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ABCD bringing it all back home

October 24, 2016

It’s been a long time since the Dove book-artists met. We have been following Bron’s adventures with the Lonesome Doves in South-west USA on her blog. What an amazing trip!

Six of us met on Saturday to catch up. Caroline had collected our work from the gallery in Bridport, so I was able to get photos of some of the pieces I’d missed last time. Here is Janine’s alphabet book, stitched collage on noil silk.

And here is her book of old family letters and photos, printed on silk organza and noil using Lesley Riley’s Artist’s Transfer Paper.

Below are images of Karen’s “Poems as Letters”. First World War poems are folded into hand-made envelopes sewn in the valley-folds of a zig-zag cover of woven straw that subtly suggests the Flanders cornfields.

Judith has just completed a project she started two years ago: tiny book-cases for miniature books that were letterpress-printed long ago by her uncle. The boxes are covered with exquisite Japanese paper. Each shelf is fitted with a ribbon with which to draw out a book.

Caroline has recently returned from Greece. She brought her ziz-zag sketchbook “Alonnisos Memories”.


I brought a copy of “Compass” and a pamphlet-stitched version of “Dearist Muther”, of which I’ve made a small edition for family and friends.

Jane has suggested a shadow-puppet project for next year. All of us became rather enthusiastic about it …


Bron showed us books about Navajo crafts and architecture and the culture underlying them. She also gave us the flyer (below) for an exhibition in which she has work.
We loved the title Imagined Worlds and agreed to use it as our next theme. I’m thinking that Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”, with its Kubla Khan connection, might be a good place to look for inspiration. Besides, it’s a very good read!


Note to ABCDers: Our next meeting will be on November 26th. Theme as above.

You cannot change the past, but you can ruin a perfectly good present by worrying about the future.

– From the Bengal Club, Calcutta, contributed by Judith.

A day in Bridport

October 17, 2016

Three of us from Artists Book Club Dove went to see the exhibition “Beyond the Page” in Bridport. It’s a big show in a big gallery and there was plenty to admire. Here are a few glimpses.
Top row left: Amaranth Borsuk (Seattle USA) “Sunt Lacrimae Rerum”, paper and acrylic box, a book in homage to and in mourning for Baghdad’s street of booksellers.
Top row right: Bronwen Bradshaw, “Letters from Japan”, concertina flag book.
Second row: Clare Diprose, “Wood Notes – Pentire Wood Poems”, design inspired by the tree-postboxes of childhood when notes were tucked into cracks in bark. Illustrated with hand-cut rubber stamps.
Third row left: Jane Paterson, “Penny Post ABC”, wooden letter blocks printed onto copies of the artist’s great-great-grandmother’s penny-post letter of the 1830s. In the foreground is Hazel Grainger’s “A second series of small admissions”.
Third row top right: Judith Staines “Found”, paste-papers, paper, cardboard.
Third row lower right: Lorraine Bowley “Royal Fleet”, sewing machine, sewing ephemera, old books, found objects, matchboxes.
Fourth row top and middle left: “What I did Instead”, flag-book by Nesta Rendall Davies.
Fourth row bottom left: “kitaab” by rhturnbull (furious day press, New York) and “The Octopus would like to put a stop to us” an utterly delicious book by Otto Dettmer.
Fourth row right: Nina Gronw Lewis, scroll made from woven found letters, found brass letterbox.

My books for this exhibition can be seen in a previous post.

Below: one of Bridport’s many bookshops.

Below: hard to tell what is growing and what is painted in the courtyard of the Soulshine Cafe where we had a lovely lunch. It’s at 76 South Street.

Tears in the Fence weekend

September 20, 2016

Tears in the Fence magazine held a very enjoyable mini-festival in the lovely new village hall in Stourpaine last weekend. Saturday’s events started with a rather challenging workshop on hybr…

Source: Tears in the Fence weekend

Beyond the Page

September 13, 2016

The members of ABCD have chosen ‘Letters’ as our theme for a group exhibit as part of ‘Beyond the Page’, an exhibition of Artists’ books in Bridport. Details below.

I have made two books. One is called ‘Dearist Muther’, featuring two letters from an 8-year-old Victorian child.

My paternal grandmother Phyllis Arnott was born at Levino near St Petersburg on 22nd December 1894, the younger daughter of James Hamilton Cundell, a Scottish civil engineer, and Etty Verena, neé Goodier. The family, including Etty’s mother Mary Ann Radnor Goodier, moved to England in 1901. Phyllis wrote to her mother in the spring of 1903 while she and her older sister Dorothy (Doris) were staying at Folkestone.

Russian, which is spelled phonetically, was her first language. It is clear that she had trouble with English spelling! Her beautiful handwriting is in the style of the C19 Russian copy-books from which she learned to write. In one letter she asks her mother to “plis bring sum kopibuxs”.

