Examples of work from some of our participating book artists
Batool Showghi – Frances Day – Isobel Lewis – Malcolm Raggett – Mary Brodrick – Mary Dickinson –Paul Johnson – Rosemary Everett – Sophie Artemis – Sumi Perera – Susie Wilson – Tessa Sinclair
Batool Showghi’s multidisciplinary approach to the artists’ book and her mixed media work involve photography, illustration, painting and textiles. All of which are employed to explore themes of cultural heritage, memory, identity and loss in very personal ways. Her work as an artist is concerned with the experience of women and the way in which this experience relates to cultural and religious boundaries as well as reflecting on the theme of turbulence, immigration, disintegration of the family and the experience of displacement. In recent projects and artist’s books Batool uses textile pieces on canvas and paper and the use of a sewing machine as a drawing tool to create her imagery.
I am a scientist by education, a software engineer by profession, and a book artist in my creative life. I love to use books to bring these aspects together, particularly to share my love of science through my artist’s books. I enjoy playing with structure, so often my work is a book because I say it is! I have background in textile art, so I enjoy manipulating paper, and I also continue to make textile art and embroidery.
Malcolm hosts the Artist Books Group meetings and creates books from his photos and artwork. Inspired by nature, architecture and shadows.
Mary has been fascinated by animals decorating porcelain, furniture, maps and textiles in the V & A Museum. These mythical creatures represent stories from around the world. She engraved several of them on boxwood for a book illustrating Jeanette Winterson’s words: Everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everybody sees (the world) differently. The V & A exhibited this book in their ‘Inspired By’ exhibition at the Morley Gallery.
Mary has worked all over the world entertaining and educating people to enjoy and make their own stories, their own books. The books she makes all have a story. Some are specially bound texts. Some have text and moving parts and some are purely visual. She makes them from her own relief prints, collage, ink drawings and watercolour. Her website and Instagram pages encourage readers to think “What’s the story?”
Website: marydickinsonbooks. com
Isobel is a graphic designer who works in commercial publishing but misses the smell of ink! She takes inspiration from the sea and the landscape around her where she lives in Wales to make one of a kind and limited edition artist books. She has work in various public and private collections including the Bodleian Library, Oxford and The National Library of Scotland.
Author of A Book of One’s Own and Literacy Through the Book Arts, Paul travelled the world teaching the book arts. His unique pop-up books are in the V&A Museum, London, the Bodleian Library, Oxford, the Library of Congress, Washington DC and most major university collections in the US. In 2018 the Johns Hopkins University acquired his archive, comprising over 500 items of his original artwork spanning half a century. Amongst commissions was one from Ben Fogle to mark his climbing of Everest in 2018; amongst recent awards was the Movable Book Society’s Meggendorfer Prize in 2021.
I make artist’s books that entertain and intrigue by combining printmaking (monoprints, collagraph, wood engraving, letterpress and digital prints) with upcycled materials (packaging, maps, nautical charts) and found objects. I enjoy introducing other techniques such as hand or machine stitching.
I like to adapt traditional bookbinding and experiment with structures to create tactile, sculptural and experiential pieces. My focus is often on the spaces book structures create as well as on colour and pattern.
I design each book as a whole; the structure and content are always developed together to bring my ideas and themes to life. My work focuses on
▪️The concept of “blue space” and why time spent by water makes us happy
▪️Our impact on the environment
▪️A sense of place – celebrating the unique light and colours of a particular landscape and time.
Sophie is a maker of beguiling tunnel books and books with pop-up, moving pages about Love and Nature. Vivid, small editions that journey into the book, hiding and revealing as the work is handled, viewed and explored. She is artist in residence at a women’s prison and has work in the V&A Art library, Tate Library collections and many university collections.
Sumi Perera is a post-disciplinary artist who makes artistbooks that often oscillate between the codex and concertina format by withdrawal of a detachable spine, which allows the book to undress itself. Often there are multiple narratives that unfold as the format changes. She draws upon her background working in her native country Sri Lanka and her adoptive country UK, as a doctor, scientist and artist (MA Bookarts, Camberwell College UAL, 2003-2004). She has done many international teaching & artist residencies in Beijing & Yinchuan in China; Venice, Italy; Marcilhac France; and London which feeds into her practice.
She makes hand-held small books that extend to large installations (up to 50 metres). Her artistbooks have been awarded many international prizes : Prix de Print USA (2015); a few awards at the Society of Bookbinders Conference & Competition (2009 & 2017); 1st Prize
Shelter USA 92007); Birgit Skiold Artistbook Award ICA London (2005); Gold Medal 1st Artistbook Competition Seoul, S Korea etc.
Her works are held in many private & public collections : Tate Britain Special Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, Yale Centre for British Art, Ashmolean, British Museum, Royal Collection, Bibliotheca Alexandria Egypt, Southern Cross University Artistbook Award, Manly Library Artistbook Award Australia etc..
Susie Wilson trained as a printmaker and for the past twenty years the book form has been central to her work. The discipline of this form enables her to combine printmaking with 3-dimensional structures and to use layers that can interplay one with another. Susie’s work has a longstanding concern with narratives (sequential and accumulative) and with the self-documentary impulse. It has drawn on diverse external sources – historic, architectural and anatomical – and has frequently been informed by the particular medical challenges faced by her family. Recently awarded the Maureen Duke Educational Award (2021), Nancy Graham Memorial Book Prize (Visual Arts Scotland, 2019) and Landmark Residency, Art Walk Porty (2019-2021 in collaboration with artist Felicity Bristow). Her work is in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland, City Art Centre, Edinburgh Art and Design Library, Baltic, Edinburgh University and University of Kent.
I make photobooks using my own photographic images and sometimes ‘found’ images primarily as a way to communicate experiences, emotions and concepts which are sometimes best expressed through image, or perhaps can only be expressed through image. I have explored the interaction between ‘writing’ and images. Text can enhance the experience for someone looking at a photobook. Images can also challenge or subvert the sense of text. Truth and memory are revealed to be elusive in this dance. Even when I think I am making a ‘straight’ documentary photobook, I find myself sequencing a story or an idea of some kind.
I have published 2 photobooks, ‘Here is ‘All I want to Be’, outwardly it is an elegiac collection of landscapes taken on the coast of Suffolk with a poetic thread running through them. It is in fact a tribute to the tranquility that is afforded from immersion in nature and wild spaces when you find yourself inwardly in turmoil. The second is ‘A Restless Land’, A large French fold book, printed on art house paper in an edition of 75 (signed and numbered). This one was made during the first lock down and has a twilight feel of blue about it which speaks of the dislocation in time that was the pervasive feeling of the time.
Most recently I have been making hand sewn gatefold books following a trip to the magical land of Uist in the Outer Hebrides.