Fair opening times Friday 8 July 11.00-18.00 & Saturday 9 July 10.00-17.00
Liverpool Central Library hosts a unique opportunity for visitors to meet artists who make ‘book art’ and to buy directly from them on 8 and 9 July.
Founded by former Chairman of the Bluecoat Simon Ryder, the fair is now in its third year. Works for sale include cards and hand-crafted notebooks; limited editions of books of text and illustration; hand-made papers; and unique book sculptures. Prices range from around £5 into the hundreds.
The fair complements the Shakespeare Now! exhibition where over 40 international artists are currently exhibiting a series of artists’ books at Liverpool Central Library to mark Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary. The Fair takes place on the opening weekend of Liverpool Biennial. The Fair will be publicised by the Biennial to its press & VIP guests, as well as through Double Negative’s ‘Biennial Special’ Culture Diary.
Intriguing work has travelled from Australia, Russia, Netherlands, Germany, USA and Lithuania with materials including handmade paper, driftwood, pebbles, textiles, cotton, seaglass and seaweed paper.
Printing techniques include ink-jet, letter-press, etching, wood engraving, hand-lettering and typing. The diversity of the work is exemplified by non-traditional features including sound, binary code derived from recording of an actor reading Sonnet XVIII) and a book cast from glass.
In addition to the works in the display cabinets, there will be one large scale site-specific multi-media work “Shakespeare’s Sea” by Pat Hodson, Liz Cashdan and Jess Rowland incorporating two hung books, a projection, sound and a poem.
Simon said: “The idea for my first book art exhibition in 2014 came from the realisation that not enough people know about artists’ books, and I wanted to try and expand the range and numbers of people involved, who might then be interested in attending the Artists Book Fair I was organising. This was the first time I’d taken on the role of ‘curator’ – it was a long process, exciting, nerve-wracking, and hugely enjoyable!
“The response from artists to help me mark Shakespeare’s anniversary with an exhibition has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. I received nearly 100 submissions. It was a difficult process whittling the final entries down, but we are delighted with how the exhibition has shaped up. Submissions ranged from editioned books through unique book sculptures to a site-specific book-related multi-media installation.”
David Stoker, Central Library & Archive Manager said: “We are delighted that the Artists’ Book Exhibition and Fair will return to mark this significant cultural anniversary. The work promises to provide a unique response to commemorate 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare.The range of work on display will be highly interesting, intriguing and imaginative and of a high quality. It is very fitting that the fair should take place here and I am sure that it will attract a lot of interest and build on the success of last year.”
Simon continued: “I established Liverpool Book Art because of my passion for Artists’ Books. I’ve been attending fairs and exhibitions dedicated to artists’ books across the UK for a number of years, discovering, exploring, acquiring and getting engrossed in long conversations!
Adding further to the visual spectacle of the exhibition will be six huge Shakespeare figures made by students at Birmingham City University. The first year students were studying BA (Hons) Design for Theatre, Performance and Events Handcrafted from paper and cardboard, the 6ft figures include Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet, Richard III, Caliban and Julius Caesar.
Saturday 9 July
BOOK-ART WORKSHOPS, DEMONSTRATIONS & PERFORMANCE
Free to join in, no booking required.
10.00-16.00 Letterpress Demonstration (Ground floor)
Karen Edwards will show you how an Adana press works and answer your questions. She invites you to print various Shakespeare themed postcards using hand set lead type and other printing blocks on an Adana table top press, for you to take away and keep.
10.00-12.30 Shakespearean Themed Brooches
Brooch making for adults and older children/teens (children must be supervised and assisted by an adult). Make a brooch with local altered book artist Julie Dodd inspired by Elizabethan ruffs, created from the works of Shakespeare.
3.00-13.30 Sound Book Project (Hornby)
Join Amy Sterly and friends for a performance of the Sound Book Project – a musical performance by artists and musicians using books as musical instruments!
Explore the possibilities of book art with local book artist Kate Bufton. In this workshop she will show you how to transform the pages of old books. By folding them you can create a variety of different shapes – a simple yet effective use for an old book! Please note this workshop is for children only.