Thursday, 11 June 2020

Illustration lecturers take part in Inktober, International Drawing Challenge.

Inktober 2019 saw illustration tutors Jac Batey, Lee Sheaman, and Matt Frame take part in the creative challenge of drawing an illustration every day throughout October. Read the excerpt to find out more...

Friday, 7 February 2020

Piano Lessons

16cm x 15cm artist’s book. Cloth bound cover in red or blue with rubber stamped hand and tied
with two-colour twine. Inside covers are lined with vintage sheet music. Inside consists of a
removable double-sided concertina of pianola-roll paper folded into 8 to make 16 pages.
The concertina is 48” long, the length of a standard piano keyboard.
The title and imagery are created by hand cut rubber stamps, printed in red and blue.
Embossed with maker’s mark and signed and numbered. Brighton 2020

This double-sided concertina is created from a folded sheet of vintage pianola paper (Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, 1802). The rubber-stamped hands become increasingly contorted throughout the sequence as the player struggles to finish the piece, the fingers tangling completely at the finale.

This book contains an autobiographical narrative based upon my early recollections of practicing the piano and becoming increasingly frustrated with my inability to get my small fingers to stretch where they needed to be. The rubber-stamped hands are drawn from my own hands on the keyboard, exaggerated as the concertina unfolds. The book seeks to capture the love of listening to beautiful piano music and the realisation that this is unattainable for most of us.
From around 1880 a standard piano keyboard measurement has been fixed at 48” this replaced various piano-like instruments that traditionally had narrower keys. The average European adult male hand span is about one inch wider than that of a European adult woman meaning about 87% of women piano players can’t reach a tenth on a standard piano, which is a problem if you want to play Liszt among others. Hearing a piano played expertly can be a moving experience and the appreciation of the hours of repetitious practice that’s needed to acquire this skill is enhanced by one’s own lack of practice and inability.

The title ‘Piano Lessons’ also appears on the cover in Russian, as the book was first exhibited as part of Love and Music a collective artists’ book exhibition (during March 2020) in the House-Museum M.E. Saltykova-Shchedrina, Kurov, Russia 2020.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Artists' Book Exhibition in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia

I was pleased to have two of my books 'The Mean Bone' and 'Marshland' join a group exhibition curated by the Russian Bookartist - Valeri Burov. The exhibition contained many books by international artists as well as handmade books by Russian school children.

The exhibition was at the Museum A.M.Gorky, in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia 15-29 July 2019

Monday, 4 November 2019

Artist's Book: Battered

95mm x 215mm with 22 printed, folded pages.
Yellow fly-leaf and endpaper with maker's emboss.
Japanese account book style binding in red silk thread with PVC tablecloth covers.
Book packaged in white food bag printed with an original 2-colour lino print.
Each book comes with its own Mermaid Chip Fork and Miracle Fish.

Limited edition of 20, each copy is numbered and signed.
Made in Brighton in October 2009.

This book has a dual message; on one hand it’s a celebration of British chips but on the other it’s a lament to the declining cod stocks. The book is called Battered to reflect these two sides, both the cooking and the over-fishing. The Atlantic cod is a fish in crisis, stocks have suffered heavily from overfishing on both sides of the Atlantic. All stocks are classified as being overfished or at risk of being harvested unsustainably.

The sequence of pages through the book shows images of a packet of chips being eaten, next to an image of slowly disappearing cod. The reverse pages show photographs taken over a number of years in the U.K., Gibraltar and Spain of chip chop advertising boards or 'A' boards. The book is covered in a yellow check PVC tablecloth bound in the style of a Japanese account book - the pages are folded at the leading edge. The book is presented in a white chip shop bag that's been printed with a 2-colour lino of the title of the book. Each book holds within its pages a Mermaid Chip Fork and Miracle Fish.

Mermaid Chip Forks kindly provided by Ashwood Timber, Dartford, Kent, U.K.

Battered appeared in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2010
The Royal Academy invited me to enter a book for this show since they were looking to promote book arts during the Summer Exhibition. ( I was one of about a dozen British Book artists specially invited).
14 June—22 August 2010
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD
As part of the Summer Exhibition the Royal Academy shop also stocked a number of titles from Damp Flat Books; Anxious Homes, Running A Secret Society No.20, Damp in Ditchwater, Mortal Coil and of course copies of Battered.

Battered was also exhibited in the 2nd Sheffield Artist's Book Prize Exhibition.
October 8th - October 31st, 2009.
Held to coincide with the Off the Shelf Festival which takes place annually in Sheffield.
32-40 Bank Street, Sheffield, S1 2DS

Friday, 20 September 2019

Artist's Book: Mean Bone (The)

This small hard backed concertina book measures 8cm x 9cm closed.
Length 112cm when fully extended.
Folding concertina with 16 pages printed in black and white with spot orange.

Digitally printed in one section on heavyweight matt stock. 
All numbered, signed and embossed with Damp Flat Books’ logo.
Cover is hardback bound with 2-tone orange book cloth.
Outer casing is  a black card slipcase with dye-cut arrow.
First edition of 20 produced in Brighton in 2017.

