Book Arts Fair 15th March 2013

Part of the Essex Book Festival

A beautiful bear made reusing old books - by Karen Apps
Chris Ruston
Falling Leaves by Gwen Simpson
Chris Ruston
Lola Swain, Gwen Simpson and Sally Chinea getting ready for the Book Arts Fair - fish kites blowing in the background
Chris Ruston
Refreshments were provided by the Muffin Makery - an edible exhibition?
Chris Ruston
Work by Karen Apps
Chris Ruston
The first book on British Book Artists - features six local artists!
Chris Ruston

After a successful Book Art Fair in November 2012, Chris Ruston organized a further fair at Hadleigh Old Fire Station on 15th March 2014;  this year’s event was timed to be included in the Essex Book Festival.

Chris is a member of a small group of artists interested in all things book and art!

The core group consists of Chris Ruston, Karen Apps, Lola Swain, Gwen Simpson and Sally Chinea. They set up the website which features their work, as well as other book artists who participated in the initial Artists Book Fair in 2012. The site demonstrates the breadth of approaches to this medium.

I asked Chris about book art:

How do you explain and display Artist books?

It is not an easy thing to pin down or clearly define. It is one of those subjects which continues to create debate. Simply put, it can range from the traditional limited edition book, to hand painted books utilising various folded structures to create sculptural work, it can be using existing books and altering them, or more conceptual pieces, which really push the boundaries of what is considered a book.

As artists books do not easily fit into the traditional categories of sculpture or painting,  it is not always easy to exhibit work.

Chris Ruston and Karen Apps work was included in the Sheffield International Artist’s Book  Prize, Bank Street Arts, Sheffield.

Karen Apps, Chris Ruston, Gwen Simpson, Margaret Cooter, and Janet Bradley have all contributed to a world wide Book Art Project   – An Inventory of Al Mutanabbi Street.
The show was on display at the John Rylands Library, Manchester, last summer and simultaneously at the Centre for Book Arts, New York.  The exhibition continues a world wide tour throughout 2014, with a complete collection of books being donated to the National Iraq Library.

Work by various  members of the group are also featured in a newly published book – In Praise of Beautiful Books, Artists Books by British Artists and Fine Presses compiled by Caroline Mornement.

How fantastic! Local artists leading the way in book art!

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