We are very excited about today’s artists’ books and zines Bookmarks Bookfair, which will be open and free to attend from 1pm to 7pm, Wednesday 29th March 2023, at the ECA Sculpture Court in the Main Building.
This is a fantastic annual event organised by the School of Design and is a chance to meet and buy from our hugely talented art and design students, staff and friends, selling a range of zines, artists’ books, cards and prints.
You can get a free ticket on Eventbrite.
Our new display at ECA Library, Evolution House, features the work of book artist Priya Pereira. Published by Pixie Books, Seven Stories of Mewar is an artist’s book exploring episodes of significance that occurred during the illustrious history of Mewar, in Northern India, over the last 1500 years.
Are you interested in making and exploring the world of zines? We have a growing collection of zines within the ECA Library artists’ books collection! You can find them all on DiscoverEd.
Our collection includes works by Lesley Imgart, Sarah Sheard, “Zine a Month” duo Matt Swan and John Brown, and book artists at Good Press Gallery such as Eden Bo Dower, Johanna Hedva, Aki Hassan, and Isobel Neviazsky.
If you are interested in other collections and collectives, take a look at:
The Edinburgh Zine Library is a volunteer-run archive and reference library of contemporary zines.
The Queer Zine Library is a UK based diy mobile library volunteer collective celebrating radical LGBTQIA+ self publishing. You can find out more about the history of zine making at Zine-Wiki.
Find out more about the zines at ECA Library by watching this talk on Media Hopper.
You might also be interested in our subject guide on Gender and Sexuality Studies
We also have an artists’ books and zines subject guide
“Artists’ books are ‘books or book-like objects’ over the final appearance of which an artist has had a high degree of control; where the book is intended as a work of art in itself.” – Stephen Bury.
ECA Library has a long history of collecting and promoting artists’ books, and has around 1500 items in its collection, all of which are listed on DiscoverEd. We use the artists’ books as a teaching collection and for displays and exhibitions. As Academic Support Librarian for ECA I am frequently asked to take selections of artists’ books to studios across the 5 Schools of ECA, to deliver hands-on sessions, as object-based learning is very much valued at ECA.
The collection at ECA ranges from ground-breaking works by Ed Ruscha from the 1960s to works by Scottish-based legends such as Ian Hamilton Finlay, Helen Douglas, Len McDermid, Thomas A Clark & Laurie Clark, to zines by local artists working today, and occasionally we collect the best examples of student work from ECA Degree Shows. We regularly attend artists’ book markets such as the annual bookfair held at the Edinburgh Fruitmarket Gallery, and ECA’s own Bookmarks Bookfair, which has been a very popular annual event since 2016.
We recently visited a fantastic exhibition of new artists’ books at the Upright Gallery, Nature Works, on the theme of climate change, and are pleased to be able to report that we will be acquiring six impressive artists’ books from the show, thanks to the support of the CRC. These are:
1: Christine Sloman: the rest is memory, (II): Inspired by a quote from the poet Louise Glück “We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.” This piece is an evocation of language and landscape through the hazy lens of memory. Made in the form of a wooden block puzzle, the blocks are lined with monotypes on Japanese paper. This work reminded me of the work of Helen Chadwick.
Christine Sloman: the rest is memory, (II). Photograph by Jane Furness.
2: Marama Warren: The Currowan Fire – Ablaze:
The bushfires that raged on the east coast of Australia in the summer of 2019-20 were unprecedented in their extent and intensity. The Currowan fire was one of over 100 fires that burned across south east NSW for over 74 days. In that fire alone, three people’s lives were lost, 300 houses and an area of forest and farmland the size of Spain was burnt. The cost to flora and fauna was devastating. This book records and remembers the intensity of that terrifying experience, a time of fear, loss and uncertainty. Due to global warming, millions of people all around the world are now living with fear and uncertainty every day.
Marama Warren: The Currowan Fire – Ablaze. Photograph by Ian Farmer.
3: Barbara Morton: eventide.fallen, Entropie Press:
Barbara Morton: eventide.fallen. Photograph by Jane Furness.
eventide. fallen includes geometric and abstract colour pencil drawings alongside carefully arranged poetic text. A sequence of eight drawings on one side, having poetry shaped to mirror the image on the reverse – the design of the book carries the intention of encouraging the reader to appreciate poetry and art in equal measure.
4: Fenneke Wolters-Sinke: Yin and Yang book:
This hardcovered dos-à-dos artists’ book with elbum binding (an album structure which holds its pages by gripping them into a series of articulated narrow pockets, named after its creator Ben Elbel, of Elbel Libro Bookbinders) contains two sections, each with 7 panoramic monoprints folded in half. Each monoprint can be pulled out of the book and together they make up one continuous design. Yin is expressed as the movement of the sea at night with white ink on black paper. Yang has been expressed by the movement of air/ clouds above a mountain-scape during the day, with black ink on white paper. Each cover has a button made of bookcloth in the colour from the other cover, and black/white linen thread that ties around the book, pleasingly connecting Yin and Yang.
