Monday, December 22, 2014

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings to you all, and may 2015 bring you much happiness, especially book and paper-related activity happiness ....

Look forward to seeing you in January for those of you at the Workshop.  It is popular, and is now FULL!  Lots of inspiration no doubt for brilliant ideas about future or current projects....

Our next Meeting after that will be in March, details to be announced, although the talented
Rosie Sherwood is already scheduled to come and chat to us about her work on that session.  Watch the blog posts to see who else will be coming along, and updates on news as it arrives.

Jingle Bells!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Turn the Page

A reminder to all budding book artists - don't forget entries for selection to appear at the Book Art event, Turn the Page, in Norwich next May will be closing on 8th December.  You would need a body of work to take, and you do have to pay to enter, although it looks like a good place to go along to and see what is happening on the book art scene.  Best wishes to anyone applying ....

Friday, November 21, 2014

Annie's Blog from the meeting of Sussex Book Art Collective, Saturday November 15th

Here's Annie Kerr's terrific blog from the morning, packed with lots of interesting details:
In Saturday’s session at the Phoenix gallery, 3 group members gave 5 minute presentations of their work in progress and our special guest Amy Strike came to show and talk about her work.  

Annie Kerr - Pocketbooks

Annie Kerr works as a musician and writer. She loves the visual arts and makes most of her own pocketbooks and sketchbooks for her creative projects at her kitchen table. Currently in progress are a series of folding forms that she hopes to turn into pocketbooks soon.

Annie brought the dummy for one of these new projects which is a fold out pocketbook. It can be viewed from any angle and can be folded and re-folded in varying ways to reveal or hide segments of the text or images. The base format is made from one sheet of paper and uses Annie’s own text piece - Unfold these rooms - and collaged magazine images, to explore the idea of unfolding sketchbook plans to reveal a 3D home.

Annie also brought some small format shop-bought swatch books which contain writing, music and sketching prompts. One of these opens to reveal one of her extended poems which is written like a series of views seen from a train window on a long journey.

Annie is interested to explore the folded forms that can be made from a single piece of A4 and is learning more unusual folding techniques by trial and error. Some of these were inspired by seeing the extravagant folded napkins at a dinner party and while she doesn’t want to take it that far, she hopes that some of these shapes and angles will find their way into new pocketbooks soon.

Annie’s music sketchbook is online at
She has a slightly neglected blog at

Jane Savage - Tracing the Numinous

Jane's current work, under the umbrella title of Tracing the Numinous, explores our moments of upliftedness, or encounters with the numinous. It considers our awe-responses to architectural space, to sound, nature and light, using languages of materials and stucture within the book form. Jane’s work attempts to evoke rather than illustrate these moments of connectedness.

Her beautiful watercolour piece - Speed of a brown hare - hopes to give you a moment of the memory or the feeling of seeing a hare race away, with rhythmic foot falls, across open ground.

Jane is interested in exploring the idea that a book works beyond its physical confines, and a great example of this was truly magical in its opening. A red hardback book cover revealed a beautiful coppery inner light that played with the odd colours accidentally screened across the room by a projector.

Jane is fascinated in how light might work through architectural spaces and a small book called Red fort at Dehli tells the story of entering a dark chamber and of having the mirror-decorated ceiling illuminated into life by the strike of a match.

Some of the work Jane brought to show us uses folded forms. The life force of trees impacts through the use of a folded book form laid on top of a flat sheet.

Written and painted in a semi-transparent booklet, human history and memory weave haunting pathways through the forest.

Sax solo is a tiny folded music score that just begs to be picked up and played again. As Jane commented - “It holds six minutes of unrepeatable joy, impossible to capture, many tiny bursts of improvisation.”

Jane does not have any work on-line, but is hoping that might change soon.

Mariya Ustymenko - Fear of Disappearance

Mariya Ustymenko is a London based visual artist, who uses analogue photography to create work ranging from installation to live performance.

