Krausse, Elizabeth Shackleton Collinge, Emily Speed, Ensixteen Editions, Francis Elliot - Foundry, Gemma Lacey, Glyn Walton/ Rag-&-Bone Shop Books, Here Gallery, ignition / Ciara Healy, Illustrated Digest / Plymouth College of Art, Imi Maufe - World Atlas, Impact Press UWE, Jane Cradock-Watson, John Woodman, Jonathan Doney at The Spitfire Press, Kali De Vega, Karen Joyce, Karoline Rerrie, Kite Dagger Anchor, Leopard Studio Editions, Liver & Lights, Lucy May Schofield / Bibliotherapy Artist’s Book Library, MADE, MailWorks@Bruxelles, Mandy Brannan, Mark Pawson, mermaid turbulence, Mikhail Pogarsky, Mizue Yoshimura, Nick Moore, one.zero6 press, Ottobooks, Owl & Lion - Isabelle Ting, Oxford and Cherwell Valley College, Paper Garden Press, Parvenu Press, peach-tree, pear-tree press, Pylon Press / Plymouth College of Art, reassemble, Redfoxpress, Responsa Press, Road Books, Roger Polley, Sally Stanley, Salt + Shaw, Serendipity Press / Little Black Press, Sidney Nolan Trust, SILT, Simon Goode, Snake Perch Press, Stephen Fowler, SuperPress, Teacup Press - Mavina Baker, The Courtyard Press, Trigger Editions, University of Plymouth - Illustration, Vox Humana Press, whnic Press.

for information contact:
T: +44 (0) 117 917 2300 / 01

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Ancient woodland under threat

I dare say I'd better confess up front - I'm about to have a little rant, I hope you'll bear with me (and possibly agree).

As you can guess from my blog, I enjoy walking in our beautiful countryside, and I also appreciate it looks the way it does because of mankind's stewardship.

But I don't think ripping it up for an ill thought out fast rail line is the best example of managing our landscape. The Government released detailed plans in February 2011, for a high speed rail link known as High Speed 2 that will run between London and Birmingham.

I'm can't see why the existing lines cannot be up-dated, that way at least new communities wouldn't have to contend with the noise and disruption of a railway and we could still get from London to Birmingham (or visa versa) as fast as is humanly possible! And, importantly, we won't have to loose some of our ancient woodland.

Ancient woodland, usually defined as continually wooded since at least 1600, supports a huge range of wildlife (including more threatened species than any other UK habitat) and ancient woods are also some of our prettiest woodlands. And, once it's gone we can NEVER get it back.

If you can, take a walk in them this spring and you will find carpets of bluebells, wonderful wood anemones and glorious celandines.

The Woodland Trust have gathered and analysed all information available to it regarding High Speed 2 and have identified 21 woods under direct threat from the proposals.

I realise too, 2011 has started with revolution, earthquake and tsunami and we're all constantly asked to help in some way or other (generally a donation) and I don't know about you, but I find that my heart goes out to people in distress and want to help but can't do much more than fund raise, so at least with this issue I can get involved locally and take part.

If you'd like to find out more about it follow the link.


Okay, rant over. Feeling better now, in fact I think I'll plant my own little bit of 'woodland', this weekend I'll be out with my spade!


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Watercolour at Tate Britain

If this clip of John Squire using watercolour is anything to go by, the Watercolour exhibition at Tate Britain might well challenge our preconceptions of what watercolour painting is all about.

Watercolour also offers the chance to see rarely displayed works in all their glory, by artists ranging from J.M.W. Turner to Tracey Emin.

And the Tate runs guided exhibition tours on Fridays and Saturdays at 12:15, £5.00 per person, a maximum of 15 people and lasts for about an hour. Call 020 7887 8888 for information and to book a ticket.

Group visit anyone?


The Cotswold Way

This weekend spring most definitely sprung, blue skies, warm sunshine, a soft breeze and a good day for a gentle stroll. We chose to head for Winchcombe on the Cotswold Way so that we could walk another leg of this long distance path. 

