Saturday, 17 July 2010
ENSIXTEEN EDITIONS - THE BOOKS - 'bio auto graphic': Sitting Ruminations 2006
In 2006, with the 'Sitting Ruminations' edition, I responded to a call from artists and co-curators Lucy May Schofield and Tom Sowden, who had the idea to create an exhibition wherein the 'preciousness' surrounding certain incarnations – and exhibiting formulae – of the artists' book could be left behind. They had decided to: 'Take them out of glass cases, out of libraries and away from the artist’s book fairs, resituating them in an environment that was conducive to reading and engaging with the books.' (Tom S on the UWE book arts website.)
This they did, in the form of a recreated 'sitting room', with books available and accessible on shelves and surfaces, as in a pre-television era where they arguably played a more central role in our informal entertainment and education.
Beginning in Manchester the 'Sitting Room' show toured in Europe and even as far as Mexico over the next few years.
My own book – the only time to date (2010) I have done so – gathered drawings made on or near forms of public transport during my daily commuter travel to my college job.
I had a tight schedule, and used a beautiful sketchbook hand-bound for me by artist Mette Ambeck. The limit of its page-count was the limit of my raw material. As marriages of form and content go, it provided a perfect sufficiency for what I needed.
I wanted to capture ordinary folk in their ways of distraction, using books or printed word as a means of escape or a barrier to the boredom of dreadful daily repetition.
For more on this see the exhaustive and exemplary website at University of West England's - most particularly www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/sitting07.htm