Thursday 29 October 2020

Piano Lessons goes on exhibition in Kirov, Russia from July - August 2020

Piano Lessons in an exhibition called Love and Music 'M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin Museum' Kirov, Russia
July - August 2020


"28th July 2020 in the house-museum named after M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin opened a new international exhibition called Love and Music in the format of the Artist's Book. The exhibition opened with a delay of four months due to the pandemic.
About 40 Russian and sixteen foreign artists took part in it. New names and countries appeared among foreign participants. These are Lee Sherman and Ros Simms (Great Britain), N. Goman (Ireland), Dadanautik (Germany), A.Kekesh (Guam Island, USA), E.Erte (Turkey), G.Thomas (Holland),
O.K.Gavriliu (Romania), E.Giens (Hungary) and R.Rubanik (Belarus).
The project was also supported by our permanent participants: S.Bodman, E.Schatz, J.Batey, T.Söborg,

Last year's cooperation in the Republic of Tatarstan gave a positive result and increased the number of participants. Lada Ayudag (Ayupova), Timur Khairullin, Victor Timofeev, Tatyana Shatalina, Marina Abramova, F. Kazakova and others showed their works. As always, Kirov artists are participating in the exhibition: G. Balabanova, T.Korshunova, A.Gruzdev, V.Burov.

Unfortunately, because of the virus, students from two colleges of Kirov and the University of Kazan did not take part, since in March they were allowed to go home, as well as some of our permanent participants from other cities in Russia and abroad. However, this did not affect the overall quality of the exhibition as a whole and the level of works, most of which were made in one copy and are unique.

Attached is a video clip about the opening of the exhibition. I express my deep gratitude to all participants for their support of the project and wish them new creative success.
Valeri Burov, curator of the exhibition."
[Excerpt from Exhibition website]

Interview with Valeri Burov about the Exhibition (in Russian)

Monday 19 October 2020

How to Cut your own Rubber Stamp

My book Piano Lessons was created using hand-cut rubber stamps. In this short film, I'll show you how I made them. I prefer using pink speedy carve rubber with very sharp lino tools.

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.

This book was exhibited in Kirov, Russia in March 2020