Touring show for Artist Book Collective
Curated by Louise Atkinson

Leeds City Library
14th – 24th August 2012

Quiet Room, Bower Ashton Library, Bristol
3rd December 2012 – 31st January 2013

As part of Divided We Fall, the collective will present ‘Bound’ their first touring show as a way to strengthen connections within the group and promote books as an artistic medium. From the exploration of experimental binding techniques to more conceptual interpretations, such as the book as a ritual object, this new exhibition will investigate the notion of ‘bound’ in its myriad forms. Works will be also available for sale or commission. Prices do not include postage. Please forward all enquiries to

The tour will begin at the Art Library of the Leeds Central Library, before continuing on to other venues, including The Centre for Fine Print Research in Bristol. The launch of Bound is the first stage in creating a permanent artist book archive for the collective in Leeds city centre. This will also be digitised online for the artists, researchers and members of the public to view.

Online profiles:

Alice Bradshaw
Feather Duster
Dictionary of Birds (1893-1896), Wood
Unique Edition

Alice Bradshaw works with a wide range of media and processes involving the manipulation of everyday objects and materials. Mass-produced, anonymous objects are often rendered dysfunctional caricatures of themselves, addressing concepts of purpose and futility. Alice creates or accentuates subtleties, blurring distinctions between the absurd and the mundane, with the notion that the environment the work exists in becomes integral to the work itself.

Darren Bryant
Jack in a box Vol.2 
Concertina with Relief Etching and Collage
Unique Edition

Little Boy Bomb
Concertina with Screen Print and Embossing
Unique Edition

Over the last few years, my practice has explored and questioned ideas about social, cultural and historical inherited gender stereotypes. The images appropriated are sourced from toys, games, books, models and references to childhood from my own collection.

One such toy is a model plane of the Enola Gay. After reading the story of Hiroshima, I could not bring myself to assemble the model. The instructions and the plane’s component parts have since remained in their original box. This screen printed artist book, sourced from the box, shows an image of a young boy happily clutching his toy Enola Gay. The surface of the concertina pages is embossed with images of the nuclear weapon that was dropped on Hiroshima.

I find the image menacing, somehow glorifying male stereotypes of power and might. I further draw attention to this, with the play of words in the title, referring to and questioning the naming of such a powerful and destructive weapon ‘little boy bomb’.

Roger Bygott
Beauty Bound
Found Objects, Photography
Unlimited Edition

Beauty Bound emerged from a project as part of my Interactive Arts Degree at Manchester Art School (MMU). I wanted to explore the juxtaposition of seemingly contrary objects: organic (e.g. fruit) and manmade (e.g. nylon zip-ties) but with a theme of bound and pierced. The organic element meant the work was bound to decay so I photographed the constructions and presented them in an online publication. 

Anwyl Cooper-Willis
The Elsewhere Necktie Archive: the Complete Data 
Digital print on Fabriano
Edition of 12

This unwieldy print shows the complete Excel spreadsheet of a catalogue of 500 neckties I found at the Elsewhere Living Museum in North Carolina. The ties, once part of a vast and undifferentiated mulch of used consumer goods, have, through being extracted, ordered and documented become a discrete and bounded formal archive. The print is literally bound into a cover, but is also bounded in time since the catalogue was made in July 2011 during a residency at Elsewhere.

If more ties are found in the building they will not become part of the archive. The data is bounded too, only those data which I recorded at the time can be included. The Necktie Archive now lies in a chest of drawers labeled Tie Vault where they will continue to rot quietly in the hot, damp summers and cold damp winters of North Carolina. It seems possible that the record of the archive may last longer than the specimens.

Kate Desforges
Pamphlet Fold Book Screen Printed with Ink made from Tea.
Edition of 20

Corners is a collection of images of corners from around my home, often stared at, (or through), when deep in thought whilst drinking a cup of tea. The middle fold of each page corresponds with the corner of the room depicted. The book stems from my preoccupation with making a connection with my everyday surroundings, and investigating how we connect with and attach ourselves to our environment. I deliberately focus on depicting parts of everyday life which might otherwise be overlooked, attempting to remind myself and others to really see and consider what we look at every day.

Debra Eck
Blackwork Embroidery Book
Paper, Thread
Edition of 3

I find myself drawn to repetitive making; most of my work requires tens, even hundreds, of hours of intensive hand labor to create. I enjoy the meditative nature of this slow unfolding of the work and the space it allows for ideas to fully manifest, for the threads of thought to untangle and re-weave themselves into new forms.

For years I have been making work about the space occupied by women in society. Recently I have been thinking about how work and women are historically connected and especially with the uneasy space occupied by women’s handicrafts in the Art world.

