Friday, 31 August 2012

Sweet Pages

I’m ashamed to say that I have neglected to feature any edible book design in this blog to date. However, I have just discovered The Book of Decorative Cakes by Gwyneth Cole, a trade recipe book which nevertheless has royal icing typography and decoration on the front cover that any bookbinder would be proud of. I’m posting these pictures here for my friend Katherine Hyde, not only cake decorator and sculptor at betty bakery in New York – but also a paper connoisseur.
The quality of Cole’s cover art is not deceptive: there’s invention in all the cakes featured within, but I’m particularly seduced by a charming bookish mise en abyme on the last page. It tells the reader how to replicate, in icing sugar, the very page they are holding in their hands.

A close-up, below, shows the detailed sugar work, and a further reproduction of the same page spread: 

The Book of Decorative Cakes by Gwyneth Cole was published by Ebury Press in 1984. At the time of posting, there’s a second-hand copy available on Biblio. The others seem to have vanished into infinity…

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Books in America

Illustration from A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain (unidentified artist)
How To Say ‘I Love You’ in Greenlandic is currently on show at The Center for Book Arts, New York, in the exhibition Tell Me How You REALLY Feel: Diaristic Tendencies, curated by Alexander Campos, Executive Director, and the artist Rory Golden (until 22nd September). It has just been announced that the exhibition will then travel to Payne Gallery at Moravian College Pennsylvania, where it will be on show until the end of the year.
Doverodde has been selected for the exhibition Sense of Place in Artist Books at the Architecture and Landscape Library Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, curated by Karen Kinoshita (also on show until the close of 2012). The exhibition is part of Mapping Spectral Traces which serves to mediate and facilitate inter- and trans-disciplinary international dialogue to explore the role of the visual and performing arts in addressing such relevant concerns as ecological activism, ‘deep mapping’, place-based memory work, trauma, postcolonial geographies and related topics. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Two Autumn Workshops

This autumn I will be teaching two courses in London:
Following my workshop on artists’ editions of Wallace Stevens’ poems, I’ve been asked to teach a workshop at Free Verse: The Poetry Book Fair on 8 September.
As a nod to the many books that will be circulating at the event, I decided we could afford to be a little iconclastic. In Altered Books we’ll adapt existing books using cut-up, collage and mark-making techniques to create new structures and texts. For inspiration, we’ll examine a selection of altered books made by artists and writers. We’ll discuss poetry beyond the text including visual elements, invisible elements and the role of chance in writing. This workshop is now sold out.
UCL Department of Scandinavian Studies
To mark the cententary of August Strindberg’s death, UCL has organised a season of events called The Red Room — also the title of Strindberg’s most famous novel, named after the salon where he and his friends would meet in fin-de-siècle Stockholm. I’ll be delivering an altered books workshop on Saturday 6 October, looking specifically at Norvik Press’s new edition of The Red Room. Further information and booking available here.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Nowhereisland comes to Bristol

I will perform a new text commissioned by Tertulia and Spike Island Associates in Bristol on 7th September in response to Nowhereisland. The artist Alex Hartley’s project for the Cultural Olympiad has been described by Situations as ‘a work of land art for our time … above all sculptural – a provocative act of material displacement by a visual artist.’ My new work Dr Freezelove on Ice will consider Hartley’s ephemeral utopian project in the light of the work of climate scientists extracting ice cores from Svalbard glaciers and US military interventions at the North Pole.
Tertulia is a regular event for people working with or interested in language, writing and dialogue across disciplines, founded by Phil Owen and Megan Wakefield.