The Blue Notebook Journal for artists’ books, Volume 15

No 1 cover design: Sarah Bodman
No 2 cover design: Tom Sowden

Volume 15 No 2, Spring – Summer 2021

This is the first of two issues dedicated to Arlis ANZ / abbe 2020 conference presentations on artists’ books practices. Dr Tim Mosely introduces The Arts Libraries Society / Australia and New Zealand (Arlis/ANZ) abbe 2020 collaboration: reimagining the material: artists’ books, printed matter, digital transformation, engagement

Marian Crawford explores the slipperiness of the character of certain artists’ books as case studies, and considers whether the form and content of these hand-printed artworks present an opportunity to test conventions of both the book and the portrait.

Paul Uhlmann posits that select artists’ books are material objects existing as unique vehicles of literature, simultaneously occupying visible and invisible realms. The books are embodied creations. The pages are the stuff of matter—of oil, pigment and paper—but are also always objects of the body; their purpose is to effect change, to convey sensations and feelings to others.

Caren Florance – The field of Australian artists’ books is a broad and active one, and its development and various histories have been both helped and hindered by the rise of digital culture. The internet has fed and sustained cross-pollination and connection between our regional communities; however, it has also failed us by proving to be unstable, quick to overwrite itself, and expensive in terms of archiving for the future. In the short term, it allows us to find creative solutions for quick-turn needs, as we are discovering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ana Paula Estrada responds to Ulises Carrión’s ‘The New Art of Making Books’. She aims to contribute to a better understanding of ‘the new art’ by presenting two examples – an artist’ book which investigates how papermaking and the book’s materiality can be used to draw the reader closer to the subject matter. The second is a digital artwork that aims to translate oral speech into a form that explores technology as a means of connectedness between aged care residents and the rest of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Angie Butler – By setting phenomenology within the context of art-making it is possible to investigate how we use our minds and bodies through the experience of practice. This discussion considers that contemporary artist-publishing activities that employ the letterpress process, are embedded in how practitioners articulate their bodies and senses to engage with materials, equipment, and presses to develop their work.

Artist’s intro page: Robert Good
Cover design: Tom Sowden

Available to order at the UWE online store.

Volume 15 No 1, Autumn – Winter 2020

Vol 15 No.1, published October 2020 includes a great set of articles from writers in Australia, Norway, USA and the UK: ‘Codex Polaris – book projects from the North’ by Imi Maufe – CODEX POLARIS established in 2013 – is a book artist group based in Bergen, Norway that creates opportunities and exhibition platforms for artists who make books in the Nordic region. Alongside the exhibition programme Codex Polaris invites guest co-organisers to work on various networking projects, and writers to contribute with text works to raise the profile of book arts, spanning both local and international perspectives; Aaron Cohick, founder of NewLights Press writes from Tucson, Arizona, USA and asks – What role can a micropress/artist-publisher play in dismantling white supremacy?; ‘Filling in the gaps: 25 Years of the Field Report’ by Sue Hartigan (Australia) – The Field Report has been filling in the gaps as an assembling publication since 1995 on the peripheries of the art world; ‘Movable type: birds, thoughts, print’ by Caroline Harris – Type Flight is a hand-typeset and hand-bound limited edition poetic artist’s book that disassembles and reassembles a simple three-line poem to experiment with questions of metaphor and its layering, the type letter as a thing in itself, and relationships between human and nonhuman in the making of material poetries; ‘Place and nature in the work of Helen Douglas’ by Maria White examines the importance of Deuchar Mill and its surrounding area in the Yarrow Valley, Scottish Borders, in the work of the artist.

Artists’ pages by Sara Elgerot, Jessica Ho, Leyla Moazzen, Steve Parsons / Sue Vallance. Cover, badge & stickers designed by Sarah Bodman for the collage challenge #wishiwaswhere

All of this plus badge, stickers and the next issue for £10 including worldwide p&p.

Available to order at the UWE online store.

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