Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Lead books, braille and an air rifle

Inspired by the enamel book looking like it had been shot, I started looking at lead, partly because old bullet were / are made of lead and partly because of its maleability.
I shot air rifle pellets into lead and through paper, carefully of course, with proper safety equipment!

At the same time printing with lead, some used and bashed up lead and some new

Old used strip of lead with second print behind
New piece of lead
 Fantastic deep black almost velvet quality of the new lead is very different from the bitty beaten up quality of the old, you can see old hammer and tool marks, creases at the edges etc.

From these experiments I decided to make a book with braille collograph pages and shot lead covers (which I may or may not get prints off before they become the covers).

The pages are made from card and paper, punched through and then varnished repeatedly, each measures 30cms by 56cms, as the covers are 30cms x 30cms and the concertina will need to fit within the covers

This is plate 2 inked up and ready to print (obviously backwards)

I have cut down a roll of Fabriano 220hp to 50cms (perfect size to fit through the press and cut down further later) I cut it on the chop saw to keep the edges as neat as possible and save unrolling it in advance......

......and have printed on a roll nearly 3.5 metres long, lifting the barrel of the printer and hauling it through, rolling the print up with tissue paper to keep it clean.

 The unveiling of the final full print

 OVER THE MOON!! I thought I would have to do this at least three times to get one good one, remembering I will only get about about three prints before the plates have been too squashed.

All I have to do now is sit on my hands and not touch it until it is completely dry before I fold it into the concertina for the book.

I also want to use the plates for something, I have left them with ink on as they have taken the colour and feel of lead.

Now for the covers..........

I have hand printed the initial pellets into lead to see how it would turn out before I shoot and print the lead covers, I think I will print the covers before I use them on the book

Plan / template for the front cover with brass screw posts.
The cover also in braille reads POINT BLANK PAGES

More to follow.................

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Artist's Books - Sarah Patterson - the latest books

This book is 10cms square and the covers are enamel. Shot through paper.

Concertina double cover, the roll of pianola paper with the keys under and the fingerprints of chords cut out.

Unfinished maquette piece with curved mirror back and concave and convex lenses. Looking at ones self through distortion / several steps removed?

Braille eye test reflected in mirror (shortlisted for the Kunsthuis Gallery International Summer Exhibition)

 Maquette for lens book, ever decreasing in size and off centre so only a tiny space is left to look through.

 Tunnel book, pages are loose in concertina sides and can be moved and rearranged, pages white one side and black the other, mirrored back, looking at self through black hole (can see the rings of the other pages in mirror also).

Braille poem on curved back, book unopenable, one concave, one convex lens to read poem through
(shortlisted for the Kunsthuis Gallery, International Summer Exhibition).

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Artist short films, hands making and unmaking

I found these films quite difficult to make, they expose my hands at work, making and unmaking in a way that I have never watched from an outside perspective before.

I have continued the black and white of my prints and books into the films to preserve a continuity and consistency of technique.

I particularly like the heavy dark industrial side of this film in juxtaposition to the delicacy of paper with holes which is usually to play music, suddenly it has a substrate use rather than its original use.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Edinburgh Artist's Bookmarket at The Fruitmarket Gallery Febrary 24th & 25th 2017

I decided to apply to exhibit at this years Artist's Bookmarket in Edinburgh, this is the first time I have exhibited my books. I was accepted!!

I'm not sure why I always have to start so big or so far from home, anyway, I packed up every book I'd ever made and headed up to Scotland (unfortunately the same weekend at the Six Nations Wales v Scotland rugby match). I was tempted to put on a workshop but decided that was too much for my first event.

It was the weirdest, best and quite scary moment when I looked at the programme and saw my name on it as a proper professional exhibiting artist.

My space looked like this!

I probably put too much out but excitement is a hard thing to control, I didn't put it all out and changed it round on the second day. It was really interesting to see what got the most attention over the weekend. The tunnel books were a real hit and of course the enamel concertina book, however the closed braille book with lenses and the copper book had a lot of interest.
I did struggle with people picking things up, and before this weekend I was keen on having all the pieces in my degree show handleable. Not sure now?

Part of the reason for going to Edinburgh was to get the public to contribute to my final show by way of using the braille writer and writing things with it. 

Lots of people were keen to join in but I was surprised how many people wanted to take their piece away with them (everyone likes a momento). I asked people if I could photograph their hands while they used the machine. Again like most of my work the photography was black and white. It retains the same slightly industrial, pre-technological and minimal ambience as my work.

I loved the Fruitmarket Gallery, they have a fantastic collection of artist's books in their shop, lovely cafe and everyone was really helpful and nice. Hopefully return next year?

Out of this amazing opportunity, I have been invited to submit work for the Liverpool Book Fair and also been asked to submit work and a CV for Edinburgh Library (who carry a selection of artist's books in their collection).

Research prints and artist books

From October 2016 until now (February 2017) I have been experimenting and researching print and artist book ideas based loosely on braille books I came across last year.
To attempt to find a visual language based on a tactile language.

Initially using fingerprints to make marks and make braille letters but flat rather than raised so they can only be read either visually or solely as pictorial. Concertina books always work well to speak a narrative or represent a series for me.

The idea of a blind language pulled me towards making blind prints, just in relief without ink (or parts without ink)

Looking at the language of braille lead me to consider code, I then looked at musical code in the form of pianola rolls which play music when put through the pianola machine and combined the pianola code with braille and blank silences.

This is a colograph print was made from card with braille letters pushed through and printed on a combination of original pianola paper, preprinted 1960's braille paper, ordinary heavy cartridge paper and combinations.

The braille reads 'Sometimes I see with my hands and see with my eyes'. The braille is oversize and would be unreadable as braille is a series of repousse dots protruding and this is a series of over large dots embossed into the paper.

This is an artist's book made with the pianola paper and fingerprints on the chords of a piano underneath and cut through. As the playing of this music leaves blank spaces into which we read.

This work brought about a small series of folded paper prints. The middle one, a part of the first of the four prints above.

I also started making braille letters by piercing mesh and made another series of work whilst pulling the mesh apart. This also helped develop the idea of making short films, one with mesh, one with the pianola and one making marks on a zinc plate (films to follow)

Difficult to see on a screen but very fine metal mesh, ripped down to wire in the second print. The prints are printed using oil based ink rolled on covered with a fine sprinkling of graphite powder. The smaller prints below show more of a progression of tearing the mesh.

 In the end, I believe these mesh works to be heading in a direction not significant to this body of work (I will come back to them at a later time to see if there is any further development to be made). However the photographs and film that came from this work is invaluable, some of these photographs are my favourite pieces from this research and I intend to develop the photography through the major project work to come.

These next pieces came from a desire to make an artist's book that looked at perception, continuing to use the braille motif, I changed a standard visual eye test (as seen in all opticians) into braille. These prints were the results.

The artist's book that resulted is my favourite so far, it shows a blind (no ink) print opposite a mirror, so it can be read forwards, as in a proper opticians eye test. The real joy of using braille is that it can only be read by a selected few and if turned around or embossed rather than protruded it cannot be read. It works as a juxtaposition of perceptions of the visual and tatile for a seeing person such as myself.