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My First Artists Book

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

Interesting concept the artists book, before i learned what these were, I would like every other non artist think of a book about an artist's work. How wrong! it's a book created by an artist that does not need to be in the form of a book but should have the sense of a book, its telling a story. The scope and creativity of an artist book can be very wide from; Beata Wehr's, Memoir, Polish Linen, Linen Thread, Ink, Scroll 4cm, open 9 x 70 cms 2014.


Wehrs' use of thread in "Memoir", is the thread memory? how one thinks about the passing of time, reflection on the past. For her, she may be thinking of family and times past in Poland from her new life in America.

https://www.beatawehr.com/mixed-media-books.html



To; Paul Shaw and Susan Salt's, Ocean Bestiary, Concertina construction, using letterpress text, acrylic paint, gold foil, whale bone and leather inlay. Unique book, 2017. Photo: Susan Shaw,


"Ocean". vibrant colours, I like the ideas and images, of all the techniques used this would be the easiest for me to execute at home as I have fanfold paper which would work well for a book. However I'm always up for a challenge!!


Image From: https://www.a-n.co.uk/media/52524452/




My own Artists Book which takes inspiration from Julie Chen's "Bon Bon Mots"

https://nmwa.org/blog/nmwa-exhibitions/now-open-julie-chen-true-to-life/


The general theme we were given was My Modern Scotland, looking at what influenced me personally. After mind mapping the influences on my life I deceived to select The current situation in Scottish Politics.


Spectrum of Scottish Politics


Cover Box; Canvas, wood, ModRoc and Acrylic; 40 x 16.5 x 4 cms.

Pages; Mixed Media on Acrylic Paper; 35 x 11 cms, 7 pages.



I used an unfinished painting I was never happy with as the cover. I cut this up and made it in two halves of a hinged box.










Ironically with the centre section of the painting cut out this works better as a book cover.



















I produced 7 double sided pages to cover all the main political parties, one side was their policies the other side their negative or controversial aspects. While I did try to suppress my natural bias for Scottish Independence it does come through in the selection of images.


The pages going from the Green Party, SNP, Alba, LibDem, Labour, Tories and the "Others".

The pages were bound with small circular carabiners. I wanted the pages to have an order i.e. left to right wing politics, but also wanted the pages removable so they can be compared.


There is a few things I would have done better with more time:

  • internal edges of the box, covered so staples where not showing, this would be a more Professional finish.

  • More consistent way of showing each parties policies.

  • External covering and internal surface pictures would look better being varnished or sealed.

  • Attaching the binding to the box, while still being able to remove the pages.

  • Relied too much on the internet for images would have been better to souce just from magazines, alternatively producing my own images. Time was a bit of a constraint to making my own images.

However there are aspects of the work I liked:-

  • Reusing an old painting I was going to bin or spent hours reworking.

  • Satisfaction in making the box.

  • Overall the removable pages and box work well together.

  • Even if I had removed the party names I think it would be obvious which was which.

  • Reflects Scottish Politics

  • Using images of Scotland glued to the inside of the box as a link between cover and pages.


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