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ABCD November 2016: Imagined Worlds

November 28, 2016

It was almost a full house on Saturday – eleven of us made it to the Dove print room to share work (or in my case merely words) made since last time. Some had been to the Paul Nash exhibition at Tate Britain – there’s an excellent review here – and some reported on Friday’s Book Arts symposium at Hauser and Wirth in connection with their current Louise Bourgeois exhibition. We talked about our forthcoming exhibition “A Book in the Hand” next summer at ACEarts Gallery in Somerton, where five artists from Shave Farm (including ABCD member Rowena Pearce) will be exhibiting for the month of December – Private View next Friday evening, 2 December.

Caroline brought two prototypes (actually one of them was a deuterotype) for a book called Imagined Landscapes, one a tunnel-book and the other an invented structure, both made by recycling her own prints.

Janine also made a tunnel-book. Hers was inspired by cave-dwellings in Cappadocia.


Judy’s book “Imagined Worlds” was an irregular accordion-fold with pockets into which little dangling worlds can be tucked away. It can be joined up as a star-shaped mobile and was made for and with her five-year-old grandson.I’m sorry that my photos didn’t turn out well.

Nina made a teabag-book (this is a folded print, not a real teabag) and a book of prints taken from a lime-wood plate which is used as a front cover.

Clare has been participating in art-making opportunities offered by galleries. In Penzance she made a shadow-puppet, and at a punk exhibition at the Arnolfini in Bristol she made a zine. She also brought her journal/sketchbook of a recent holiday in the Lake District.

Karen’s “Imagined Worlds” was a nine-foot-long zigzag of circular pages (cut from an atlas) in a handmade box. On a previous theme, Letters, she made a book of tiny hand-made envelopes in a soft leather cover.

Jane has been meditating on the current sorry state of things, and she returned to an old theme, graters. Her imagined world was one in which all the horribleness has been rolled up and stuffed into a grater – but some of it has still found a way of leaking out …


Judith has been working on three continents in three weeks. While she was away she listened over and over to Leonard Cohen’s Love Itself – finding solace as well as an imagined world in the words – she also made three books, quickly and intuitively put together from whatever materials came to hand: in Barbados a carob seed-pod and some photos, in Cambodia photos printed on feather-light crisp rattly paper mounted on slivers of bamboo and in Malawi cards made by refugees from recycled paper and cloth, with a misty landscape photo and a bank note. And there was some talk of us as a group taking part in an exhibition in Cambodia!

I apologise for the poor quality of the photos in this post.

Our next meeting will be on January 14th, when the word will be “Comfort”!

PS: Judith has just sent a link to this beautiful letterpress book, Ethel Mairet’s On Vegetable Dyes (1916), a complete facsimile including ex-libris “Sigillum Universitatis Californiensis MDCCCLXVIII” (The seal of the University of California 1868), made available from US Archives. It is a joy to behold and I’m sure will be an interesting read.

Poetry Almanac 2016

November 16, 2016

Thanks to Susan Sims of Poetry Space, I have a poem in this year’s Poetry Almanac – a comprehensive guide to poetry publishers and organisations in Britain. It was written eight years ago on a blustery walk in the Quantocks, and was awarded first prize in last year’s Poetry Space competition by the judge John Siddique.


sunshine on late roses,
a queue of swallows on the wire,
the sky washed clean and spread to dry,
she finds his gloves in the hall-table drawer:
leather moulded to the curl of his palms.

The smell of him.
Left, right, she draws them on.
Key deep in one pocket, jar in the other,
she gathers boots, lead, walking-stick.
The spaniel dances at the door.

On the hill the wind shakes leaves
and jackdaws out of the sycamores.
Her coat flaps flightless wings.
She climbs until the sea
rises into sight, a flake of silver.

The dog bounces through heather.
Clouds hurry into the east.
Her gloved hands unscrew the lid
and tilt the jar. The last of his dust
streams out on the wind.


Saying the unutterable

November 13, 2016

Re-blogged from Judy Kleinberg’s wonderful site chocolate is a verb

found poem © j.i. kleinberg

Michael Moore making sense of the news

November 9, 2016

Catching up on e-mails that came while I was away, head in the sand, enjoying myself, I found this last night. And it seems Michael Moore was right.


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