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ABCD June 2022

June 26, 2022

Six members of Artists’ Book Club Dove met yesterday in the Print Studio to share news, recent work, and advice on work in progress. In terms of traffic congestion, it was probably the best day of the Glastonbury Festival weekend to be travelling. After a wet start the day was bright with a lively breeze.

Bron has continued to explore colours from trees, leaves and flowers and to make her results into books. The three books shown below were each made from a single large sheet of paper, folded into sixteen and selectively cut.

A second book of circles, drawn on softer esparto-grass paper from Two Rivers.
These red camellia prints have shifted to subtle buffs and mauves.

Bron painted the Khadi paper pages shown below with many layers of ink and a nature-friendly fixative. They are substantial, earthy in both colour and texture, and quite noisy when handled! They are the pages for a piano-hinge book about mycorrhiza.

Caroline showed us a model for a large sculptural book about Jaisalmer Fort in Rajastan. I was in Jaisalmer in what seems like a previous life, 45 years ago!

Janine has made a family of exquisite containers (sanctuaries? reliquaries? spirit houses?) from richly-machine-embroidered scraps of silk and velvet. We admired Janine’s colour choices and her attention to detail.

I, Ama, brought an unfinished book. The Khadi paper pages are dip-dyed with layers of “dyes from the compost-bin” – red cabbage leaves, red onion skins, avocado stones and skins, and beetroot cooking-water. On them I have written in walnut ink with a bamboo pen the words of Graeme Ryan’s poem “O”, with his permission. Each of the seven folios is stitched to the mountain folds of a zigzag spine printed with seaweed fronds from the beach at Kilve. There will be hard covers and an exposed-spine binding. Graeme’s poem speaks powerfully of the experience of war and displacement.

I like this little off-cut, an accidental landscape. From the top, the colours are red cabbage, avocado, red onion, and beetroot with iron-water.

Thalia has just returned from Iceland with tales of light midsummer nights, fields of wild flowers, hot springs and shifting tectonic plates. She told us about the Living Art Museum, and (in another museum) a lively collaboration between artists in Iceland and Hungary.

Judith showed us samples of a thick shiny ink she made from bamboo leaves.

Judith is just back from a working visit to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, bringing carved spoons and embroidered felt purses, and tales of a potentially lethal tick-bite and dodgy medicines. She was wearing a glorious silver-grey stole, fine wool felted onto cotton gauze printed with petroglyphs.

We had a picnic lunch in the meadow, surrounded by hogweed (not the giant variety) – at least one insect on every umbel. It was good to see.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday July 23rd. This will be the last meeting before Somerset Art Weeks, which begin on September 24th. This year’s theme is Sanctuary. Meanwhile, here are the

June Dove-droppings

eaten by carpet moths
zigzagging from the sky
I lost the thread

it’s bewildering
in different houses with our G&Ts
a light in a window

everything is changing
too many possibilities
I had to block that Belgian woman

the roar from Bruce Springsteen
when somebody fell on me
where they have planted indigo

a remote site with snakes
I stayed in a tree-house
ticks were an issue

the paper grabs the pigment
sea-buckthorn orange
the hugging has stopped

I used to like hugging
Paul McCartney at the Cheese & Grain
spine like an armadillo

I soaked the leaves in alum
a good peaty black
at the back of the front

a polar bear had arrived
holding the baby
but would you want to?


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