The Blue Notebook, Volume 11, Number 1, Autumn-Winter 2016 / Edited by Sarah Bodman

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Identifier: REF.SE.2378.15
Dimensions: 8.125 x 11.75 in
Publication dates: 2016
Contributor: Tom Sowden
Cover art by: Linda Parr
Edited by: Sarah Bodman
Published by: Impact Press
n ‘Translating Travels’, Bergen-based, British artist Imi Maufe reflects on some of the inspirations for her artists’ books produced in response to travelling. From their early roots in her journals made on childhood trips, to recent works as artist-in-residence; from a year in tiny village in Northumberland, for Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC), to the Tall Ships Race, sailing from Ireland to Sweden via Greenock and Shetland, Scotland and Stavanger, Norway.

Carried on from a presentation at ‘The Artist’s Book in Theory and Practice’ conference held at Cardiff University in December 2015, Jeremy Dixon’s ‘A sense of humour, a sense of Cardiff, like – Geoautomusicalbiography in the books of Hazard Press’ explores the personal history of his artist’s book practice. The article looks at the links between Cardiff (and Wales Cymru) in his books and how they have rather unexpectedly formed an on-going project of autobiography based on poetry, memory, queerness, music, images, and a delight in the accidental forms and diversions that the journey of planning and making an artist’s book can take.

In ‘The Gardens | Edinburgh and La Géométrie Pratique’, Jane Hyslop provides a brief introduction to the ethos within her work, the themes repeatedly explored and its context and then goes on to describe The Gardens | Edinburgh and La Géométrie Pratique. These are two major artist’s book projects that were made for exhibitions in Scotland in 2015.

In ‘Making the Book to Discover the Subject’, Ken Botnick explains his meticulous project inspired by Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Botnick’s project began in 2009 as a visual investigation of the eleven plate volumes of the Encyclopédie during multiple trips made to the Washington University library’s special collections to photograph the engravings. Six years on, Diderot Project was completed, and deservedly awarded the Minnesota Center for Book Arts Biennial Prize in 2015.

Emma Bolland’s ‘Category Error / Category Terror’ questions the validity of attempting to define the category of ‘artist’s book’ through materiality and form, proposing instead, that the artist’s book is not an object (whether analogue or digital), but a dialogic – trialogic – relationship between artist/writer, object/text, and holder/reader, that results in highly subjective and individuated desire-based categorisation. Drawing on ideas of aura as external construct, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and frame analysis, the article reframes the artist’s book as a mutable experience.

Artists’ pages by: Elizabeth Lebon (Switzerland) and Alex Simopoulos (Greece/UK).

Cover, badge and sticker design by Linda Parr.