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.
Twenty-Four by Thirty book launch: http://www.wildpansypress.com/index.php?/project/twenty-four-by-thirty/
S&A. Burton Gallery website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/gallery/exhibitions.htm
More info on Home from Home: http://abcarchive.blogspot.com/