Beautiful Objects

Author, Author: Reporter, Projects, Reading List, Visits, Visual Research, Workshops

Artist Books That Are Artworks Themselves

As one of the outcomes of this first brief, based on the Southampton texts is a collective riso publication that will be included in a symposium, this week’s studio session involved a trip to the former Women’s Library space where the artist books are held in an archival space. The aim of this was to encourage a breadth of ideas of what publications can be, how they can be seen as objects and to kickstart ideas as to how we can work with this is in our own work.


Experience of the Workshop

The rules of the space whilst looking at the artist books where intriguing and made the experience like that of a real archive, rules in place to make sure these artefacts are respected and not damaged. Rules included no pens only pencil (which were provided), no food or drink. not even water. And no bags. All artist books were within plastic sleeves within plastic boxes that sat on a shelf.

Chosen books

We were given the chance to look at three artist books each.

The first one I looked at was called Words and Pages by Plaatsmaken. I gathered from the title, the book was about typography as the book used it quite playfully. For example, the dust jacket of the book was folded, like a poster. My favourite thing about this book was the way it was divided into chapters that were split up in terms of colour which was a very unique way to divide the book.

My second choice was called Bust. It was my least favourite out of the three I looked at because I felt as though it was too decadent. From the acrylic cover and printed texture over the pages, to the red leather like case with gold type. I did however like the use of letterpress type and the inclusion of objects in the book. Almost preserving a part of history.

Everything by Lotte Little was my favourite of the artist books I looked at mostly because of the way typography was explored through layers by printing on different paper stock and acetate. I felt this made the publication dynamic because the outcome of printing the type onto these different textures added depth to the content because of how they were layered so that you could see sentences through the pages and letter forms behind these.

Things for future development

I liked the handmade feel to a lot of the books, where printing was done onto different paper stock or there was a variation of printing process which enhanced the hand crafted element to the publications. This is personally something that stood out to me because I enjoy crafting things by hand over digitally rendering everything.

I will definitely be going back for further inspiration when making publications as the collection of artist books .


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