Monday 24 September 2012

'Damp in Ditchwater' photo shortlisted in the 2012 G-Technology Driven Creativity Competition

A photographic postcard page from Damp in Ditchwater has been shortlisted in the 2012 G-Technology Driven Creativity Competition. I believe you can vote for it... should you wish to.

This is a composite image that forms part of a sequence of postcards from the fictional town of 'Ditchwater-by-Sea'. The sequence shows the decline of the Southern seaside town and documents its desperate attempts to attract tourists. This forms part of a handmade photo artist's book.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Damp in Ditchwater - the research, development and underlying methodologies that led to the making of this artist’s book.

This is an academic draft paper that seeks to contextualise Damp in Ditchwater. Reflecting back on my artist's books I thought it might be useful to try and explain the creative journey that led to their production. This paper explores and shares the research interests behind this title.
This paper later appeared in a tidier version in The Blue Notebook, Volume 11 No 2, Spring – Summer 2017

To read the whole thing scroll here:


Damp-in-Ditchwater: A satirical staged narrative revealed through an Artist’s Book

In this paper I will discuss the research, development and underlying methodologies that led to the making of the artist’s book Damp In Ditchwater (Damp Flat Books, Brighton, UK).
It takes the form of a small souvenir postcard book, containing 10 printed cards. The book contains a satirical narrative that in image and text begins in normalcy and concludes in absurdity while seeking nevertheless to achieve an apparent authenticity throughout. I describe the invention of a fictional British seaside location in the spirit of Osbert Lancaster’s Pelvis Bay and Bruce McCall’s Border Town. The town’s unappealing museum is described in terms that seek to conceal its actualities with recourse to the dark and unconvincing humour that Dickens, Eco and Spencer evoke. I then explore the dynamics of the visual and textual account given by the Unreliable Narrator with reference to such writers as Vladimir Nabokov and Raymond Roussel. The narrative structure of the cards is described along with the integration of a sub-narrative of the Crimson Cod. The Postcard format is further discussed together with an exploration of the role of the vintage souvenir postcard in creating aesthetic assumptions discussed by George Orwell’s in his essay on Donald McGill. The paper explores the balance of text and image in a multi-layered exploration of the absurdity of everyday life, and posits an alternative to the crude polemic in making criticisms of the role that industry plays in the life of the community. Damp in Ditchwater seeks to create an editorial strategy that takes its position on the cusp between an overt polemic, and the often ephemeral nature of much visual humour.


Monday 6 August 2012

New Book - READ underway

I'm working on a new artist's book. Working title is, READ (pronounced "Red", as in the past tense of read) It's an artist's book after Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. I'm making it specifically for the exhibition, Beyond Dickens in Portsmouth (Dickens's birthplace) in Southsea Library Oct 2012.

"In celebration of the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’ birth and as part of Portsmouth’s Cultural Olympiad celebrations we are organizing an exhibition of Artists’ Books inspired by Dickens. Throughout the year there have been a number of international and national events to mark this occasion, and this exhibition highlights the impact of Dickens as an inspiration for new creative works by contemporary artists. We are inviting artists to design and make books inspired by either a text from Charles Dickens or one of his contemporaries."
Ros Simms (Exhibition curator)

I am playing with the idea of hidden words that can be reveled when you know the secret, to mirror the act of reading, which I have always felt is like a code - you learn the technique, then all books become potential worlds full of fascination.

I've had a batch of red acrylic magnifying glasses laser cut which the reader will need to use to seek out the hidden message.

Saturday 7 July 2012

Future Fantasteek! No.13 OUT NOW

Softback Zine printed in colour on cream and white papers.
A5 size with 20 printed pages, saddle-stitched.
Pink card cover with ‘googly-eyes’.
Brighton, July 2012, edition size of 40.

Guest Artist: Margaret Huber

Margaret's website and her blog showing all the tickets.

