Sunday, November 03, 2013

Artists Books talks part 2

The second talk I went to as part of Pushing Print was The Art of the Book by  Ciara Healey.

Ciara and I recognised each other from a book event but couldn't place which one. Ciara had a selection of artists books for us to look at as well. I was very much enjoying getting to handle books at these talks.

As a type of art object, artists books need to be seen and handled to really appreciate their construction as well as design and content.
Book arts bypass the constraints of the gallery Ciara said and have and are a valuable vehicle for the dissemination of ideas, including the radical and revolutionary. She gave a brief overview of the artist book, from Dada and Duchamp to Fluxus, Yoko Ono, Ed Ruscha and Sol De Witt. One of the books Ciara mentioned, Yoko Ono's Grapefruit has been republished link here

Ciara then introduced to some contemporary book artists some of whom I followed up, including Barbara Barnes Allen who produces large concertina books that can fill a gallery. Her work uses found objects from where ever she is combined on collaged pages. the everyday is the subject.

Image from Fiber Artist Journey 

Barbara writes on the book arts website  
"My closing thought on these books I borrow from Baudelaire. I paraphrase, but he essentially said that the job of the artist is to distill the ephemeral to the eternal. And so, one of the ways we can demonstrate this concept is by using the most ordinary of things around us to produce art that is of this time and only this time. It can be difficult creating art from ordinary things, but to me, within that concept lays the challenge and the answer. Our everyday defines us, the time we live in and what we observe along the way."

Another book artist Ciara spoke about was Steve Mcpherson   website here
whose works have been installations. In Drift ll  he was inspired by the sea Ciara said, collecting books that were to do with the bottom of the sea and layering them first over the gallery floor. He then layered books to do with the inside of the sea, including fish and sea creatures and finally the top layer was composed of books that dealt with the surface of the sea including ships.
Visitors to the gallery could take off their shoes and walk across the surface of the sea.

Ciara's talk was really inspiring and gave me a lot of food for thought on ways to work with books. Her enthusiasm for artists books of all forms was catching and I've found myself  following up more artists from her talk  If you want to know a bit more about Ciara and her work her own website is  here

Beach Cross racing on Margate main sands.

There are two Beach Cross racing competitions held in Margate each year which draw crowds to watch the quad and motorbikes. The second competition was last weekend and you could hear the roar of the bikes from our house.

I enjoy watching the races, the bikes churning up the sand, (this time because of the wind, quite a lot of sand was blowing across to the spectators) and the jumps they make from the sandunes. As the bikes go round the course you get views of bikes at various stages of the race.

Bikes can get stuck in the sand and you can see how much work it must take to physically race on the beach.  It is an international event and riders do come from Europe to take part.
I couldn't find a programme at this event so can't identify the riders unfortunately.

At the pit stop bikes and bikers make a colourful scene and around the beach there are various stands and stalls.
 The website for the Beach Cross event is here