Mariya’s current project Fear of Disappearance  sets out to explore the notion of identity in relation to urban landscape, produced as a technically challenging book-object that will encompass elements of photography, sculpture, and print.

Mariya brought the folio she has made to show us today and outlined the stages, challenges and frustrations involved in bringing the piece to completion.

Essentially, Mariya wanted to make a pocket-sized, keepable folding image booklet. Not a business card. Not a flyer. But a self-supporting booklet.

After experimenting with landscape and portrait formats and the layout challenges these different image formats brought up, Mariya decided to embrace the limitations of the folded form and has produced a folio that wants to be turned in your hand and seen from other angles.
Mariya says - “I am planning to upload my folio as a free pdf and add it to my website soon. So I will send out an email when it's done to all in case someone finds my layout template useful for their own purposes.”

The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Hosted by bookRoom Farnham, with additional mentorship by AKINA, it will run from September 2014 until the end of the following year, accompanied by a series of public events. The new photographic work-in-progress associated with the project will be first shown as part of the group exhibition titled State of Origin at Unit 24 Gallery London. The exhibition will run between the 13th of November and the 9th of December this year.

Please take a look at Mariya’s website where you will find more details about the her work, this project and also the exhibition and events that accompany it. Mariya blogs at

Amy Strike - Our special guest of the morning

Amy Strike is a book artist, set designer and illustrator living in London.
Her book art practice involves cutting, folding and sculpting found books to create the structures and creatures of her imagination. Often, these pieces resemble miniature sets with rooms, buildings and ships created out of the structure of the book.

Paper, leather, gold leaf and thread, glue, fonts and ink are used with all the materials found within a book to create these other worlds. Amy’s work is both a celebration and an exploration of the book, and the ways in which we stitch together stories.
We were so lucky to have a closer look at the 2 book art pieces which Amy brought to the meeting - one inspired by the Voyage of the Beagle and the other by the story of Snow White.

Initial work on both these pieces involved cutting down through the main body of the book to create a space in which to hide images and to build the 3D objects that can then emerge from this space. The books don’t open. They become solid 3D objects, but they can be very fragile, necessitating the use of a rigid frame on which to construct ships, buildings, rooms and cities.
Although the Snow White piece uses twigs around the main surface of the work, Amy usually finds that any natural objects needed for the piece would be made out of clay. The apple core here was moulded from clay and then decoupaged with text from the book itself.

Amy told us that people don’t tend to read the text in her work. Although the text used in the Snow White piece is significant and secret to Snow white, often she will hide a quote somewhere you would not expect to see it.

Book jewelery is made to look like books, It isn’t made out of the books themselves The piece Amy brought for us to see has 3 small leather bound volumes containing cut out letters. These tiny books are attached to a dark neck chain. Maybe the letters create a hidden message?

Amy’s work reminds us that by starting simply with a scalpel, glue and varnish, you can create something very poetic and beautiful.

Amy displays her work at exhibitions across the UK and sells it on Etsy and at various UK art markets. Her beautiful website is at

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Calendar of Events for Book Artists

We are keeping a calendar of events, prepared by our Book Arts Collective member Jane, to review what's coming up.  Please let us know of any additions, and remember we need to apply as a Collective early on to take part in up and coming exhibitions.


Book Arts Events Calendar 2015 – working document.

December 2014
Thu 11th-Sat 13th
Rea Stavropoulos’ Open House, Unit 9 Level 5 South, New England House, New England Street, BN1 4GH
Sat 17th
SBAC meeting – book structure workshop (places to be booked, £12)

Sat 14th

Early in the month, date and venue tbc
SBAC meeting, 10.30-12.30. Visiting artist: Rosie Sherwood

Leeds International Artists’ Book Fair
Sat 11th 11am-6pm

Sun 12th

Bristol Book Fair run by UWE, Arnolfini Centre, 16 Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA
Fri 1st & Sat 2nd
Turn the Page’ Artists’ Book Fair, The Forum, Norwich



Late in the month, tbc
London Art Book Fair, Whitechapel Gallery

Mid-month (tbc)
Small Publishers’ Book Fair, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

Friday, October 31, 2014

Damp Flat Books - Jackie Batey


If you came to our last meeting, or perhaps caught up with us on the Blog, you will remember
Dr Jackie Batey who came and inspired us as she talked to us about her work.  She mentioned starting up an MA at Portsmouth, and she has just been in touch to confirm that it is now underway.  Marvellous news!

