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.
If you've read much of this blog, you might well already be aware that Elizabeth Willow became the second resident book artist at Hot Bed Press. Let her tell you about it herself:
After the long journey, on buses and train, then walking past old pubs and dandelion-starred patches of grass, I get there. Open the front door, up the worn stairs. Open the next door, into the smell of stone and metal and ink, into the sunlight slanting through the windows, and there is here; here I am, among the kind and beautiful presses, rescued and resplendent; among the other printmakers, turning handles and smoothing paper; here we are in our aprons and smudges of ink.
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.
As borrowed from this year's catalogue. Elizabeth decided we needed to freshen up our letterpress bookmark flyers so she set this (there are still plenty of fonts left for her to play with next time round) - she's been doing nearly all the printing of them too, and now they're being scattered across various locations in Manchester.
We thought it would be ideal for the text on the catalogue front cover as well. The surround is a fabric pattern and the whole is produced by our usual ecofriendly risograph printers, marc.
This is just to let you know that the fair is now fully booked. We do keep a reserve list, in case of last minute cancellations, so if you would like us to add your name to that list please use the contact form to let us know. Equally, if you think you might be interested in exhibiting at next year's fair or just want to know when it will be on, use the contact form to tell us and we will add your name to the mailing list - we'll inform you as soon as the 2014 date is confirmed.
Whatever, do come along and enjoy this year's fair.
Hot Bed Press has lots of lovely letterpress and letterpress furniture - enough that some of it counts as more than we need.
So at the fair this year there will be a table selling some of it off to letterpress fans keen to have kit of their own. We can't say yet exactly what will be up for grabs - you'll have to come see for yourself - but if you know anyone else who would love to start or to grow a collection of lead type, pass the message on.
If you were at the 2011 fair, we've unearthed a few snaps and added them to the 'Previous Fairs' page. As it says above the photos, one fair can look very much like another, but if you're in the pic you'll know if it's the right vintage.
Hot Bed Press has chosen to find a book artist in residence from the annual MABF ever since taking over organisation of the fair in 2010. That year, Parlour Press became the studio's first resident book artists.
During six months of 2011 Parlour Press were able to make use of the HBP facilities. They also produced an exhibition of their work for studio users and set up a beautifully constructed reading corner as part of the 2011 Wayzgoose fair at the Casket Works. Below is their description of themselves in the 2010 book fair catalogue.
Parlour Press is a book collective founded on the love of handcrafted books. No ISBNs allowed, we are self publishers. The five are Mandi Goodier, Caitlin Howard, Sophie Lee, Libby Scarlett and Lucy Vann.
We still have the naivety to say that literature, that beautiful places, that observation, that human frailty, that excessive collections, that new experience, that shared experience, that self expression, that fragile talent, that subversive pages, that sharing, that showing, that embracing everyone and everything will somehow make the world a better place to live in. That love and experience needs to be shared, can be spread over everybody like soft butter. Because we are young enough to dream, because we are old enough to know that time will not wait, we believe that this moment is all we have - we are going to make the most of it.
We wish to share our thoughts, our views, our obsessions, our eccentricities, our expression, our experience, our aches, our pains, our ecstasy, our minds, our craft, our talent, our skills, our passions with you. We hope that you oblige.
The title says it all. Yes folks, more exhibitors on the website, and even from the photos you can begin to see just how varied all the stands are going to be. The enormous variety at an artists' book fair is part of the attraction - there must surely be something for everyone's tastes!
MABF 2013 has now been set up as an event on the Hot Bed Press facebook page . Please spread the word - go and join the event, then share with all your friends and acquaintances.
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.