The work for this show is concerned then with the space in which women work, and how work intersects with the domestic and the ideas of home. Many of the pieces are translations of traditional embroidery patterns into decorative, yet functional book bindings. Working in this way I feel connected to the long history of women’s work which was handed down to me when my mother taught me how to embroider and sew.

Bernard Fairhurst
Last Christmas 
Digital Print Hand Bound Book
Unique Edition

Last Christmas records the events of my mother's final Christmas. My mother died in hospital in 2006. Like many old people she went in for a fairly routine operation but never recovered after six months. Some time after her funeral my mobile phone kept telling me my text messages were full and to delete messages to make space. I could not wipe away the record of those months and the experience I had shared with my family.

Jonathan Gann
Found Paper, Thread, Key
Unique Edition 

Piggy is all about perceptions (however skewed). The retelling of a visceral tale in a way that mirrors a darker time in my life, as experienced at the time of the book's conception. Themes of loss of innocence, examination of the roots of religious dialogue (in a familial sense), and most importantly the difficult process of self discovery (as it relates to the necessary shifting of perception for preservation's sake) permeate the piece adding a visual intellectual weight that compliments the book's dense physicality. This book is also a prelude to the exploration of violence.

Jane Grisewood
Remnant III
Canvas, String, Wax
Edition of 8

What is a book? The individual handmade book blocks in the Remnant series challenge the notion of the conventional book format while exploring the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Developed from previous oil paintings (1997-99), the canvases were torn into ‘pages’ and reconfigured into 3D blocks, bound with string and coated in wax. The binding enwraps and seals each block, denying the reader access to its content. The black colour suggests darkness and mourning, but the wax is to protect and preserve – the book as ritual object.  Prior to studying fine art I had been in book publishing for many years and the Remnant works became significant as a return and a departure, a restraint and a renewal.

Debi Holbrook
Imagine (2011)
Found Object & Wire
Edition of 10

Imagine books in the physical sense were no longer produced. With so many library closures of late, decreased book sales year on year, technological advances in publishing along with the introduction of the Kindle, it's not so crazy to imagine. What then would become of existing books? Encased in glass and consigned to the museum, never  again to be touch with ungloved hand?

Jane Kenington
To 'o 
Found Book, String
Unique Edition

My interest is in line, in particular the inextricable tangle of line and thread. I explore line using thread. The tahitian to'o were items held to be embodiments of divine power tightly wrapped in knotted cord to protect them from view. Books hold stories, stories bind together myth, legend and coercion - power. The knotted threads form lines that seal in these stories. But this is more than a passive container for the power of myth - it actively binds it up.

Sophie Littlewood
Spiral Pop-Up
Watercolour Paper, Colour Dye, Book Cloth and Greyboard
Unlimited Edition

My work is exploring the charactertistics of pop-ups, particularly how they are usually found tightly bound within a book structure, with their content concealed. Also, how the pop-up metamorphoses into a new form once it is open and restricted energy is released. The playful and sculptural elements to pop-ups interest me, and within this series paper spirals flow through architectural like shapes carrying out a definite journey.

Heather Matthew
Nobly bound
Bound paperback books.
Edition of 5 
£60 (2 sets of 2 books)

We are bound by the books we read, the ideas they impart, the way we read visual images and graphics. Paperbacks were once considered books for the masses and their covers were bright, sometimes gaudy with large headline grabbing text.

With the steady demise of the mass culture book in favour of digital ‘readers’, paperbacks end up remaindered, at the opportunity shop or in garage sales. These found books have been brought to life again with screen printed covers and are bound together use traditional noble binding stitch.

John McDowall
Stab Binding Under Card Cover
Open Edition

A book with sixteen folded leaves sewn on the open side, plus one front and back as covers. Images printed on the inner face of each double leaf so as to be hidden until folded out from verso side of each spread.

A written text running as a single horizontal line through the centre of the outer double page spreads continuously over the fore-edges from page 7 to 22, the remaining pages blank. The images are stills taken from Alain Resnais’ 1956 film essay on the Bibliothèque Nationale, Toute la mémoire du monde.

The text recounts the hiding for safekeeping, during the war, of Walter Benjamin’s papers by his friend Georges Bataille at the Bibliothèque nationale and of the library’s l’Enfer, a section reserved for books with erotic content, including works by Bataille.

