Bristol Artist’s Book Event – The Lost Weekend, 17-18 April 2021


Featured Image: Video detail from ARKIR Book Arts Group, Iceland.

With restrictions due to Covid, we are hosting an online ‘lost weekend’ version of BABE over the weekend of 17 – 18 April 2021 as an interim BABE in the run up to our usual larger event which we now plan to hold at Arnolfini in 2022.

Bristol Artist’s Book Event at Arnolfini will present works by over 100 book artists from around the world, online over the weekend. We have had submissions from artists and publishers in Australia, Argentina, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, UK & Ireland and the USA. 

Artist’s book films – We have a wonderful selection of 100 videos by artists and small presses for everyone to watch over the weekend. The videos will launch on 16 April and also be archived for the public to view after the event.

Online catalogue – As we cannot physically show the books just yet we will have a downloadable mini catalogue for the public to browse and contact artists.

We have an online display in the run up to BABE of It’s A New Day, a selection of artists’ books exploring mental health, wellness and recovery.

Over the weekend, Arnolfini will also host a creative writing workshop led by Egidija Čiricaitė, a printing demonstration by the Lemonade Press, and a paper cutting workshop for families by Linda Toigo.

Please do join in the ‘Make, Do and Send’ creative challenges for #BABE2021, a series of book-based creative prompts and invitations to respond to in the run-up to #BABE2021, which you can find below and here on Arnolfini website.

BABE is organised by Sarah Bodman, Angie Butler, Phil Owen and Tom Sowden (Centre for Fine Print Research, School of Art & Design UWE Bristol and Arnolfini). Check out Arnolfini’s website. We hope you can join us for The Lost Weekend.


Please join in the ‘Make, Do and Send’ creative challenges for #BABE2021:

No14. Redesign a rainbow
Set by Angie Butler

We invite you to take up this multi-coloured challenge for BABE: Lost Weekend 2021 and post your rainbow redesigns across social media tagging Arnolfini (@arnolfiniarts) and using the hashtag #redesignarainbow Description optional. Please complete by 18th April 2021.

No 14. Redesign a rainbow is taken from Teaching Notes, a questionnaire created by the American artist Paul Thek to teach his 4-Dimensional Design Class at Cooper Union in New York between 1978 and 1981. http://classes.dma.ucla.edu/Fall16/173/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Thek-Teaching-Notes.pdf

Photo credit: “There is something about fall” by jasohill


#breadplane challenge
Set by Sarah Bodman

MiniBABE participants from 2020 (and all my students) will know of my obsession with the Exercises series by Kurt Johannessen. My challenge for the BABE 2021 Lost Weekend is for you to do one of his exercises yourself, specifically this one which Kurt has agreed we can set as a public participatory call. It is from his original, bestselling artist’s book Exercises which is available from his website.

If you have access to some flour, yeast, water and an oven – here you go:

Bake a bread that looks like an airplane.
Put it outside and let the birds eat it.

Share it online with the hashtags #breadplane #KurtJohannessen #BABE2021


Uncharacteristic Views – An Online Collective Tribute Challenge
Set by Tom Sowden

Following the success of the collaborative MiniBABE tribute to On Kawara in 2020, we are inviting you to take part in another, bigger, #BABE2021 Lost Weekend collective tribute held across social media. This time taking inspiration and direction from John Baldessari.

Using number 79 of John Baldessari’s 1970 ‘List of Art Ideas for 1st Class of CalArts, Post Studio (If They Have No Ideas of Their Own from which to Make a Piece)’, we would like you to:

Photograph the backs of things, underneaths of things, extreme foreshortenings, uncharacteristic views. Or trace them.

Please post your photographs/tracings on Instagram or Twitter, tagging Arnolfini (@arnolfiniarts) and using the hashtag #backsofthings. Description optional. Please complete by 18th April 2021. Collated entries will be presented on Arnolfini website and may even become a physical book.


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