Last summer while gathering ideas about how my 'ark' project might evolve, I took a selection of photographs of seeds suspended in ice. It was an idea which I had started after reading an article about water entering the Global seed bank on Svarlbard. Intrigued by the idea of seeds being preserved in cold icy environments and the news that temperatures are rising, the photographs were taken as the ice slowly dissolved. A selection of these were then 'collaged' together into a series of short videos. Here are two of them. The others can be viewed here
The Forum in Norwich City centre was alive with the buzz of conversations for two days as visitors to Turn the Page Artist Book Fair, gently moved around the stalls taking their time to browse, and speak with exhibitors about their work. Coordinated by Rosie Sherwood, the event included a wonderful variety of book arts - something for everyone. Visitors were warm and engaging and willing to think about books in their broadest sense from the traditional skills of bookbinders to a variety of beautifully illustrated limited editions, letterpress, calligraphy, poetry and sculptural pieces.
I am always delighted and amazed at the unexpected chance encounters that these occasions create. Alongside conversations about art, and books, I have met scientists and amateur enthusiasts who are willing to share elements of their passion in response to my work. This is a privilege and reward enriching my own (albeit limited) knowledge. It is why I love working with book structures - they have the ability to appeal to such a wide audience.
A selection of artists work from the show can be viewed on the Artbookart website but here are a few casual shots from the two days.
Setting up nice and early on Friday morning.
The event starts to attract visitors. "Connecting Threads' dominates the room.
A young visitor is eager to explore up close!
All set and ready for the day - Helen form the Subversive Unconsious Collective.
Absorbed in conversation.
A delighted visitor surprised by books made from Fruit on Dizzy Pragnall's table!
Wonderful to see the group 'seven' and Ali Bournes. Thanks for travelling up from Essex
The year has flown past as I make final preparations and select the work I will show at this years Turn the Page Artist Book Fair. My centre piece will be The Ark. I started the piece after reading about a flood at the Global Seed Bank on Svarlbard several years ago. The report stated the entrance of the vault had flooded following unseasonably high temperatures. The Seed Bank preserves the worlds seeds aiming to protect and preserve seed biodiversity. It is "an ark' for our time.
So much of the news we hear is about disaster and the inhuman way we treat each other -for me, the vault stands as a symbol of what we can achieve when we collaborate and work together. It is to be celebrated and supported. I wanted to make a piece of work which captures something of this collaborative aspect. What finally emerged was a series of visual 'conversations" which move not only between the past, present and future, but also across cultures. The resulting images consider seeds in their symbolic form and bring together elements of our shared human histories. Eighty pages (referancing the flood story of rains falling forty days and forty nights) are held within a solander box. They are 'touchstones' to open conversations, raise awareness and ultimately inspire us as we face increasing social, economic and biophysical challenges. It is amazing what can be achieved when we work with each other rather than in competition.
I am also part of Bookscapes Collective.
Bookscapes is a group of six artists that have developed a group practice specialising in site specific interventions and exhibitions.