The MA Illustration will have artists books, zines, and printmaking specialisms included.  The link to have a look is -

Tell your friends, it's going to be good, especially with Jackie in charge....

More Guest details for our meeting on Saturday 15 November.

Our Meeting on 15 November 2014 is coming up folks.......  

Another good morning of experiences will be on offer , with a great-line up of 5 of our members giving short chats about their work - see previous blog entry on our BOOK-ers - and the second part will include Amy Strike, our guest of the morning.

Here's how her work is described - 

Amy Strike is a book artist and theatre designer. She lives in London, and displays her book art at exhibitions across the UK.

She uses paper, leather, gold leaf and thread.  She uses glue and ink and fonts and all of the materials found within a book to create her sculptures.  Her work is a celebration of the book; an astonishing object which still (despite the rise of Kindles) seems to speak right to the hindbrain in us.  We still love books, she maintains;  they are packages with worlds pressed between the pages, fragile paper ships containing all the best things in life.

Amy also designs for theatre, creating sets and concepts for immersive productions and street games. She has created works for Secret and Future Cinema, Electric Voice Theatre, and is helping to design story based puzzle games for Fire Hazard, a London based street game provider.

Most recently she has designed rooms for the immersive theatre production Las Maravillas by the Dreamery, currently showing in London. She will be creating an immersive theatre, story telling production/puzzle game (which will feature book arts and paper puzzles heavily) early next year for a festival in Melbourne, Australia.


Everyone welcome, come and join us on the 15th for a morning of interesting perspectives on all things BOOK-y and PAPER-Y.  All beginners and more established BOOK fanatics welcome.  We voted to include a £3.00 GBP entry for our sessions to cover costs.  Almost as reasonable as a cup of coffee!


A note to add.  On Saturday morning, 17 January, to beat the New Year blues, or just for loads of fun, we will be hosting a WORKSHOP.  Clare, who has taught extensively, and created a Flying Books Project, will be showing us some wonderful papery and book-y things to do.  PLACES WILL BE LIMITED, so please apply early.  There will be a cost of £12.00 for the morning, so to BOOK your place don't forget to pay early on.  This will cover some materials provided, and requests about the content can still be made.  We already have concertina folds and wallets on the list, so if you have a particular request, let us know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Meeting of BOOK-ers on 15th November 2014

Looking forward to our session on Saturday morning, 15th November, starting at 10.30 am. A treat for us all, as some of our members will be doing us a rapid 5 MINUTE 'BOOKing' about their work. 

Here's the list  of BOOK-ers

Annie Kerr - POCKET BOOKS - Work in Progress





There's lots more about Mariya's work to describe, as she is working on a project supported through the Arts Council.  It's about the notion of identity in relation to the urban landscape, leading to a technically challenging book object that will encompass elements of photography, sculpture and print.

For the second half of the session

We will have Amy to talk to us about her book art objects and her writing.  MORE details to follow... All details will be posted here when available.....

