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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.

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