Sunday, October 4, 2015

Book Arts on Saturdays - Mariya Ustymenko

We had a wonderful Saturday morning on the 3rd October. First, Karin Mori from Phoenix Gallery ( came along and told us all about the Book Art Show called Press & Release 2016, Technology and the Evolution of the Artist's Book, curated by Maddy Rosenberg, which will involve Curious Projects, and Liberatura.  The Sussex Book Arts Group has been also invited to take part in the activities associated with the show on the 15th of May 2016. There is a  design team to be commissioned, who will work on creating an environment where the book art work chosen for the exhibition will be presented in an interesting way, and the show will seek to push the boundaries of the book as object. Sussex Book Arts Collective has been invited to create an event in one of the spaces available and we are at the planning stage.   Ideas are being collected by Dorry so that they are gathered together for discussions.   There will be a meeting on 7th November 2015 to decide more ....

Mariya Ustymenko then presented a fascinating and interesting talk about her work Fear of Disappearance and how it all started.  She had been developing the levels of her project since September 2014, taking a good 6 months to work through the ideas to the finished work, having initially applied for a residency with the bookRoom Press, UCA Farnham.

She passed around her completed book, some zines made similarly and more afford-ably, and her portfolio.  Her work is also currently on show at The Gallery at Willesden Green Library as part of the group exhibition by Walph Collective titled Making Space, on view till the 4th of November.

The work had 3 outcomes: a limited edition (40 hand-bound books with perspex and aluminium cover), a zine (ed. of 100, hand-sewn soft-cover pamphlets), and a concrete, perspex and steel sculpture (ed. of 3). 

Mariya explained that she is a lens-based artist mainly, and is part of a photo collective group which provides peer support and mentorship.  Her background includes a PhD in Literature which she achieved when living in Essex before moving to the London area.

The contrast between the city and places by the sea had given her thoughts about the urban environment and how she might structure her book and sculpture taking on a subjective approach.  This led her to use urban materials to convey her ideas, such as concrete, steel and aluminium, which these environments are filled with, and which gave her choices about ways of production not usually associated with books and photography. 

The project also raised questions about her anxieties.  In a rapidly changing environment, she considered whether the book could be viewed as architecture, especially looking at such areas of London as Whitechapel and Hackney Wick.

On the question of development of the electronic book market with its greater digitalisation in the 2000s, she felt that this was often more for mass market paperback readers, and the artists book was more sought after now as they are physically more attractive and show greater creativity.

Mariya completed her splendid presentation talking about how she could see herself in the future doing more experimentation with paper folding, and laser engraving on different kinds of papers.