Art Books Project Research_ 2

Fiona Carruthers 3 weeks ago

First thoughts and initial notes [to be continued]

  • I continue thinking about the differences and similarities between the experience of encountering a large multi-disciplinary immersive installation compared to an encounter with an artist’s book. Phenomenologically, there are similarities but I wonder, would an engineered close-up with a book be experienced more 'intimately' or intensively than an experience of a spatial, multi-sensory installation.


Current questions:

How can I draw in the viewer and convey the distant and remote as close, present?  How can I make use of the movement through time? What do I want to hold close? What should this feel and sound like? In what way should it be  interactive? touching?  

Searching through examples of artists books has been incredibly inspiring

One example stands out as embracing the unknown. Could this be described as expanded drawing? Certainly a process of mark-making.



Extract from this website: 

Both books start with what is possible on, and with the page, an open ended beginning— where there is a conscious absence of planning regarding page order, imposition and orientation—not that those aspects are not important, but there’s something beforehand, something else driving it. 

The selection of the print matrix, the initial colour choice, overprinting, the layering of the sheets and along the way—what may or may not happen, a mistake or unknown—followed by looking at the finished sequence and making an informed decision about how it goes together—the process reveals things you would never really conceive of as a whole. From these folded interactions you get these unexpected, sometimes beautiful, sometimes clunky relationships occurring—driven by the process of making, by drawing on available ‘tools’ and print matrixes that create a sequence of ‘printable events’ involving making a mark on a mark on a mark which are highlighted by the absence of a mark.


2 1:02

Rising seas = disappearing land and the quickly shifting dynamic landscapes of the coast of Lincolnshire

Could this include an ‘unfolding’? More fragile hand-made paper substrate making use of accidental ‘edges’? A more subtler ‘soaking-up’ of colour? 

The two box-set containers seem clumsy - what is the gain here? What alternatives and could this require human performance/ amended behaviour in some way? 



3D shapes are brought to life as the pages are gently turned. This book tells the story of Euclid's Elements (the original text written in 300 BC) and walks us through the unique features of Sjoerd Hofstra's 1994 interpretation.

I loved the sound of this pop-up mechanism - described as ‘Talking Pages’.                                                                          These mechanisms and forms enhance the subject of the book well. I can’t see how to make use of this…but it is very compelling as well as subtle. 



Prompts ideas of microscopic attention to the ephemeral materials of the marsh - materially, photographically, in print…maybe? Practically where could I do this safely? 



Nancy Campbell’s book ‘How to Say I Love You in Greenlandic’ uses the French Pochoir printing process of multiple stencils.

Great concept and simple format.  In Greenlandic ‘climate condition’ is also the word for human emotion. Campbell’s work reminds me that if the coastal marshland disappears the fate of Lincolnshire will be more uncertain. In particular I like how Campbell weaves separate stories of Greenland’s disappearing ice and the disappearing Greenlandic language.



Sarah White’s book Riverine pays homage to a community living in houses on stilts in the liminal space between land and water. 3:02

In particular, I like the way in which this book references the changing levels of water with rising and falling text and the shifting lengths of its pages. The ground is constantly shifting - its edges are nebulous. Images overlay and interact: they are always in conversation with each other.


Many other simple and elaborate pop-ups, embossed papers and wall-mounted paper sculpture. Immaculately engineered concertinas with hidden envelopes and unfolding storylines!