Micro Artist’s Book containing a selection of illustrated idioms from several languages (Welsh, French, German, English, Latvian and Spanish). The idioms are all unkind expressions that reveal our inherent impatience with other human beings. The title ‘Mean Bone’ comes from the English expression “She hasn’t got a mean bone in her body” (to mean a kindly person), this book however, contains only ‘mean bones’ - all the snide comments that undermine. The Illustrations are a combination of scraper-board and lino cuts, artistic methods chosen to reflect the scratching and cutting of our languages - words can be painful.

The sequence of pages:

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Feast & Famine Exhibition in Newark USA

Very happy to be included in this exhibition in the USA. The Newark Public Library, NJ have loaned my artist's book Battered to this show.

Feast & Famine
Main Gallery, Paul Robeson Galleries at Express Newark, Rutgers University - Newark
On view March 28 - December 14, 2019
Opening reception: March 28th, 6-8 p.m.

With works by John Baldessari, Gladys Barker Grauer, Jackie Batey, Christopher Cardinale, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Morgan Carothers, Melanie Cervantes, Catherine Chalmers, Dustin Chang and Nicole Schulman, Julie Chen, Claudia Claremi, Willie Cole Conflict Kitchen (Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski), Sharon Core B. Cortez and B. Riley, Renee Cox, Critical Art Ensemble, M. Gayle “Asali” Dickson, Emory Douglas, Dominique Duroseau, Shanthony Exum, Molly Fair and Jesse Goldstein, Lauren Greenfield, Ella Halpine, Ed Hutchins, Nina Katchadourian, Tamara Kostianovsky, Nicolas Lampert, Warren Lehrer, Mike Libby, Jen Liu, Fernando Martí, Mary Mattingly, Mazatl, Divya Mehra, Marilyn Minter, Mary Mortimer, Taring Padi, Roger Peet Robert Rauschenberg, Favianna Rodriguez, Keary Rosen, Martha Rosler, Erik Ruin, Christopher Russell, Seeds InService: A Papermaking Institute (Melissa Hilliard Potter and Maggie Puckett), Malik Zulu Shabazz, Lucy Sparrow, Meredith Stern, Jen Susman, Swoon, Wayne Thiebaud, Chris Thorson, virocode (Peter D’Auria and Andrea Mancuso), Robert Watts, Emma Wilcox, Joe Wirtheim.

About the Paul Robeson Galleries (from their website)
The Gallery’s programs strive to: present arts and visual culture exhibitions and events of the highest quality; enrich the University arts programs with cross-disciplinary collaborations; provide gallery educational experience to local and regional communities; strengthen collaborative relationships with Greater Newark’s artistic, cultural, and educational organizations; advance Paul Robeson’s legacy of encouraging cross-cultural artistic freedom and cultural democracy; emphasize the role of arts and culture in the shaping and functioning of society; reflect the spirit of the University’s diverse metropolitan context; and enhance the quality of life for the campus and Greater Newark communities.

Here are some images of Battered:

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Artist's Book: Evil Eyes

Softback book bound in oatmeal-coloured card. Portrait format measuring 190mm x 110mm.
Title is bound in beads into the spine and closed with a green elastic band.
21 printed pages with tipped-in photos. Photo pages are date stamped.
Second edition of 20, Brighton 2006
First Edition of 10 was made in hardback with a cloth cover (2005)

Whilst travelling to work it was noted, by certain keen individuals, that the world appeared to be full of beings: other than the everyday. With the assistance of an adapted mobile phone camera these ghosts, animal spirits, numen and peri that crowd around us can now be revealed. Mostly captured during regular days – frequently when rain was in the sky. So far we have managed to identify only a few of them – what we know is here, along with our clearest photos and some of our thoughts.
Damp Research Laboratory

To see all the spreads in this book click here...

The images below are photos of the cloth bound first edition.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Mean Bone goes on show in Kirov, Russia

Mean Bone was selected to join a travelling group exhibition in Russia from 2017 - 2018
Locations are ongoing and can be seen on the organisers website.
Organised and curated by Valery Burov -

First location:
Regional State Universal Scientific Library Library A. Herzen Kirov, Russia From 16th November 2017 Address: 50, Herzen str., 610000 Kirov, Russia

Second Location:
A. Likhanov Library, Kirov (dates to be confirmed).
(From organisers website, translated from Russian)
The organizing committee announced a new project in the format artist's book titled "Winged phrases, maxims and aphorisms." This topic seems to us, it is of interest not only by the content, but opens before the artist opens up a wide range of technical and creative possibilities. Given the fact that this genre of literary work is brief, concise form, but succinct in content, does not require a large area for the realization of design, we decided to spend it in a miniature book format, that is no more than 100x75 mm.
This is due to the fact that this project, like the previous ones, we plan to show in other cities of the Kirov region and our neighboring regions, and a miniature format, facilitate as the transportation and placement...Each participant will receive a diploma, by the end of the exhibition and the electronic version of the Directory can be downloaded on the website.

From the translated Press Release: