I have loved becoming intimate with this place, with its corners and cupboards and drawers and depths. I relish the camaraderie, tea and laughter and frowning concentration; the hip-handed and shaking-headed sharing of work, ideas, mistakes and triumphs. The opportunity and freedom to be both brilliant and not very good at all, to get better and to learn.
I have loved becoming intimate with this process, with the painstaking, delightful discipline that is letterpress printing; learning the lay of the case, finding myself out of sorts, minding my p’s and my q’s. Spending hour upon hour setting metal type, any and every story at my fingertips, the meeting of lead and ink and paper. Thought made real, words weighty in my hands.
I took up residence here, and it has become one of the places that feel like home. I come and go, past the old pubs and dandelion-starred patches of grass. I can’t now imagine not having been here before; I can’t now imagine not always coming back.
Elizabeth Willow is a fine artist based in Liverpool, who makes sculpture, installations, performance and, increasingly, artist’s books. Her work explores our relationship with objects and with place, and is often inspired by found objects, lost things and overlooked details. After showing work at the 6th Manchester Artists’ Book Fair, she was invited by Hot Bed Press to become Book Artist in Residence during 2012. Since then she has exhibited her books more widely, and has work in various private and public collections, including The Centre for Fine Print Research and Tate Britain.