Lucky No.13 - How Super! So, the olympics are ready to GO GO GO, and the Euro is ready to DIVE DIVE DIVE. Care homes are 'failing the vunerable' and the Welfare State is causing trouble AGAIN. Same 'ol, same 'ol

Follow this link to see more...

So far, this issue can now be found in the following collections:
  • The British Library, London, UK 
  • Duke University, Durham, USA 
  • The Culture Archive, Brighton UK 
  • Centre for Fine Print Research, Bristol, UK 
  • Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), London, UK 
  • Abovegroundlibrary, Kenner LA, USA 
  • Colorado College Special Collections, Colorado Springs, USA 
  • London College of Communication, London, UK 
  • {Disarmed}, Lisboa, Portugal 
  • Toronto Zine Library, Canada 
  • National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London UK 
  • Biblioteca Municipal Josep Badia i Moret, Barcelona, SPAIN 
  • Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Florida Atlantic University Library, Boca Raton USA 
  • Reed College Library, Portland, OR, USA 
  • Newark Public Library, USA 
  • Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, Chicago USA 
  • The Library, Hereford College of Arts, UK 
  • Library and Archive, Tate Britain, London UK

Saturday 23 June 2012

Future Fantasteek! get's its own blog

I'm working on Issue No.13 of Future Fantasteek! now, so it seemed sensible to round-them-up and get them their own blog. I've added links to all back issues and I'll be posting exhibition info and work in progress here:

You should be able to link backwards and forwards between here and there fairly easily using the top tabs.

Saturday 16 June 2012

HOME Book images

The HOME collaborative artist's book is just about complete. Here are some images of the pages when exhibited at Quay Arts, Sea Street, Newport Harbour, Isle of Wight. I'll add images of the whole book when I've received my copy.

Also, HOME has been selected as part of Kaleid 2012, an event dedicated to presenting and promoting European artists'books at Art Academy London on July 20/21. There are 2 sections to the event, a curated exhibition featuring the work of 40 European artists and a stand section. HOME has been selected in the stand section.

Monday 4 June 2012

Ninth International Conference on the Book

Ninth International Conference of the Book- University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 14-16 October 2011.

I delivered the paper, “Art-Zines – The Self-Publishing Revolution: The Zineopolis Art-Zine Collection”. 

As the curator of Zineopolis - Art-Zine collection at the University of Portsmouth, I set the aim of the collection to archive and reflect the diversity of thought and talent that exists outside the traditional publishing arena. The collection focuses on Art-Zines – examining the tactility and aesthetic of self-published materials. This paper introduces the Zineopolis collection and explores what constitutes an Art-Zine.

This paper is due to be published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Book, by the end of the year.

Friday 20 April 2012

HOME - collaborative bookwork

These are the first sample pages from HOME - an Artists' Book, where 50 illustrators were selected to
produce a diecut house with opening flaps, in response to the theme of 'Home'. The page is about 30cm high. More images to follow when the final book is compiled and finished. Book created by Making Spaces, UK.

Sunday 19 February 2012

Future Fantasteek! No.12 - Aisles of Chunder

NEW OUT - almost...
Future Fantasteek! No.12 - Aisles of Chunder
The Olympics, the Diamond Jubliee and Dickens, what's not to like?
As usual, the first 30 copies go to libraries and collections, want one?
email me,

Thursday 16 February 2012

Future Fantasteek! on show in the University of Portsmouth, Eldon Building

The last location of the Mini-Tour!
Now in the University of Portsmouth, UK.
Also showing some Art-Zines from the Zineopolis Collection.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Caravan Gallery Publication - Other People's Pictures

This book is the product of a competition run by The Caravan Gallery - a mobile photography project based in Portsmouth. The Caravan travels the UK, documenting the way we live today. Other People's Pictures is a selection of images sent in by Caravan fans.

To preview the book follow this link:
I was lucky enough to get two photos selected. Havant station and Xmas in Brighton.

