Tag Archives: artworks

Workshop with the National Trust at Hatchlands ParkHatchlands Park 2

We are very pleased to offer a SPECIAL SESSION in partnership with the National Trust this summer at beautiful Hatchlands Park .  This parkland is mentioned in the Domesday Book while the Georgian mansion, built in 1750 by Admiral Boscawen with architect Stiff Ledbetter, has been home to several interesting and historical families over the years.

See Shakespeare’s famous portrait, explore one of Europe’s largest collection of musical instruments, the Cobbe Collection, tour this beautiful and historical mansion and gardens while learning to make your own hand bound books.  A great day out with a well made, beautiful book of your own to take home!

National TrustWorkshop Date & Time:
Thursday, 16 July 2015, 9am – 1pm
Entry to the house and gardens, workshop tuition, materials and refreshments included.

“Learn the basics of bookbinding and create your own book. This session covers book boards, papers and cloths, grain, adhesives and pattern making as well as a range of specialist materials and tools to use.  Learn reliable techniques for measuring, cutting, aligning, folding, gluing and pressing to produce beautiful, hand-bound books of sound and lasting construction. Students will complete one multi-section, hard cover book making a perfect sketchbook, diary or gift, all under the guidance of expert tutor Meg Green. Tea, coffee and cake will be provided in the price of your ticket.”

After a devastating fire destroyed much of beautiful Clandon Park we will be holding our Summer Workshops at nearby Hatchlands Park. You can still book ONLINE with the Clandon Park site or contact Some Odd Pages studio or the National Trust to reserve your place.

Workshop Book Arts:
Summer session developing content in Artists’ Books

‘City Scape:  Reimagining the Built Environment’ 

This special workshop focused on ways to inspire new content creating unique Artists’ Books in the studio.

In an open learning group, we first looked at various artists and the ways landscape and the built environment have been depicted in abstract forms.  Students then worked through the stages of creating their own interpretation using specific sites and styles for inspiration.  The works were then considered for composition and page layout and folded into book form.  Although we only had two and a half hours to work, some highly individual and very interesting works emerged!  Here’s the demo model from the day:

creative artists' book creative artists' book creative artists' book creative artists' book creative artists' book creative artists' book

UWE Bookmark 2015:  ‘Jove’s Brother’UWE Bookmark 2015

Just completed, this year’s SPECIAL EDITION BOOKMARK for the University of the West of England‘s Centre for Fine Print Research ‘Bookmarks’ project is about to be shipped!

Inspired by Meg Green’s work, ‘JOVE’S BROTHER’, this edition of 100 signed and numbered bookmarks includes the electronically readable QR CODE of Jove’s Brother, transparent text and a random slice of Herman Melville’s iconic ‘MOBY DICK’ riveted together in layers.

The UWE ‘Bookmarks’ project aims to encourage appreciation of artists’ books as works of art. Participating artists each produce an edition of 100 signed and numbered bookmarks to give away through distribution boxes at venues around the world.  Over the years these bookmarks have been distributed in more than 125 galleries, bookstores, workshops, centres, schools and libraries in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and USA.

Order your own 2015 signed, numbered limited artist edition bookmark ‘Jove’s Brother’ by Meg Green.


Jove's Brother UWE Bookmark 2015 (3)   Jove's Brother UWE Bookmark 2015 (2)

More about ‘Jove’s Brother’

An observation on our evolving relationship with books and reading in a digital age.  Get out your QR code reader to explore this new book on reading in the age of digital media.

“Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity and own brother of Jove?  It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.”    –  Herman Melville, Moby Dick, 1851

Artist Book kindle e-reader

‘Jove’s Brother’ by Meg Green 2015

The discussion surrounding overtaking technologies isn’t new, it’s one we have every time a new technology redraws the ways in which we perceive and communicate ideas.  Photography was supposed to have killed painting, video was supposed to have killed film.  Once upon a time, books were the new ‘technology’ that threatened the practice of impressing pointy Cuneiform shapes into little clay tablets.

