Mike Clements (Marches Book Art Group)
Ahead of this weekend’s Liverpool Book Art Fair at Liverpool Central Library we’re bringing you a series of to-the-point interviews with some of the most exciting artists.
Book Art can be an ambiguous term at the best of times, so put simply, we wanted to find out what it means to the artists who make it. Our first intervie win =this short series is with Mike Clements, of Marches Book Art Group, who, outside of teaching and practicing print making, uses art as a driving force to right wrongs done to formal book forms.
Read his interview here, but more importantly, buy his work here, on Saturday & Sunday, 8th & 9th of July 2017 :
What is book art for you?
In short, for me book art is at such an exciting point. Artists’ books are a relatively recent – and very fast growing – fine art medium. Exactly what is and what isn’t book art isn’t yet entirely fixed. It feels a bit like being in avant-garde circles in Paris in the early twentieth century with cubism being worked out around you.
I’d also like to mention that book art opens up for so many more ordinary people the possibility of becoming art collectors. Anyone who has even a few tens of pounds a year to spend on acquiring art work can go to an artist’s book fair – where prices start from about £10 and £40 buys a beautifully crafted work of art. The same money will get very little – or nothing at all -in a traditional art medium. And let’s make no bones about it, buying and collecting art is fun and exciting.
Why did you decide to exhibit at Liverpool’s fair?
Liverpool artists’ book fair has quickly become one of the major events in the book art calendar, along with similar events in Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, London and elsewhere.
What are you bringing to Liverpool Book Art Fair?
A selection of my latest artist’s books, including a “Zeyexediary of Palindromic Words”. Most people will have seen “abecediaries”, which have been used for centuries to teach children the alphabet (“A” is for apple, etc.) My “Zeyexediary” aims to right the historic wrong done to the far end of the alphabet and put it first. And what better content for such a book than words that read the same backwards as they do forwards? I’ll have other equally intriguing artist’s books as well
Do you ever work outside of the form of books?
For the past twenty years I’ve made original artist’s prints and taught printmaking at the Sidney Nolan Trust, on the border between Herefordshire and mid-Wales.