Ibolya Feher‘s ‘Sisters of Sclerder’ is a wonderful series of photographs offering a glimpse into the lives of the Sisters of Sclerder Abbey, a Carmelite Monastery in Cornwall. A product of Feher’s ‘long- term interest in every day life and spirituality’, the images combine warmth with mundanity. Most of the images look as if they’ve been taken at a youth centre, a local church or a neighbours garden, but there’s a warm glow to them that seems otherworldly. I love Feher’s use of light which is reminiscent of religious paintings but never in a heavy-handed way that ruins the relatability and naturalism of the image.
‘As a photographer I was aiming to be non judgmental and my project reflects my personal view of how I saw the Sisters and their life during my visits.’
It’s less than a week to go for the Book Arts Fayre now so I hope everyone is looking forward it!
Through the range of contributors and styles of work coming to the B.A.F. Dave Kents’ work has caught my attention. His beautiful and interesting seaside images that really capture the feeling of being there. Even on a small scale it draws you in and makes you form questions about what you are looking at as if you just happened to come across these things whilst out walking.
This image from the ‘settlement’ series particularly interested me. It’s hard to believe that they are real structures and not plastic monopoly houses. But I love the idea of them being so unique despite their uniformed appearance, a theme Dave continues to explore throughout this work.
Dave has made a couple of zines (shown on his website) that document exactly what the titles suggests ‘A Series of Walks’, that do very well in taking you along the journey with them.
It captures perfectly exactly the kind of things we soak up whilst on such walks, not only the stopping for a few minutes to take in a beautiful landscape but also that intrigue and wondering ‘what’s that over there?’ or ‘what are those people doing?’ and these are exactly the kinds of questions we will be asking on Saturday at the Book Arts Fayre!
If you’re planning on coming to the Book Arts Fayre in search of some interesting and lovely new books, then you are in luck as Pet Galerie Press will be there.
Pet Galerie’s books really win you over with the narratives that run through and the chosen topics that have a real warmth to them . It’s like the feeling of community being captured in the pages.
Below are a few images from the handmade version of Mrs.Derrick’s Blankets. This is a charming book documents the process and journey of crocheted blankets for a cats and dogs home.
Whilst browsing through the archives of work online I’m really interested in how the tactile has been translated into print. The way textures have been flattened in the process and then spring out again in your mind upon viewing. It’s the way the books are put together and images themselves that really evoke this feeling.
This is only enhanced through the whole ethos of Pet Galerie which is about creating the atmosphere, bringing a little slice of their style and transporting it into a space or nook or just about anywhere they’ll fit. As the website explains this idea was inspired by Pet architecture (a term coined by Tokyo based Architectural studio Atelier bow-wow).
You can have a sneek peek at the editions and the impressive back catalogue of works and projects via the Pet Galerie website.
Bridgette Ashton and William Teakle have put together a lovely zine called Horses Animals Hunts Queen Mother Tall Ships. It’s displayed in this video which emphasises the physical aspects of looking at and touching a book, and we like that because it should encourage you to come down to the Book Arts Fayre on the 25th!
Horses Animals Hunts Queen Mother Tall Ships from Mule Press on Vimeo.
Ashton and Teakle have used a selection of found images, presenting their chosen theme of ‘the erotic representation of women’ in contrast to lots of white negative space. It’s a neat idea to reflect the fetishisation of feminine curves with unusual page layouts, and makes the most of the book format where blank space is something we take for granted. There’s also something pleasantly tactile about it, highlighting the difference between a book that we’re usually allowed to touch and a framed piece that we generally aren’t.
This won’t be the book’s first presence at a fayre or festival, it has previously been to Photoleggendo in Rome and at LeGarage at this year’s Rencontre d’Arles festival.
No.Zine brings together artists, designers, writers, photographers and illustrators and unites them in a lovely ‘zine with a theme’. Each issues content is inspired by the number of the publication, what a great idea! Below are images from issue ＃1 with its ‘one’ themed pages.
There’s a fantastic range of work put together by Patrick Fry with a host of talented contributors. In some of which it’s very clear how the creation ties into the issue number and with others it’s really hidden in the page. This means you’re not overpowered by a number but gives the publication another element, making it thought provoking before even beginning to inspect the content.
I’m looking forward to seeing which issues are brought to the Book Arts Fayre!
Jat Bains has created a number of works that deal with ideas of organisation and categorisation, themes that fit particularly well with book forms. Her Length Book shows an attempt to understand space and distance on a personal level, counteracting feelings of smallness and insignificance by using pieces of her own body as a unit of measurement.
By only showing bodies in parts, she removes humanity from the photographs and becomes a part of the scenery. In identifying herself (and others) as a unit of measurement she shows a powerful desire to see the world in an objective and rational manner, but there’s a childlike playfulness to the images of bare hands and feet. It’s serious photographic subject matter for grown ups – urban landscapes, parks, churches, building sites – treated like toys.
Other book-shaped works include this set of accordion books documenting views the artist saw from her window while making a journey on the London Underground.
This is another work that plays with ideas of organisation and measurement in a way that fits really well with the book format. The windows of the tube are used as an objective framing device, providing a unifying shape to the images and a chaotic, random selection of content. Playing with the passivity of letting machines dictate the subject matter of the work has resulted in an ironically gritty and punk aesthetic, disguised by neat, clean covers.
There’s a lot more on her website and in addition to photo work, Jat works with illustration and graphic design. I’m excited to see what she’ll be bringing to the Book Arts Fayre in February!
Another presence at BAF 6(coming up on the 25th of February) will be Nick Davies/Nik DavEz’s translation of Roland Barthes’ book The Pleasure of the Text into the language of text messages and internet instant messenger services. Davies used the database at transl8it.com for some of the text, while other parts were done “manually”, such as the more academic terms, which were then added to the transl8it database for the benefit of future users.
Davies references the slang used in A Clockwork Orange as an example of language acting as the site of conflict between the values of one generation and the next. Even the title draws attention to this – the double meaning of the word “text” makes it an essential part of the academic’s vocabulary as well as the tech-savvy 21st century teen, as both a noun and now a verb. Davies is humorous as well as conceptual as he forces supposedly disparate parts of culture to speak each others’ language.
In the likes of A Clockwork Orange and Finnegan’s Wake, deviation from the English language as we know it and the constant generation of new words makes us work harder during the act of reading: here Davies’ translation forces readers to become translators themselves. On a purely aesthetic level the pages look completely unlike regular English: words are jagged and choppy and the use of capital letters and numbers pull our attention all over the page. Does Davies distil the ideas behind the text and create a more efficient way of writing, or is the result more distracting, flamboyant and decorative than what we’re used to?