Come along and join us, all welcome, from complete beginners to more established BOOKy types.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

More Damp Flat Books

Be Nice When It's Finished - Berlin by Jackie Batey.
This was an example of one of Jackie's recent books, based on her observations of Berlin as an ever evolving city.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Our meeting on Saturday 20th September 2014

We had a great meeting on Saturday morning with lots of new faces joining and enjoyed a fascinating peek into the world that Jackie Batey of has created in her book art and zines.  The response from the group after her visit has been very enthusiastic and many of us went away so inspired that we were thinking we couldn't wait to start some new work immediately!
Jackie showed us lots of her work and her wit and humour shone through all the lovely stuff she brought along.  It is amazing to think she talks about anxieties and then manages to create work about them in such a playful way.  She obviously collects loads of ephemera which feeds into her publications.  And we were glad to hear she had moved from her damp flat to more of a dry bungalow..... although retaining her identity as dampflat books seems like a brilliant idea.

Jackie generously shared lots of tips for making work.  For example how inexpensive stationery materials can be used instead of the more expensive art papers, and what web sites are useful for self-publishing (or even selfie-publishing!), mentioning 'blurb' and 'lulu' among others.

We also heard from one of our members about the forthcoming Artists Book Fair in Norwich.  A long way off, in May 2015, although worth attending by the sound of it.  Apparently, it's curated and set out well, and it's called Turn the Page, and takes place in The Forum in Norwich, if anyone fancies a trip.  If anyone does eventually go, it would be valuable to hear all about it at one of our sessions afterwards.

There's also the London Art Book Fair at the Whitechapel from 26 - 28 September, which hosts lots of publishing houses stands.

Looking forward to our next meeting at Phoenix Gallery again at 10.30 am on Saturday morning 15 November 2014, and the subsequent possible Workshop we will be doing.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Book Arts Collective Meeting on 20th September 2014

Some Great NEWS -

The meeting on 20th September at Phoenix Gallery in Brighton at 10.30 am will now have an invited guest, Jackie Batey.  Jackie's blog makes interesting and fun reading, and you can look at it on   Some of the ways she describes herself are -

I produce limited edition hand made Artist's Books, Zines and single images, many of them satirical, under the brand name of Damp Flat Books. My artist’s books are held in many permanent collections such as the V&A Museum, Tate Britain, The Getty Institute in Los Angeles and the Joan Flasch Collection, Chicago. I am featured on the V&A Website as an example (one of 6) representing U.K. Book Artists. Many of the themes I enjoy working with are, anxiety, satire and modern living. I make limited editions that vary between 10 and 50. I use my own photography, illustration and hand drawn type within my books along with composing the text, designing, printing and binding. I have attended conferences internationally to present my artist's books and to talk about art-zines and illustration. Currently I am working on new artist’s books and zines as well as exploring digital versions for ipads, e-readers whilst having fun exploring printmaking and collage for artist’s books and single images.

I create my own serial Art-Zine called Future Fantasteek! It now runs to over 16 issues and has recently toured the UK and USA, Future Fantasteek! is collected by many libraries and galleries, including Tate Britain and the British Library. all issues can be found in its own blog and are available to read digitally as is the tour catalogue."

Jackie will be coming along to chat to us all about her work and we are thrilled she can fit us in to her busy life.  Have a look at her amazing work, and be ready for an inspirational session.  See you there!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Message to all you book artists, altered book artists, zine makers, letterpress printers, binders, academics, and those working in paper ..... or if you are just interested in all this ....  read on -

Great News.  The Sussex Book Art Collective will be resuming its meetings on Saturday morning, 20 September.  Everyone is welcome, including all those also working, or just interested in, book arts and paper-related arty activities.  The meeting will be at the Green Room, Phoenix Arts Studios, Waterloo Place, Brighton at 10.30 am so put the date in your diary and come along.

Some of us had a meeting with Maddy the Book Arts Curator who was over from the US recently, and she and Karin at Phoenix are planning some good things - if they can get the funding!  So, let us hope that works out.  Good news for all the Book Art enthusiasts.

By the way, one or two enthusiastic volunteers are also required to take a lead role in the running of the organisation, including promoting us, contacting members, organising meetings, blog updating etc.  If you are interested in these roles please contact Dorry, as soon as possible.  Or post something below in the Comments box.