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ABCD December 2021

December 11, 2021

Nine members of Artists’ Book Club Dove met on Zoom (thank you, Thalia) on December 4th, a week after Storm Arwen rampaged across the land. Some had been to Plymouth to see the hugely inspiring exhibition Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters.

Here are two views of Carol’s folded book, made that morning. “A frantic 2 and a half hours of folding, sticking and stiching with Anna Yevtukh-Squire to produce a complicated structure.”

Pat showed us an extraordinary piece of wood sculpted by insects. We discussed various ways of making an image from it; the best was probably to take a rubbing on thin paper with graphite or black wax.
Pat writes: here it is front and back (nonsense as it is any way you look!) of a termite-reconstructed bit of a tree after they have chewed it and glued it together with termite saliva! 

Bron experienced a localised tornado at the Dove. A marquee was lifted from its moorings, damaging a chimney and leaping over a hedge before being deposited, complete with all its poles, two fields away, almost in Barton St David. She has nevertheless made a springback book of botanical prints. This is a structure that springs open when dropped: a performing book! The instructions for it are in Keith Smith’s manual Books Without Paste or Glue.

Judith has assembled two sets of pages of botanical prints, one for the tree nursery where she volunteers, and one to keep. Her sewn-board binding is beautifully made and opens out flat. Tutorial here. Here are some of the pages before binding.

Judy is still excited about her adventures in unorthodox calligraphy and its connection with walking and mapping. She showed us some striking images made using scrunched paper dipped in ink.

Caroline has started a book on the topic of migration, using people-drawings on brown wrapping-paper and bird-drawings printed on acetate.

Her wildlife pond now has a house for the moorhens.

Clare has two ponds! And some very early primulas. And a Kaffe Fasset-inspired jumper in the making; what glorious colours!

Thalia, inspired by the Plymouth exhibition and by the changing light, is making mokuhanga prints and allowing the process to create its own narrative. A leap into the dark.

Jane was unable to be with us, but she has sent images of a sculptural book. “A celebration of the silver birch I planted 9 years ago.” It looks to me like mokuhanga prints.

Ama. My latest book is a pamphlet-stitched small edition, 15x15cm, a fragmentary autobiography in 50 tercets. The cover photo was taken in 1979 at the Liverpool commune where I lived for 8 years. The house is now a very smart gated community of apartments: photo here.

I am a ghost in The Old Swan/ I embrace my string bass/ and sing high tenor harmonies

Dates of the next few meetings (probably all on Zoom) are January 15th, February 12th and March 12th.
A happy midwinter to all our readers!
Here are some notes I made during the meeting.

December Dove-droppings

finding more light
folding bits of paper
you get trapped in it

our lifespans are not enough
brilliant but difficult
eaten by termites

flying trampolines
and a forty-foot Christmas tree
blown across two fields

painting is dreaming
it is a language
knitted together

silk button gall moths
hatched an idea
gathering mushrooms

just keep wrapping
with a ferrous blanket
things will grow

a house on stilts
dipped in ink
an eagle’s eye view

it’s always the sea
the way the light dims
like birds calling

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