Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Art of The Book 08

Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG)
BOOK ARTS FAIR 2008 Including access to the Vendors Room of the Guild of Book Workers 2008 Conference
Saturday, October 18, 2008 10:00 am to 4:00 pmHoliday Inn on King, TorontoKing II, 2nd Floor370 King Street West, at Peter Street (east of Spadina)
The Fair and Vendors Room are open to the public. Admission is free.

Art of the book 08 Review

Moving eastward along Queen West from the Gladstone to the Ontario Craft Council Gallery at 990 Queen Street West I arrived early for the opening of “Art of the Book 08” juried exhibition in celebration of the Canadian Book Binders and Book Artist Guild twenty fifth anniversary. This is a collection of creative imagination and high technical skills of artist approaching the concept of a book from many different directions. Marbled endpapers, tooled leather, a multitude of fine papers from different parts of the world, as well as hand made, traditional and experimental bindings, even pop up books.

The jurors represent an international knowledge and professional standing in the art book and publishing world. Nicole Billard is Quebec-based design bookbinder. Crispin Elsted is a private press printer and owner of the Barbarian Press in Mission, British Columbia. Edward Hutchins is a well known curator, teacher, and book artist. Provided a mandate and guided by curators Susan V. Corrigan and Shelagh Smith they had the highest number of international submissions (250) ever received by the call for this exhibition which has occurs every five years since the inception of CBBAG and chose 75 works for the exhibition.

I was naturally drawn to those works with a textile base such as Martha Cole’s award winning scroll “What are we doing to the Land”. (this scroll is laying on bottom shelf) Martha Cole is a well known and respected quilter from Albert, with a large body of landscape work in her catalogue and a dedication to environmental issues. Her 8 by 20.2 cm in length 8 cm when rolled, piece was given the Japanese Paper Place Award for Artist Book, one of two awarded in this category. It is described as “Digital image on polyester, coloured pencil, Setacolor fabric paint, wheat straw, Bridal netting, silk dupioni, cotton twill and cotton thread.“ This piece is small richly coloured in tones of brown and gold, strip of embellished cloth with a legible text it is heavily worked yet delicate in appearance.

Traces a simple piece of white Kimono fabric stitched with silk thread and subtlety embellished suspended on Japanese paper wrapped bamboo by Maki Yamashita from Japan was hanging beside the very red Emptiness / Form by Canadian Susan Warner Keen from Toronto. This work of handmade paper with flax fibre, pigment and wax is an extruded tracery of calligraphic line floating over two small squares of red paper looking like boards /bindings, ended papers and leaves all at the same time

Another Canadian this one from the east coast Robin E. Muller from Nova Scotia produce Sand Scroll which is described as “Cotton, silk, and paper, industrial tapestry technique with computer Jacquard imagery, woven at a mill” This is a gorgeous piece of work with full colour images of vistas of sand dunes sliding into close up black and white images of drifting sand, the blending of these images allow for the scroll to be naturally folded,(accordion pleated/ booked/ codex) or rolled quite easily.

I am not as familiar with the book arts community as I am with the textile arts community and I am becoming aware of ever increasing number of “cross over” artist. Erin Ciulla’s Phase One,( 2005 “suitcase containing miniature books with mixed media, found materials and handmade paper, 11,4 X 22,9 X 30.5 cm) has just come back to the artist after touring the country in an exhibition of fibre and textile students called “Small Talk” a show that was reviewed by J. Penny Burton in the Quebec Seen issue of fibreQUARTERLY. Valerie Knapp the maker of “Book of Grey” (2005, mixed media accordion fold book in box, with handmade paper, wool, cotton, silk, other paper, cotton thread, ribbon; embroidery, relief printing, drawing, appliqué, sewing, weaving and folding, 9 x 106 x 0.2 cm.) has piece in fibreworks 08, in Cambridge and is part of a three person show at The Handweaving Museum and Arts Center in Clayton, New York State called Changes: A Comparison of Embellished Fashion Through the Ages.

There where six other prizes given out at this show beside the one given to Martha Cole, Paul Johnson from England was given the Colophon Book Arts Supply award for Artist Book. Leaving and Returning, 2005, is a pop up book with Waterford paper dyed with reactive dyes and pen work overlays, 30 X 56 X 4 cm (fully extended). This work is whimsical and brightly coloured with its House shape and views of its interior life it is not a children’s Pop-up book. The J. Hewit and Sons Ltd. award for Fine Binding went to American Scott Kellar for A Sense of Time Left, 2007. Full leather binding with leather onlays; gold-leaf, blind tooling, and gold foiled stamping; silk endbands; edges coloured and burnished. 24 X 15 X 3 cm. It has the appearance of design work of the Bauhaus with Deco over tones; it is a bold graphic of vertical and horizontal lines in shades of brown red black and orange with yellow half circles meeting to create full circles suspended over the grid.

The Harmatan Leather Ltd. Award for Box making went to Laurie Spitz & Amee J. Pollack, United States for their piece Biedermeier: Modem Before Its Time. Biedermeier was as style of furniture and interior designed in Vienna at the middle of the 1800 this “box” is after a version of a sectary/ two tiered desk. Curvilinear bound box with sliding tracked drawers and a Japanese shell-clasp closure, paper engineering, and laser printing, with hand-painted Japanese silk book cloth, archival cotton rag museum board, acrylic, Elephant Hide cover stock, parchment, wooden beads, fabricated numerals, and linen thread. 44.5 X 20.6 X 11.4 cm

Papeterie Saint-Armand Award For Calligraphy went to Karny Rivlin Vorona, from Canada for A Woman of Valour, 2007, Paper, gauche, shell gold, gold leaf fresh water pearls, and silver, 81 X 46 cm

The Woolfitt’s Art Enterprises Inc. Award as well as the Ontario Crafts Council Design Award for Fine printing was given to William Rueter (The Aliquando Press), of Canada for his book Majesty, Order and Beauty: Selections from the journals of T.J. Cobden, 2007; letterpress printing on mould made Hahnemuhle Bugra paper with paper covered boards and cloth spine. 28 X 17.6 X 1cm.

This exhibition is a of exceptional quality the accompanying catalogue with it’s insightful introductory essay which goes through a step by step process of the ways in which contemporary approaches to making books need to be assessed is informative. The show is about to tour to six institutions across the country giving many people the opportunity to see it. If you know about the arts involved in making a book, or simply have a general interest in Book Arts or fine crafted object this show will not disappoint. See it if you have the chance.

The Art of the Book ‘08 tour schedule

September30 to October 26,2008
Ontario Crafts Council Gallery, 990 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario

January 9 to February 22, 2009
Mary B. Black Gallery, Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design, 1061 Marginal Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia

April to May 29, 2009
Harriet Irving Library, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick

September to December 30,2009
University of Alberta, Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, B7 Rutherford South, Edmonton, Alberta

February 26 to April 5, 2010
Saskatchewan Craft Gallery 813 Broadway Avenue, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

May 20 to June 23, 2010
Centre Culturel Franco, 340 Provencher Blvd. Winnipeg, Manitoba

October 16, 2010, to January 5, 2011
Mcpherson Library Gallery, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia

Canadian Book Binders and Book Artist Guild http://www.cbbag.ca/home.html

All photos taken by joe lewis except for the photo of Erin Ciulla’s Phase One, which was provided previously from OCAD and used with permission

1 comment:

candy said...

beautiful books!