Clearly, digital books aren’t somehow ‘better‘ than conventional paper books, they’re simply a different medium of exchange.  We aren’t confused about it either, we see and feel the differences between a conventional book and an e-reader, a paper page and a digital screen.

We are physical creatures, our perceptions conceived and conducted within our organic brains and bodies.  We maintain physical immediacy with the objects through which we express ourselves, exchange experiences and communicate ideas.  Our methods continue to change and evolve but this helps refine our subtlety and depth of understanding, our relationship to ‘reading’, books, text, coded images and abstract perceptions.

The Codex and The Screen: Stating the ObviousOriginal Artist's Book by Meg Green

The book: a codex of turnable paper(?) pages assembled within covers comprising a set of material properties specific to its construction.  The illuminated screen, whether an e-reader, mobile phone, laptop or billboard, obviously behaves in ways specific to its own material properties.  The idea of Reading has traditionally implied a universality across all forms of media => Reading is reading, without regard to the format or context of the material.

However, the way we interact with different types of reading is now the pivot of change in digital media.  Reading is no longer a universal or uniform activity irrespective of the mediating device.  Marshall McLuhan taught us this decades ago with ‘The Medium is the Massage’.  We ‘read’ differently from a screen, a mobile, a roadside sign, or a paper codex.  It’s not just about absorbing information or finding things out, an activity well served by the internet.  The aesthetic experience of reading depends on the way we access it.  Memory, retention and depth depend on the material properties we select for different types of reading.

Research on the changing way we readOriginal Artist's Book by Meg Green

A new European study led by Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University documents differences in the immersion, recall and emotional responses based on whether material is presented in traditional paper book form or via digital e-reader.  Researchers found that digital reading is becoming more intermittent and fragmented.  They also found that the time invested in sustained reading strengthens our ability to maintain long term focus, improves our understanding of depth, complexity and layered meaning, and provides a more thoroughly immersive experience.  Sustained focus helps people, especially children at formative education levels, prepare for and negotiate complex life situations with more balanced references to deeper memory and cultural experiences.

Why Moby DickOriginal Artist's Book by Meg Green

I turned to Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick’ as an intuitive choice specifically appropriate to my vision for this work.

Moby Dick is famously debated as one of the few compositions in any language about which no one seems to agree on its content.  Ask any number of scholars, professors, casual readers or innocent bystanders what it’s ABOUT and you will get as many answers as there are questions.  There are central themes, of course, but there is no consensus on the subject of this book.  Is it about fishing?  About the sea?  A philosophical discussion about Savage Nature versus the Devine?  Yes.  And no.

The open, ongoing and seemingly timeless discussion on the nature of ‘Moby Dick’ embodies Melville’s intention with a stroke of ironic perfection.   Melville’s text is to reading what Ahab’s obsession is to life.  What ‘Moby Dick’ is about forms part of the profound mystery of the sea and ourselves, it is archetypal.Original Artist's Book by Meg Green

Guildhall Library Exhibtion ‘LondEnfold’
18 Nov – 13 Dec 2014

Book artist Meg Green has created a series of works inspired by the archives of Guildhall Library, the largest collection in the world
devoted to the history of a single city.

In a special Guildhall LIbrary Exhibition, these unique hand-bound books expand off the page and climb out of the covers depicting some of the more unusual aspects of London’s extraordinary sense of place.

‘Treasure’Treasure 08

Eight hinged folios, Index, Drop down panel box.
Each folio contains a detailed composition inspired by a specific book within the Guildhall Library.  Discover the details of each book by matching the folio image to the Index thumbnail to locate it within the archives.
Look INSIDE the box!

‘selected BROADSIDES of the Guildhall Library’Broadsides Guildhall Library

Fold-out reversible pamphlet.
Inspired by the Broadsides collections of Guildhall Library.
Twelve panels depicting details of selected Broadside sheets within Guildhall Library’s archives.  Each panel includes the Broadside archive reference number.
Open this book and SEE all the pages!

