Several months ago we were approached by book artist Heather Hunter who invited us to be part of a project by Sparkartists called Illuminating the discarded library (working title). The aim of the project is to produce an altered book that will form part of an exhibition in 2017/18.
Our first task was to select a book from Christchurch College library’s withdrawn editions; we have chosen a pair of books called The Windham Papers Volumes 1 and 2 – as this will hopefully offer greater opportunities in how we chose to develop the project. Whilst the altered book is not a book-form that we would usually opt to work with, we are viewing this as a new challenge.
I have spent the week with Angie Butler – artist and PhD researcher – we have been able to have informal discussions about a range of artist’s book practice including the altered book genre; she has made me realise that it is possible to use my own areas of interest and working practices to develop an altered book, rather than relying on my perception of what an altered book should be. I am now starting to consider several different approaches and will need to discuss with T how we progress the project.
After a gap of several months, we were in the fortunate position this week of being able to spend some time together in Lincoln to discuss and make plans for our next project/s.
Our first task is to respond to an open call entitled ‘she will need her sisterhood’, this is an
invitation to artists to submit work that responds to the theme of femininity. Working with
content from our previous project – meeting in the middle – we plan to extract and expand on the case studies that relate to all the individual women within the book and re-present the work in a new format. The initial challenge is to give the work a new title – being able to talk face to face enabled us to bounce potential names back and forth until we arrived at a suitable solution – and so Women of the Walk will become our next project.
Written submissions have to be received by 1 December, and size restrictions meant that we started by discussing and planning the format and design of the work and how it could be
exhibited. We spent a lot of time considering the purpose of the work to ensure it responds
effectively to the exhibition criteria; satisfied with our decision making process – this then
informed the writing of the proposal. We seem to have developed a natural way of working
collaboratively on written pieces, the best method seems to involve somebody starting the process prior to the meeting, this then gives us some foundations on which to build by working together – adding, editing and re-structuring enables us to acknowledge each others
experience and expertise until we arrive at a solution that we are both happy with and
without it seeming like a compromise.
If our submission is unsuccessful we agreed that we will progress the Women of the Walk project; by making new work or amending the existing pieces to a standard format, it will
become a limited edition artists’ book with a new focus.