Kim Bevan, who will have a table at the 2014 fair, has held the Hot Bed Press book arts residency this year. She has been a regular visitor at the workshop and has juggled her own work, the residency and planning her wedding with - so far as anyone could tell - inexhaustible good spirits. Here are her thoughts about the residency.
The offer of the residency at Hot Bed Press came at just the right time for me last year as I had been having a difficult few months; it was an exciting opportunity to develop my work using different printmaking techniques. As I walked into Hot Bed on the first day, I was a little nervous as I had not worked with printmaking since university. After my induction however I left with a head full of ideas and an eagerness to get started. I wanted to have a go at everything but knew that I would need to find the right techniques for my ideas.
My second idea for a piece came to me as I walked back and forth from Hot Bed Press; looking down at the ground I noticed the chewing gum that covers the streets, the permanent marks left on our pavements from the crowds of people passing by every day. After this I began noticing the different shapes and textures in the chewing gum and the ground surrounding it so I took a lot of photographs and made sketches that I could work from. I started the piece thinking I wanted to continue working with the embossing technique, as I loved the subtleties it provided; however, through trial and error I soon realised intaglio printing from my collagraph plates were more interesting.
When considering my third piece I always knew I wanted to work with letterpress as I am obsessed with fonts and text and was fascinated to learn this technique. I wanted to round off my body of work again looking at the crowd for inspiration. Sitting on trains I overheard so many conversations each day, only catching snippets, so I began to write them down. When I looked back over my notes I realised they were intriguing, confusing and sometimes funny, so I thought this would be a good way to explore and develop my skills in letterpress.
Working at Hot Bed Press this year has been a fantastic experience, being in an environment where everyone is so friendly, welcoming and helpful I have felt inspired and enthused to work. As I come to the end of my residency I am eager to continue to develop my practice and skills within printmaking as it has already influenced both my own work and my lecturing in fine art at Chesterfield College. I have only just begun to explore the possibilities of what I can achieve in printmaking, particularly letterpress, and this is an area where I want to continue to push my ideas. It's been a busy year for me planning my wedding but Hot Bed has been my oasis of calm away from all the madness.
Next year's Hot Bed Press book artist in residence will be chosen from those exhibitors at this year's fair who have expressed an interest. It comprises six months' free use of the printmaking studio and a free table at next year's fair. Here's more about previous residencies from 2011, 2012 and 2013.