The Cotswold Way takes you through some of the prettiest areas in Britain and is a good trail to explore on foot, and after a swift half we set off.

Typical views of the high street.
and typical views of the countryside.
Someone has big ideas for the future, you can just make out in this photo part of the double line of trees that march away into the distance.
Not characteristic fencing for this area (but I guess becoming more and more typical), usually we see dry stone walling as you can just make out either side of the gate.
A stone monument without any information about itself, with a little niche for passers-by to take a rest.
Weathered graffiti, no not Chris, the love hearts from 1877.
Fine view from the monument, and a good place to rest as we're about half way along our walk. We haven't met anyone yet on this stretch of path, but you can just make out some people in the distance I find it amazing (in our small and populous country) that you can walk for a whole afternoon and sometimes not see a soul, even in the distance.
The small Hailes Church stands on the edge of a field, a simple, aisleless chapel consisting of a nave and chancel, built sometime in the 12th-century. Records show that in 1114 William de Tancarville is recorded as giving Hailes Church to the monastery of St. Georges-de-Boscherville near Rouen in France, and  Hailes Church is also mentioned in the records of nearby Winchcombe Abbey, one record providing details of the church built at Hailes between 1139 and 1151.  

Entrance is through a small south porch, it's a small and charming church and contains some magnificent 13th-century wall paintings of saints, coats of arms, and hunting scenes. 
This collection of faded wall paintings, is really quite stunning. Bleached reds and browns depict scenes familiar in the 13th-century. Here a huntsman with a horn to his mouth carries a shield with horns and sea urchins, while his greyhounds race towards a hare crouched beneath the bare branches of a tree. 
St. Catherine of Alexandria.
An elephant?! with wings no less.
Medieval encaustic tiles, worn with years of use, but still the fish and floral motifs are clear. It looks to me as if they have been rearranged over time as no real pattern can be seen.
A rather lovely, and simple Rood screen
From our path we could look across fields to see St. George's church at Didbrook, (circa 1475) It looks fairly close by, but I have used full zoom and in fact it's about half a mile away. The afternoon sun, still pleasant, was loosing its heat and it's easy to tell how early  in the year we are. Hat and gloves are still quite necessary.
This is all a contrast to Saturday spent in London catching up with old friends. I won't say how old, just that we've known them since sometime in the 1970's - gulp.

I don't know what this building is, but isn't the spire fantastic. Just look at the Unicorn and Lion, I feel sure they hold the clue to what this building is about.
One of the great things about London is the mix of old and new
This beautiful green oasis in the centre of Soho square is home to probably the most ostentatious wendy house in the world!

The square is also home St. Patrick's Church a large Roman Catholic Parish church that features extensive catacombs that spread deep under the Square and further afield. I'd like to find out if it is possible to visit them, I'd definitely come for a look around - anyone want to join me?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Beauty of Books

The accompanying music is a little turgid, but these tiny clips make me wish I'd seen all of the series, The Beauty of Books, a four parter exploring the beauty and meaning of books as artistic objects on BBC4

I hope they do a repeat showing.

The Codex Sinaiticus . . . the world's oldest surviving bible

Alice in Wonderland

The Luttrell Psalter

Paperback writer

Monday, 7 March 2011

Making a linocut print

This is a great little video showing artist Bill Fick demonstrating the process of linocut printmaking, from beginning to end.

What I like about it is you get to see the scale of this print, and that electric press, wow!

Anatomy of a Linocut by Bill Fick from Jim Haverkamp on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Bookbinding - Japanese style

For those of you who'd like to make your own journals the web is a fab place to look.

Here's a great (very quiet) little video I found of a bookbinding demo. This shows the process for a Japanese style, stab bound book and makes it look so easy.

If you do feel the impulse to make your own book, follow the link and you will find parts 2 and 3