We'll be back.
Photos from this year's fair are now on the website and everything has moved around somewhat to reflect that the 2013 fair is now a previous fair. We can almost guarantee that nothing too much is going to happen here for a while, but it won't be very many months before plans for the next fair start to put out tiny tendrils and the whole thing starts all over again...
We'll be back.
What an excellent couple of days that was! This year's fair is now over and it went down pretty well all round. College and school classes visited, along with much of the rest of the world (no really, it did feel quite like that at some points), and the crowds for the sale of letterpress (fonts, furniture and much else besides) were impressive, with people visiting especially for tiny scraps of metal from well beyond Manchester and the north-west - how good is that? Thanks goes out to everyone involved in whatever way, from the volunteers who so generously gave up their time to help from start to finish, to the visitors, the exhibitors and the staff at the gallery. I'll publish plenty of photos on the site over the next week or so - meanwhile here's a handful of photos of the second day.
Hey, maybe we should do this again some time.
And so it begins. One gallery, stacked tables, serried ranks of chairs, teetering piles of tablecloths. No hint of the book arts riches it's going to boast, the colour, the chatter. It'll all look rather different tomorrow.
As they will be showing off a selection of their artists' books during the fair, this is an obvious opportunity to showcase a few items from MMU Special Collection's book arts library here, along with the artists - there's no guarantee that these particular books will be on show on the day, but they give you a little taster. None of the artists whose work is shown here will be at the book fair.
MMU Special Collections will be open during the Artists’ Book Fair 2pm-4pm on Friday 18th October and 12 noon-4pm on Saturday 19th October. A small selection of the more than 2,000 books in the collection will be on display in the Reading Room at these times. All other titles can be viewed in the Reading Room and no appointment is necessary. Special Collections is open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday throughout the year, and in addition till 7pm on Thursdays and 12noon-4pm on Saturdays during term time. The collection is open to the public and admission is free.
Mike Nicholson has parallel careers as a professional illustrator (Penguin Books, Weekend Guardian, Oxford University Press), storyboard artist (Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), League of Gentlemen, The Armando Iannucci Shows) and academic (senior lecturer at the University for the Creative Arts, Epsom) as well as being a book artist. Since 2004 he has created an ongoing series of personal graphic narratives that link the personal to the public, the local to the global. They are called 'bio auto graphic', and have been acquired by Tate Collection, V&A, Winchester School of Art and Smith College, Massachusetts. The MMU All Saints Collection has a complete set of the titles to date.
You can follow his blog at www.ensixteeneditions.blogspot.com.
Cover of 'bio auto graphic' Number 23 © Mike Nicholson 2013
Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck is a Danish book artist, designer and lecturer. After her graduation from St. Martins College of Art and Design she has pursued an ongoing career mixing fine skills of bookbinding and paper-cutting with notions of narrative sequence and themes including Nordic mythology, random romantic robots and meditations on mortality. Her work - comprising installations, multiple editions and unique pieces - has been collected and exhibited internationally, and has twice won the prestigious Birgit Skiöld Memorial Trust: Artist Book Award at the Whitechapel Gallery's London Art Book Fair. She lectures in Denmark and the UK and is also organizer of the Doverodde Book Arts Festival.
Detail from (left) "Al-Mutanabbi Street: a Vicious Circle" and (right) "Dust to Dust" © 2013 & 2012 Mette Ambeck
Lucy May Schofield's practice attempts to capture moments and consistently documents vulnerability. She is a keen observer of the changing landscape of both the physical and emotional worlds and the desire to record these changes with image and text drives her practice. She was trained originally as a printmaker, studied the traditional techniques of book making and has discovered a great satisfaction in making objects by hand - the process of making her work is paramount. Her work is held in public and private collections including Yale Center for British Art, Tate Britain, Chelsea College of Art, London College of Communication, Winchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, State Library of Queensland. Artist multiples are stocked in London, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Lucy May Schofield is currently respresented by Paper. She is the curator of The Bibliotherapy Artist’s Book Library (BABL), a touring mobile library home to over 150 artists’ books.
'Roadkill' and 'Loveless' © 2006 and 2005 Lucy May Schofield
The most recent resident book artist at Hot Bed Press, Rebecca Jones, is making a delayed start to her residency. First it was finishing a degree, and then a short but full-on festival residency in Bilbao - this lady does not stand still. As with the previous book artist residents, here she is in her own words:
Hot Bed Press has invited Leeds-based artist Rebecca Jones to be their book artist in resident for six months. Predominately, she will explore notation, scores and the presentation of happenings through book works and print. Rebecca's practice revolves around the deconstruction of meaning and moments in order to judge and evaluate their composite elements. Following this, she explores the reconstruction of that meaning by recombining their parts.
"Words, graphic notation and language are all central to my work. How an event or happening can be understood and interpreted through these various modes of communication fascinates me. I often move through genres and forms; the loss and gain through the translation of one medium to another creates valuable subject matter for me."
During her residency she will also further work upon ideas and research she conducted about the Semana Grande (Big Week Festival) in Bilbao this summer whilst working at Pocagallery; an artists in resident programme which is organised by Hondartza Fraga and funded by East Street Arts. Upon the completion of her residency with Hot Bed Press, she will present the works at an exhibition and invite performers and musicians to interpret them.
Hot Bed Press are taking part in the Manchester Weekender today - stay with this, there is some book fair relevance - with a couple of wandering Radical Print workshops. They're making their numb-fingered, chilly-eared (wiser souls opted for hats) way up and down the Oxford Road corridor, handing out 'radical' (for a given value of radical) posters and leaflets, and either twittertyping or letterpressing for passers-by as they go.
The MABF connection? That very adana press (in the first photo) will be the one making a guest appearance at the fair next week.
When there's new information concerning the Manchester Artists' Book Fair, or anything else to do with book arts that we think might be of interest, we'll make sure it turns up here.