Carla Moss
The Thread II
Pencil, Wax Varnish, Gold Thread, Paper
Unique Edition 

My work is about our relationship with the environment, our impact on it and its impact on us. Its beauty and mystery. The vastness of this subject matter from a philosophical, historical, spiritual, sociological and physical perspective gives me an unending source of inspiration. The work is quite process driven, beginning with an observation or experience. This is documented in my notebook or with a camera and then worked into paintings, drawings or 3d objects in the studio. 
My interest in the environment has taken me to the Aral Sea basin of Kazakhstan. The Aral Sea is a shrinking sea due to irrigation of cotton. The effect on the local environment, people and industry where the sea has receded has had a huge (largely negative) impact. I will often reference the Aral Sea in some way, most recently connecting it to the textile industry through using pins, thread or creating holes with a sewing machine or tracing wheel.

Naz Rahbar
Binding Grandma 
Wood, Miniature Objects, Dry Point Prints,  Fabrics
Unique Edition

I feel that sometimes art making is a ritual through which I confront my dilemmas. This piece explores my relationship with my Grandmother and my perception of her, through memories. The miniature objects on the shelves epitomize memories or characteristics, which we share. The dry-point prints, which fold out as an accordion book from the back of the shelf, speak to the distances and gaps created by time, a revolution, immigration and language, between us; investigating the complexities of human relationships, and perception. The binding together of these prints and objects is therefore a ritual through which I unite fragments of my memory and perception to create a portrait of my grandmother.

Tim Riley & Georgia Elizey
Everything Will Be Told
Found Book, Mesh
Unique Edition

The proposal for Bound is a copy of Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago encased within wire mesh, making it inaccessible yet visible through a metal grid, with an amount of the book cut away to reveal a section of text concerning the power exerted over prisoners in the soviet gulags through control of the accessibility to books & the importance of this to the inmates in their ability to retain their humanity & hope of survival. ‘Everything Will Be Told’ also speaks of the extent to which regimes fear the power of the book & the resultant imprisonment & execution of people in their efforts to write them as well as being an enigmatic & intriguing object to hold in its own right. 

Stevie Ronnie & Susannah Pickering
Mixed Media Book Sculpture
Edition of 10

The artists have combined traditional binding techniques with the cabling systems that are commonly used to transmit digital information. The result is this series of alternative electronic books. The work acknowledges the visual and tactile attributes of the book as a technology, largely ignored in the formats currently adopted by digital and electronic books.

Louise Tett
:By Love and Tears
Vintage Poems, Fleece, Handmade Box 
Unique Edition

:By Love and Blood 
Ring Box, Silk Fabric, Wedding Ring & Gold Thread
Unique Edition
:By Love and Tears is an anthology of found poems relating to family bonds.  Each poem has been cut into thin shards and hand spun with fleece.  The fleece fibers bind with the paper to form yarn which has then been rolled into tiny individual balls, varying in size depending on the length of the poem.  A copy of the first line of each poem is attached with a pin, giving a glimpse of the text; but the cosy domesticity of the wound balls conceals the significant events such as birth, death and marriage that knit a family together.  There is an accompanying paper and muslin book which lists the poems.

:By Love and Blood portrays the binding of one individual to another through marriage and how these fragile promises form a strong family structure.  These conjoined boxes may be read as reassuring or suffocating depending on the viewers own experience.  Each ring box has been covered in fragments of hand drawn genealogy chart; nestled in each box is a wedding ring bound with hand written marriage vows and gold thread.  This fragile thread joins each to the other making them inseparable.

Topical Jungle
Sophie McHiggins
The Wolkenkukuksheim
Unique Edition

Archie Salandin
My Painting/Don’t Cover a Judge with his Book/The Tin/The End is Nigh
Digital Print Perfect Bound Book
Edition of 5-10

Topical Jungle is a Leeds-based art collective. Current members are Jennifer Dickinson, Frank Driver, Nikki Hafter, Sophie McHiggins, Archie Salandin and Liam Wells. The collective was officially formed in 2011 as we entered the final year of the BA Fine Art course at the University of Leeds, although several members of the group have been collaborating periodically since 2009. We practice both collaboratively and individually, exploring the relationships between the group and the individual, between reality and fiction, and between natural and performed activity.

Wendy Williams
Paper, Wood, Textile 
Unique Edition
Girl Book/Boy Book
Paper, Wood, Textile 
Unique Edition

I've been working with paper over the last few years - initially using it through necessity, as it was a convenient medium that could be packed up small to be transported overseas for exhibition purposes.  It was this idea about transportation that led me to experiment with sandwiching paper between boards to protect it. Strap is just one piece in a series of works about that protection.

I find paper a useful medium that can manipulated to bridge gaps between its delicacy and its strength. Combining the use of paper with wood, creates layers, stacked and overlaid like documentaries waiting to be unlocked. The work however, does not open like a book, the pages are bolted down or have some other restriction, so the viewer is forced to stop and think before opening them.

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