Dearist Muther: Phyllis writes home: Zigzag book of 14 pages.
Materials: Jessops 170gsm matt photo paper, Lana Colours paper cover.
Size closed 21x13cm, open 21x up to 182cm.

My second book is ‘Hide and Seek in the House of Letters’.

Hide-and-seek in the House of Letters: Sculptural book of 7 unequal pages.
Structure: “Dream-book”, invented by Mark Wangberg, USA.
Materials: deconstructed cardboard box, wooden skewers, gesso, Dulux paint, deconstructed clothing catalogue, Polyvine matt acrylic varnish.
Size closed 32x19x5cm, open 32x up to 70cm.

Beyond the Page

Allsop Gallery, Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset, UK. 24th September – 15th October 2016

To coincide with Open Book Week and the Bridport Prize Ceremony – Bridport Art Centre’s annual, highly regarded writing competition – we bring you ‘Beyond the Page’. An Exhibition that features Regional, National and International artists using the book as the starting point to inspire both physically and metaphorically within their practice. Alongside this there will be a selection of unique workshops with practitioners who use words, recreate pages and manipulate books in fascinating and unusual ways. The exhibition will feature a special selection of borrowed books from UWE Bristol; British Library acquired artist, Christine Tacq and Sketchlook, a travelling exhibition of handmade sketchbooks from Austin, Texas.

Supporting Events

Learn how to Coptic Bind with David Squirell from Squirell Press, Saturday 1 October, 10-12.30 – £20 per person. Coptic binding is the earliest form of bookbinding dating

back the 2nd century. It requires only a needle, scissors and thread and some skill and knowledge of how to handle and use paper which you will be introduced to in this half day workshop. The books fold out flat so they are perfect for drawing, painting, writing and calligraphy. All materials are provided.

Letterpress Demonstration with Squirell Press Saturday 1 October, 2pm – 3pm, FREE, all welcome.

Visual Zines – Creative Workshop with Megan our exhibitions Officer. Sunday 2 October, 1.30pm – 3pm, £4 Each, Ages 8 – 12. Learn more about Zines and mini publications. Make your own zine with collage, drawing and print.

Film: Relaxed Screening: Book of Life, 3pm

Combined Ticket Offer – £7 for both workshop & film.


Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NR, UK.

Welcome to Bridport Arts Centre

Bank Holiday Monday

September 13, 2016

GIFT – ceramic sculpture by Jenny Southam


Poems by Jack Clemo set to music by Jim Causley

A new Chapbook from Beau Beausoleil

July 31, 2016

Compass resized

I’m happy and proud to announce a new chapbook from Beau Beausoleil, founder of
the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition. Thirty new poems are printed on ‘Metaphor’
recycled paper and hand-bound. The cover photo is by Carolyne Charrington.

These are clear-eyed, uncompromising poems of startling beauty, poems in which language is pared to the bone and each line can lead the reader into a new place, into heartbreak or wonder.

Edition of two hundred copies, available for $15 in USA from overlandbooks(at)

UK and the rest of the world – contact barleybooks(at) £10 by sterling cheque or Paypal only. Postage payable outside UK.


you said
bring me to that place

where we can sweep the words
into each corner

where we can sleep
as the blood dries over us

but I haven’t seen you
since that day
and now is the third hour again
and tomorrow the third year

and my kitchen prayers are not easy

and it is only wonder
that takes me past each darkness

                                                                              Beau Beausoleil

These poems have the qualities of the first light of morning: clear, intense, and essential.
~ DUNYA MIKHAIL, poet and editor

Beau’s poems plunge us into the blind darkness of loss, where we have only the tendrils of each slender, living poem to guide us through the grimness of our world. We peer through the blood on the windows, we name those who gather in the shadows around us, and “the blood dries over us” in our sleep. It is a poetry that allows us to reckon with the public and private dead, but one that can also steer us to wonder. These are poems for the missing, but they are also poems that help us find our way past the darkness, as when a tree slides off the page “and put / its roots / near you”.
~ M LYNX QUALEY, writer, editor, literary activist

This book is a meditative work, not only about actual and present things, but about those who are absent, whom the poet calls the disappeared: I am listening/ to your disappearance’ he writes and ‘the disappeared are there’. Thus, ‘their shaded voices’ can be heard in these poems ‘amid the mountains’. All of this happens in a ‘bare room’ where the bareness, both poetically and humanly, mirrors those who are absent.
In Compass, Beau Beausoleil produces a kind of unity between life as a real experience and the poem’s message as a metaphorical one.








Swindon Poetry Picnic

July 23, 2016


Morag, Rachael, Sara and I will be the guests at Swindon Poetry Picnic on Saturday 30th July, performing our latest collaboration “Second Skin”. Entry is free: bring a picnic and, if you like, a couple of poems to share.

1pm to 4pm – details here.