For more information about The Caravan Gallery, visit:

The competition was managed by Daniel O'Neill, find him on Twitter:

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Future Fantasteek! on show in the Stuart Hall Library, Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) Rivington Place London

Future Fantasteek! Mini-Tour has just opened at the Stuart Hall Library, INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts) Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA
Here are some photos of the show kindly taken by Sonia Hope - Library Manager.

Link to INVIA's blog here...

INVIA are also looking to expand their zine collection...
Click here for information about how to donate your zine.

Saturday 19 November 2011

Future Fantasteek! on show in the Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, Chicago

Here are some great photos of the Future Fantasteek! installation at the Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, Art Institute of Chicago, USA.
30th October - 20th November 2012

Many thanks to Paige K. Johnston, Manager of Special Collections, John M. Flaxman Library, for the photographs. The show contains the Future Fantasteek! Mini-Tour and some examples of serial zines from the Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Artist's Book Yearbook : 2012-2013

Over 600 artist’s book listings from 207 national and international artists. Reference listings of: collections, libraries, archives, bookshops, galleries, centres, design print and bind, publishers, dealers, presses, studios, competitions, fairs, festivals and exhibitions, journals, reference books, organisations, societies, websites, academic projects, touring programmes and courses.There's also a double-page spread all about the Future Fantasteek! Mini-Tour.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Future Fantasteek! No.11 - Sunbeams From Cucumbers

Future Fantasteek! Issue No.11 - Sunbeams From Cucumbers is out now.
Softback Zine printed in colour on cream, yellow and tinted papers, saddle-stitched.
A5 size containing 16 printed pages. Blue card cover with small dye-cut and free saint card insert. Brighton 2011, edition size of fifty.

This issue features two guest artists.

Joe Kolessides -

Gregory Reuben Levitt -

So far, issue 11 has found itself a home at these locations...
  • Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE, Bristol, School of Creative Arts, U.K. 
  • Printed Historical Sources, 1914-present, The British Library, London, U.K. 
  • Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), Rivington Place, London, U.K. 
  • Library and Archive, Tate, Millbank, London, U.K. 
  • National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London, U.K. 
  • Library, London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle, London, U.K. 
  • Zineopolis, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, U.K. 
  • University of Brighton, St Peter's House Library, Brighton, U.K. 
  • University of Iowa, University Libraries, Iowa City, IA, U.S.A. 
  • Reed College Library, Portland, OR, U.S.A. 
  • Newark Public Library, Newark, NJ, U.S.A. 
  • Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Florida Atlantic University Library, Boca Raton, FL, U.S.A. 
  • Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, Chicago, IL, U.S.A. 
  • Aboveground Zine Library, Kenner, LA, U.S.A. 
  • Duke University, Durham NC, U.S.A. 
  • Colorado College Special collections, Colorado Springs, CO, U.S.A. 
  • Toronto Zine Library, Toronto, ON, Canada. 
  • {Disarmed}, Bedeteca de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

Friday 8 July 2011

Printmaking Today Vol 20 No2

There's an article about Future Fantasteek! zines in the current issue of Printmaking Today Vol 20 No2 Summer 2011. The feature's written by Sarah Bodman - Senior Research Fellow for Artists' Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), where she runs projects investigating and promoting contemporary book arts.

Sunday 3 July 2011

Future Fantasteek! on show in the Bingham Center Zine Collection.

The Future Fantasteek! Mini-tour has now opened at the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA. Celebrating ten issues, Future Fantasteek! is on display along with the original sketchbooks in the Lilly Library foyer, Duke University East Campus, from June 20-October 7, 2011.

Click here for exhibition information and links...

On Duke University's Facebook Page...!/binghamcenter

On Duke University's FlickR Page, more to follow..

Thanks for the pictures to Kelly Wooten - Curator and archivist at the Bingham Center.

Friday 27 May 2011

Future Fantasteek! at Colorado College - Special Collections

1st April - 31st May
First leg of the American tour - Future Fantasteek! all ten issues, sketchbook pages and catalogue were shown in the Colorado College Special Collections.

Thank you to Jessy Randall, Curator and Archivist for the images.