Sunday, 9 October 2016

what is book art?

I have been trying to explain to friends what a  'book art' course is about.

They are bemused, and I am lost for words to un-bemuse them....

  • is it book binding?

yes, but so much more than that

  • is it illumination?
no, I am not a medieval monk

  • but what about your photography?
  • have you given that up?

The questions are generally the same.

The answers vary, depending on how brave I am feeling.

Book art is about the book as an art form. It explores what the 'book' can be, and will hopefully offer me  new ways for me to present my photography.

I hope to learn a lot about art, printing, leterpress, words, research and to develop a critical framework for talking about art.

Something more intelligent than

I like it

I don't like it

It makes me feel cross

I love it

I want to make work like that

what are they on about?

that is ridiculous  (OH uses that one)

c-r-a-p ( OH uses that too

but I am not a political animal

I don't understand any of this, but I like the sound track......

So here is a link to my 'reflective diary' if you have any interest at all in what I am getting up to at Camberwell. It is requirement of my course to write one, so I am not going to bore you with it here.


in case you are interested, below is an example of research in progress.... and an example of what an artist's book looks like when the creator has only just begun the 2 year course.


I am trying to make a small book that represents the sea wall at Camber sands; homework again.

from Scissors, Paper, Stone

 I have been looking at flag books and thinking that this might be a better format for my Sea wall book.

Lots of small images that move in relation to each other could give a better feel for the many differing views that one can choose to look at when walking on the wall


in any combination that you choose.

All of the images come from the wall itself, but some are more like the sea, some like the wall and some might represent sky.

I created a mosaic on A4 paper of 9 images, and then printed this on both sides of A4 paper.

I cut the images into strips and laid them out roughly with the ones that look to me like waves at the bottom.

I marked up another piece of paper with fold lines and made a concertina spine.

To this were added the image 'flags' in alternating directions on the spine.

 I didn't spend much time looking at the front and reverse of images for my mock up, but will need to pay more attention to this if I decide to take the structure further. I need more blues in the upper ( sky) line, and ideally a bit more variation in the images. I have others that I can use. I don't want to repeat the same image in any individual spread next time. Or I could use a lot of the same image with occasional interruptions of contrasting colours. The possibilities are endless.

I then made a very quick cover with another sheet of A4 printed with a single image; the one that I feel represents the wall and the sky.

You get the picture.

And no, I haven't given up photography!

What a question!


  1. I really like what you are doing here! I've been playing around with bookmaking and have a project I'm calling River Road with multiple exposure images taken along the Colorado River near Moab, Utah. I also have an idea where I'll take an old book and make blackout poetry (blackout/cutout) all the words on a page to make a poem then insert photos in the cut spaces. On beyond plain old printing!

    1. Sounds great Deborah. I don't think I have the patience for black out poetry, but I like the idea of adding in your photos. I look forward to seeing your outcomes :)