‘LondEnfold’Guildhall Library Exhibtion

Back-to-back book with fold-out timeline and diptych.
Pictorial timeline of the history of Guildhall Library informed by Dr. Peter Cook’s 2012 lecture for Gresham College on this subject.  Layout and artwork inspired by  the architecture of Guildhall Yard and the Roman Amphitheatre situated directly beneath street level, access via Guildhall Art Gallery.

Guildhall Library Exhibtion Guildhall Library Exhibtion

Evening view & reception: ‘LondEnfold’
Thursday, 11 December, 6 – 8pm
CONTACT: GHLevents@cityoflondon.gov.uk
or register with Some Odd Pages on Facebook

“Guildhall Library Artist-In-Residence Meg Green presents ‘LondEnfold’ a range of original Artist’s Books inspired by the Library’s collections. Meg will be discussing books as artworks, and vice versa, along with some of the eccentric ideas and projects which fuel this unusual occupation. The presentation will be followed by an open reception where visitors are invited to browse the Artist’s Books with time for questions and discussion.”

An Introduction to Books Arts
Thursday, 4 December, 1 – 4pm

£45 Advance booking essential
“Discover a range of techniques and make your own books during this half-day workshop. Led by Meg Green of Some Odd Pages Book Arts studio, this interactive session lets you explore materials and develop your own ideas in Book Arts and bookbinding, perfect for creating unique artist’s books and for Christmas. Materials included, tools provided. No experience necessary.”

What is ‘PERFECT’?

'Story Line' Artist Book, What is perfectIs it when the grid is straight?
When the edges line up?
When all the colour stays inside the lines?

Maybe.  But not necessarily.

Very often I watch students experience anxiety as they work through a new process, cut into new materials or make the first marks of a text or drawing onto a white page.  They say things like, ‘I’m so nervous – I want it to be PERFECT.’   What does this mean and why is it the cause of so much anxiety?

It is disturbing that ideas of ‘Perfect’ are increasingly being replaced by ideas of machine-made. This arbitrary exchange of one set of subjective aesthetics for another clouds our judgement and undervalues the meaning and intent of original artworks.  This is especially important in Book Arts as the commercial manufacture of books is at an all time peak.  If we want a hand made book to look like it came from Paperchase, why don’t we just go to Paperchase and buy one?  It would be far simpler and less expensive.  Forcing a hand bound book to impersonate a machined object only conceals and subverts the essential nature of the hand made thing as well as the artist’s intention in making.

Do we want our books to look machined? Do we want all the edges to line up? All the angles to be square?  Maybe, but that’s not the point.  The point is that Some Odd Pages is hereby redefining PERFECT, particularly in regard to Artists’ Books, original artworks, and indeed all objects made by hand.  So, here it is officially:

PERFECT is determined by how well the object
EMBODIES THE ARTIST’S INTENTION
.

So, if aligned edges are essential to your concept, if straight geometry enacts your idea, if colouring inside the lines realises your intention, then so they should be.  On the other hand, if a big splashy, splodgey tangle of lines, cords, shapes and textures substantiates your vision then clearly it is PERFECT on its own terms.

Artist's Book, original painting, Coptic bindingThis in no way compromises the value of excellence in craftsmanship.  Expertise in materials, techniques and skills comes with time and practice.  If you don’t want your Artist’s Books to have all those glue marks all over the spine and covers perhaps it’s time to rethink how you arrange your workspace.  If you like clean well-laid corners and insets as much a I do, spacious unmarked margins, tight strong bindings which really support the weight of the book block, then it’s important to explore and practice ways of achieving this through workshops, experimentation and experience.

A ‘connoisseur’ is literally ‘one who knows’.  This idea isn’t restricted to the highest levels of making and achievement.  One who knows is acquainted with a subject across a broad range of styles, methods, materials and outcomes embracing a vast range of effects and results, from the clean and pristine to the wild and woolly.  Through practice, vision, intent and connoisseurship does the artist achieve artworks of perfection.