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Study visit to Leeds International Contemporary Artist’s Book Fair - The Open College of the Arts
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Study visit to Leeds International Contemporary Artist’s Book Fair

This is a post from the weareoca.com archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.
On Saturday 9 March we will be running our first study visit to Leeds International Contemporary Artist’s Book Fair at Leeds University. Now in it’s sixteenth year, the fair showcases the work of artists, bookmakers, students, and publishers.
Artist books come in all shapes and sizes, some are handmade one-offs others limited edition print runs. They can be beautifully crafted objects or rough and ready fanzines in an easily accessible art form exploring and playing with ideas of what makes a book a book. Artist books draw from a range of creative practices, from the physical making of the books through printmaking, paper craft and bookbinding, to their layout using typography, illustration and image making. From the development of content through creative writing and the construction of narratives, to ideas of contemporary art itself. This is a great opportunity for OCA students across a range of courses to find something of interest amongst the breadth of work on show.
To coincide with the Fair, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery will also be showcasing a selection of Sir Herbert Read‘s artists’ books from the Brotherton Library’s Special Collections at the University. These were acquired by Read through his connections with artists, such as Alberto Burri, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst and Man Ray.
The Study visit will start at 11am and finish around 2pm. Please contact enquiries@oca-uk.com to book a free place.
The Fair will take place in the Parkinson Building at Leeds University and runs from Friday 8 March (12am – 6pm) to Saturday 9 March (10 am – 5pm) only.

Posted by author: Christian Lloyd
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8 thoughts on “Study visit to Leeds International Contemporary Artist’s Book Fair

  • I’d have liked to go on this, but unfortunately can’t make it as I’m already booked in on something at Format. Hopefully there will be some feedback though…?

  • Now that artists books are on the OCA agenda, can I suggest thinking next year about a study visit in Manchester, to include the Manchester Artists Book Fair (in October), which always has good tie-ins of talks and exhibitions with the gallery and special collections at the Manchester Metropolitan University, which are literally just across the road. They always seem to have some sort of artists books-related seminar as part of it, too. Plus The Whitworth’s literally just down the road.

  • I will be exhibiting at the book fair – and probably be buying books.I cant resist -I have noticed that artists who make books usually collect them too. We like to touch and feel art as well as look at it. My collection of books goes back to the 90’s when i exhibited at the Marcus Cambell fairs – first at the Royal festival hall, then the Barbican. Book fairs are essential for book artists and those interested in them, because a traditional gallery doesn’t allow for showing more than one page. At a book fair you are likely to be able to turn pages. ( note that the Sheffield Artists book prize – sponsored by the OCA this October gives you the opportunity to handle books).
    My favourite books: “Real Art”. Published by Malcolm and Rachael Gibson. It cost £12 – was a limited edition of 200, published twice a year. A magazine devoted entirely to visuals, and filled with collages, stone litho prints, Lino cuts. It was an exciting moment when it arrived in the post. I have around 20 copies. Some amazing work in there. Also, I have two books by Andi McGarry, of Sun,Moon and Stars press, with every page hand painted. There are lots more in drawers, which I occasionally get out and look at. Why should art be only for the wall.

    • That sounds like a wonderful collection to have, and one of the good reasons to buy artist books, not only to support the artists directly but also to be able to have that tactile experience of them.

  • Those of you interested in Artist’s Book ought to keep a weather eye on the Bank Street Arts website. Every two years the Sheffield Gallery hosts an open competition for artist’s books. It’s rapidly becoming the holder of an important collection, too. Almost all the entries are donated to the institution and the collection currently stands at over 200 items.
    I’ll claim a vested interest as I’m running a small project into setting up an imprint at the Gallery and am an unpaid trustee.

  • The Leeds International Artist Book Fair website is now up and running and highlights a few of the artists participating.
    There will be a number of artist talks running on the day which I hope we’ll be able to get involved in, for those coming to the study day.

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