Monday, 10 December 2018

Toxic Bachelors

Toxic Bachelors
Unique altered book, mixed media, including collage, altered text, inserted letters, nuts/bolts, glass case. 

So this is an oldie, but a goodie. I heaved it out from under the building rubble - not the bricks and mortar rubble, the STUFF rubble. I’m SO in two minds as to what to do with my collection of books. I must have, altogether, over 1000 artists books, in the main, handmade. I really DO need a reading room. Toxic Bachelors was part of my altered books stage. It was made in 2008 - its hard to believe its ten years old. The book I chose to alter was Toxic Bachelorsby Daniel Steele. The story in the main concentrated on 3 successful, good looking blah blah blah men who gave up their bachelor status for love, of the novel kind. The original text of the novel was painted out and words appropriate to a more sinister meaning were kept. For example, the words remaining on the page dealing with Alegre Patrice, the sadistic, deluded Frenchman who was convicted of 115 murder/rapes are:…an unforgettable night…and for one night at least she had forgotten everything she wanted… Quite spooky and thoroughly unpleasant when one removes words and phrases from their original context. There’s a lesson to be learned there for sure.  Within the pages I collected and inserted letters from women who have had toxic men in their lives. It’s not a pleasant read. 

Friday, 13 July 2018

Making Poetic the Visual and Visual the Poetic

Making Poetic the Visual and Visual the Poetic
This book came about as a result of Course 2 in the MoJo Modules - Accessing Instinctual Creativity. The five classes were:
What is Poetry and this included a skid through the history of poetry and its various forms. Using asemic writing, we then wrote a limerick, a quatern, a sonnet and free verse poetry - all of which would form part of a chapbook which was published in an edition of 5 at the end of the course.

Free Form word formation and association was the task in session 2. It was collaborative in that we all worked on 24 different sets of pages.

These will form part of the next edition of Mail Art Makes the World a Town (See An Encyclopedia of Everything - )

 Visual Representation of Words and Language (including Poetry) from Ancient times to today was the next section we tackled, including the skid, the slide…(you have to book for the course to find out about that one)!  And so we went on, until the final class where we assembled the artists books.  Remember - this is not about being a necessarily a poet - but everyone was surprised, how given the chance, words make their presence felt.  The course is about accessing creativity which resides inside ALL of us and this module used the poetics and visual-ness of words as medium.

The final hard covered book consisted of 4 chapbooks from the participants and a book of visual poetry by John Bennett (USA) who a while ago had sent me extra copies of one of his publications, in an accordion format with pamphlet stitch pockets.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Chapbooks - I have a LIBRARY to blog...!

Penn, Cheryl (South Africa)
Babel (Where the Babbling Began)
A publication of 70 chapbooks by Tonerworks (Reed Altemus) 2013.  Going back to the start, where the babble began. It’s a very good practice to have a place one always goes back to when ‘stuck’. As language is one of my great passions, I always return to the Tower of Babel as the origin of new work - it’s a great spark, and Reed was kind enough to publish a set of these visual poetry images. 

Asemic Works
I paint, scratch, write, burn, print - you name it I make ‘writing’ from everything. It’s the foundation of all my work, the part that greets to canvas/wood/paper first. Sometimes it moves to become something else, but most often not. I see the confusion my work produces, but my journey on the Give Me Back my Mo-Jo courses more fully entrenches by engagement with this writing form.  (Published by 1999 Jelly Bean Co, edition of 15, no.1 of 15).

Life IS as complex as it seems
Yes! It really is…I don’t think that needs much explanation… (Published by 1999 Jelly Bean Co, edition of 15, no.1 of 15).).

Meta Poetry (a this and that on this and that Volume 1)

This chapbook was a VERY happy result of the course on Visual Poetry, given as part of the Give Me Back My Mo-Jo modules. It is an experiment with poetic forms and the introduction of my own ‘new’ structures; The Rorschach Plot, The Bleed and The Fade - something which definitely is going to receive further exploration. (Published by 1999 Jelly Bean Co, edition of 10, no.1 of 10).

Friday, 15 December 2017

Study Art - Peter Müller (Germany) [Verlach Friedichrodaer Hefte]

From my favourite book artist in Bremen:
Study Art

Unnumbered book of loosely bound copies of paintings which appear to have watercolor beginnings and digital endings.  Included in this sending were three other books and three prints from a “set of single cards”, a series of 39, numbered 1, 10 and 11.

“for breeding or bounty
for fun or fame
for prestige or spite
for style or glory
for pride or power
for profit or hobby”

This book is based on the words/work of John Waters from an exhibition in Baltimore:

 "This is a weirdly Baltimore-based work," Waters said.
"Many years ago, there was a real sign for a real art school in Baltimore on St. Paul Street below 25th Street. It said, 'Study Art for profit or hobby,' which is about the most politically incorrect thing you can say if you're an artist. I loved the sign and was astounded by it. It was completely unironic, and I decided to parody it."

And Peter decided to interpret it.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Step into England's Story - Dean - Artist in Seine

Unique artists book. No 1444 dated 26th February 2017.  I don't think 1444 represents the amount of books Dean has made, and I always have to chuckle when I type Deans name-game - it resonates so well... Accompanying the story of England  was a note which said he was taking a break from Mail Art for a couple of years. Mail Art is a demanding task master, as those of you who have been held in its thrall understand. Its compelling and compulsive; the free exchange, the over flowing post box, the spawned ideas, but, being so demanding, it requires large storage space,  a special postage account and loads of time. I can see the time Dean has taken to tell the story of England. Its a small collage book which I know took a LONG time to make. It's humorous, witty and I think has a taste of home sickness.  Dean, many thanks - your mail has always charmed - thanks for taking the time to make a parting gift - you're in the company of C T Chew, who as I'm sure you know has also retired from  The Game. Take care and yes, I'm keeping your details :-)X

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

VISPO (Books One and Two)

VISPO (Books One and Two)
I well remember the rush when the announcement was made in December 2011 that there would be a collaborative vispo book on the IUOMA website. Once the call was placed in ether, places for the two books filled quickly.  The call was taken up by artists from USA, UK, Argentina, Russia, Belgium, Greece, Switzerland, Germany and South Africa - a fabulous selection of Mail Artists, some new to the genre and some longtime practitioners of this visual form of poetry. I was in the process of writing for the catalogue of The New Alexandrian Library, but far prefer material from De Villo Sloan’s introductions to the two collaborations.  From Book Two: “The visual poetry concept, for most of us, is best understood through the lenses of painting, photography, collage, video and similar genres: Contemporary cultures program us to be adept at reading visual images, image sequences (from montage in film), and visual syntax. We can readily accept the notion that written and printed language is part of the larger visual image landscape. Thus, it is plausible that text and image can be integrated to create metaphor, rhetoric, lyricism, narrative, non-linearity, form and even visual prosody – elements associated with literary tradition and the notion of the poetic".

"What is less apparent, but revealed especially by the work in this edition, is that the “Great Tradition” of poetry has evolved in such a way that visual poetry is now a viable, if not a desirable, genre in the post-literature of the 21st century”.

If you are interested in visual poetry as an art form, I would suggest you take the time to read the introductions to these books, as they are succinct and insightful commentaries on this poetic form.