I make Artist Books as physical objects, as part of my dedication to real books. I like the weight, feel, and texture of paper. I don’t own a Kindle and I handwrite everything before typing it up (which is a bit crazy once you get to notebook five of a novel); and I like making Artist Books which combine drawing and writing with a paper form. The books are usually made over a week, capturing a theme that is important to me at the time.
I am currently coming up with new ways to disseminate and get responses on my Artist Books. I post some images to this website, but to stay loyal to the physical form, I also post out a small number of physical copies of each book. This small-scale exhibition is vital to each project, and I encourage responses from my readers. I am still experimenting with what form these responses will take.
In May 2017 I took part in a weekend workshop on self-portraiture in photography and writing. I made a book over the course of the two days, experimenting with combining photography and writing, by writing on the printed images. Since experiencing a delusion that people who are staring at me in public have cameras in their eyes, I have found it hard to have my photograph taken. The weekend was a challenge, but my fear was alleviated because I was in control of the lens.
MENTAL HEALTH AND THE BODY BOOK
This Artist Book looks at the ways mental illness effects the physical body. It is a very subjective thing, so the book focuses primarily on my own experiences.
MUSIC AND BIPOLAR DISORDER BOOK
In May 2017 I made a piece of work about Bipolar Disorder and Music. Music is a major part of my life, and my intense relationships with different songs are linked to my mood. When I am manic music takes on an extra quality, and my mind buzzes with songs going at the same fast pace as my brain. When so depressed that I can’t move, I listen to music which externalises the feelings I have. This form of catharsis often allows me to get up and make work about depression, rather than it taking me over completely.
THE HYPERGRAPHIA PROJECT
I see the Hypergraphia Project as a different kind of Artist Book. It will use will use writing and art to build up a piece of online hybrid fiction. Over the next six months I will use art and writing, as well as other multimedia methods, to tell the story of Thomas and Azra. I want to use the project to look at compulsive mark making and the links between mental illness and creativity. I am hoping to then publish a limited edition of a physical book of the project. You can find Part One and the following Parts here: https://thehypergraphiaproject.wordpress.com/
TATE MODERN BOOK
I made my first Artist Book whilst taking part in The Word Exchange (February 2017) at the Tate Modern in London. It was made using materials found in the gallery and was produced during a three day workshop run by Jacob Sam-La Rose and Sarah Butler. I was particularly influenced by the work of Louise Bourgeois and I chose the theme of “textures” because of her highly textured fabric pieces and metalwork.
As a follow up to the Tate Modern book I decided to make a similar piece whilst visiting Strasbourg. The project was cut short due to food poisoning but I completed some pages using materials found in Strasbourg and the surrounding towns, in particular Wissembourg where I stayed.