‘Are you Book Enough?’ Editions printmaking studio, Seattle have set this beautiful challenge.
Now in its fourth-year ‘Editions’ asks bookbinders on an international scale if they are ‘book enough?’
The challenge is free to take part in and anyone can join. The only requirement is that high-quality images are posted on social media with the relevant monthly hashtags.
As this will be my first year undertaking the challenge I have decided to post three books every quarter. (It’s taken me a while to update this blog because there is nothing quite like a global pandemic to get in the way of bookbinding.)
If you would like to follow my progress pictures and informal updates please follow me on Instagram at JaneEBennett.
January 2020, In Between
January – In Between – #areyoubookenough_inbetween
‘In Between’, is definitely my favourite prompt from the twelve. It naturally fits in my with my art practice and I’ve loved working on this book.
The book consists of two interlocking spirals which create a double helix. One helix is printed with a mix of phrases from Autistica’s Research Priorities Document. The other with screen-printed images of MRI scans of my brain and EEG’s of my brain activity. I have also integrated text from journals and notebooks that I keep.
Through this book, I am exploring the strange liminal space between reports ‘of’ and ‘about’ Autism.
February 2020, Heal
February – Heal – #areyoubookenough_heal
In this book, I wanted to explore watercolour painting. It is a process that I love and I always admire artists that can combine washes with vivid colours to make fluid and organic marks. I decided to investigate damage within the structure of the brain. Building washes made me fall in love with the process again and it felt cathartic to be taking a more meditative approach to ‘making’.
I finished the book with a classic concertina fold which neatly slices through the fleshy textures and I added covers in a deep wine red. The back shows swatches of the colours that I mixed in the process of making the paintings and I like the natural juxtapositions between soft and hard, finished and unfinished, healed and inhaled.
March 2020, Hexagonal Parabolic Folds
March – Hexagon – #areyoubookenough_hexagon
‘Hexagon’ has been my most challenging folding project to date. It comprises of hexagonal parabolic folds. Ironically folding the printed paper was incredibly hands-on and I think it is evident within the folds themselves.
The image on the front is a digital woodcut printed with relief ink and hand water coloured. The back consists of water-colour washes, reminiscent of flesh. I have enjoyed playing with the dichotomy between the physicality of the book object and the ephemerality of the art object.
Books have an inherent tactile quality – and I’m enjoying with the idea that they, as art objects should not be touched.
The parabolic folds can easily be manipulated. Looking at the book, there is a natural desire to play and reform it, whilst the art object is usually only touched visually or verbally.
I began to bring bookbinding into my artistic practice in late 2018 as a way to experiment with my long term printmaking practice. But the ‘Are You Book Enough Challenge’ has already made me realise how much I enjoy bringing folding, manipulation and painting further into my practice.
You can see more of my experimental book binding here.
Get all of the details for the challenge by visiting the Editions website or searching for the hashtags on social media platforms.