Sunday, 20 March 2011

'Launch on the Lawn'

Below is a link to the 'book launch' that I mentioned in my previous posts about the Leeds International Book Fair. This is footage of people launching the books that they had either produced themselves or purchased at the fair.

'Launch on the Lawn'

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Saturday at the book fair...

Saturday is the main day of the Leeds international book fair (details on previous post); it’s busy and buzzing with energy. Collectors, book makers, families, people from Galleries and everyone in between; buying and chatting and ‘talking books’. The day before I had been helping out on one of the stalls, but this time I was on the other side of the table. My boyfriend was with me for the weekend, and we had invited his parents to come to Leeds for the event. They drove up in the morning and we went down together. We were a little worried it would be a bit pretentious for them, but they loved it. They thoroughly enjoyed the event and bought some lovely things. I’d stopped myself from looking round the day before, to make to make it even more special for when I had more time to soak it all in. We went round the whole fair, looked around the University Gallery and went to the Home from Home exhibition (details on previous post), which was up the road from the fair. It was a great day and to top it off, I sold four of my books. As they were the only copies, I now need to replace them for my end of year degree show and assessment, but that’s OK because I love book making. The book fair has been a huge inspiration for my work and it is a great opportunity for those love books in all shapes and forms to come together. I will definitely attend the Leeds international book fair after I graduate, as I wouldn’t want to miss out. I would recommend it to all!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

One Book Fair, One book launch, Two openings and Free Wine

So I read books, I make books, I discuss books and I love books! And because of this, I decided to volunteer to help out on the Leeds School of Fine Art table at the 14th International Contemporary Artists' Book Fair (The Parkinson Building, Leeds University). It was a great morning, spent drinking earl grey and chatting to fellow art students, lecturers and passers-by about the wonders of books and book making. I had a selection of my own artist’s book for sale on the table, for the first time in my three years spent at the University. The idea of them selling seemed to be absurd, but people were picking them up and flicking through and asking me about them, which was a fantastic experience. 

In the afternoon I went along to the book launch for Alex Lightman’s novel Twenty-Four by Thirty, published by The Wild Pansy Press. I’d previously seen his literal book launching on the Wild Pansy Press website (link below), but for this event, another catapult was constructed with a seat attached and people were invited to launch their own books. This was going on at the same time as the first day of the book fair, so people were bringing books they had just bought and launching them. Although I didn’t join in as I didn’t have a book to launch and I was a bit scared of the giant catapult, it was a fantastic sight, to see all those books flying through the air. I don’t have any footage of this event, but when it’s available on the internet I’ll post the link on here, so look out for that. 

In the evening it was the opening night of an exhibition called Thirty Years of the New Arcadian Journal and Broadsheets, 1981-2011 at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery (Leeds University). There was a selection of book works in display cases and framed pieces on the walls. It was one interpretation of a literary based exhibition. The works were treated more like artefacts, due to their age and preciousness; quite a contrast to the contemporary book fair which had been going that day, less than 10 yards away. My boyfriend Dan was visiting for the weekend and had just arrived that night, so the experience was even better, as I got to spend the evening with him looking at art and books and drinking free wine. However, this was only a short stop, before going onto the next place. 
We went on to the Home from Home exhibition opening night, which was held at 153 Woodhouse Lane, an old Victorian house owned by The University of Leeds,  a mere five minute walk away from the book fair. I would say it was good, but that would be an understatement because it blew me away. Artists’ Books displayed on Welsh dressers, tables and other beautiful wooden furniture; framed pieced, sculptures, installations and interactive works. It was three floors of great work which fit into the space perfectly. And of course there was more free wine.

More info on Home from Home:

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Performance,sound and film screening event

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a man called Richard Price. He is a poet and novelist, working for the British Library. We discussed his and my own work and my plans for the rest of my BA. He was a very interesting man and was extremely helpful. One thing that he brought to my attention was the fact that a number of artists and students within certain institutions, who are involved in performance, take part in what he referred to as 'performance practice events'. The events are designed to allow artists to run through performances in an informal setting. Alarm bells rang in my head when I heard this and I immediately decided that it would be a great idea to propose to my peers. Me and a group of fellow Fine Art students have now come together and formed am initial plan; the first step is complete. The proposed event will be a performance, sound and film screening event, where people can show their work in a comfortable environment and discuss art and ideas with others. So far the group is made of artist book makers, performers, sound artists, film makers, poets, sculptors and story tellers. The next meeting will be all about the formalities. Dates, times and locations etc. I am thoroughly excited to have such a good opportunity and now I can watch it all unfold as well as getting stuck in. More info to come...