Fenneke Wolters-Sinke: Yin and Yang book. Photograph by Ian Farmer.
5: Susie Wilson: Seed:
This pamphlet book contains prints of a small collection of seeds that the artist grew in 2021 in her garden. Her interest in gardening has flourished through a collaborative two-year residency based on an allotment with artist Felicity Bristow. The ‘seed’ became central to their residency as the source of continuing life and a positive in an uncertain time. Collecting and sharing seed is a way of connecting to others, encouraging people to grow whether in their garden or a window box.
Susie Wilson: Seed. Photograph by Ian Farmer.
6: Sophie Artemis: a pop-up book of butterflies:
Butterflies are indicators of a healthy eco-system and their populations studied to monitor climate change. This pop-up Butterfly book identifies each caterpillar and butterfly and the habitat it needs to survive. The book unfolds like a butterfly and each page opens to allow the butterfly to emerge and fly upwards into nature.
Sophie Artemis: a pop up book of butterflies. Photograph by Ian Farmer.
In 2021 we acquired a beautiful work by Indian book artist Priya Pereira which is illustrated below.
Priya Pereira: The Seven Stories of Mewar. Photograph by Priya Pereira.
The Seven Stories of Mewar is a limited edition set of seven hand-made books, with their own embellished box, which, in the words of the artist “share some episodes of significance that occurred during the illustrious history of the House of Mewar over the past fifteen hundred years”.
We look forward to using these items in forthcoming exhibitions and teaching.
ECA is now working more closely with the CRC to acquire artists’ books and there are also holdings at the CRC, where the examples tend to be unique, highly fragile, or classed as “manuscripts” or “fine bindings”. The CRC are delighted to have recently acquired several unique works by French book artist Diane de Bournazel.
“Diane de Bournazel (b. 1956) creates books as ‘poems without words’ in her unique pen, ink and gouache style, filling each page with mazes of vegetation, mysterious borders, structures and figures, opening windows within pages allowing us to see behind and beyond them, suggesting a series of alternative worlds and narratives. Drawing on the universals of the cosmos, the natural world, of childhood and human relationships each of her books invite careful ‘reading’ and multiple interpretations.” (Justin Croft).
A page from Diane de Bournazel’s book Comme si de rien n’etait, 2021. [“Like nothing ever happened”, created during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.]
ECA Library are keen to support ECA in its teaching on book making and for each year of the School of Design’s Bookmarks Bookfair we have hosted a display of winning student work from the Fair, in the ECA Library, in collaboration with ECA tutor and book artist Jane Hyslop.
We are looking forward to supporting the next ECA Bookfair which will be “BOOKMARKS 2022”, taking place on Wednesday 30 March 2022 in the Sculpture Court, ECA.
 Bury, S. et al. (2015) Artists’ books : the book as a work of art 1963-2000. [Second edition]. London: Bernard Quaritch Limited.
If you are interested in all things Zine, you will be pleased to know that the Edinburgh Zine Fair 2021 takes place at the Drill Hall, Out of the Blue, 36 Dalmeny Street (just off Leith Walk) on Saturday 23rd October, 11.00am – 5.00pm.
The Edinburgh Zine Fair is brought to you by Typewronger Books
This will be a great opportunity to see and buy zines, and talk to their makers!
ECA Library is delighted to present a new exhibition at ECA Library, Evolution House, West Port. Opening on 12th October, Fair Winds and Following Seas, is co-curated by Barbara A Morton of Entropie Books, and ECA Librarian Jane Furness.
Thomas A Clark
W J Morton
Barbara A Morton
We are so pleased to host this wonderful celebration, and are thankful for the generosity of Len and Barbara, in making this exhibition possible. The show will continue through Semester 1 and closes on 30th November 2021.
Don’t forget to pick up your free packet of marigold seeds! Public access to ECA Library: Please note that access to all University of Edinburgh libraries is currently restricted to University of Edinburgh Students, Staff and Official Visitors, and NHS Lothian Staff, Edinburgh Theological Seminary Staff & students (Free Church of Scotland College), Free Church of Scotland Ministers, retired ministers and staff, Church of Scotland Ministers, retired ministers & staff, Alumni, Friends of the Library and Life members of the Library. For members of the public not in any of those membership categories who wish to view the exhibition, please note, you do not need to book a time slot to visit, but you should announce yourself to ECA Reception on arrival inside Evolution House, and to ECA Library Helpdesk on arrival within the Library, you should give your name and phone number to Library Helpdesk staff for NHS Test and Protect purposes, and all visitors should wear a face covering (unless exempt). We regret that at this time, Access will be granted to the Library exhibition space only, and not to the rest of ECA Library.
Enjoyed Fair Winds and Following Seas? Then you might be interested in the CRC (Centre for Research Collections) online exhibition, Sea Change.
Tuesday 1st December 2020:
Today sees the launch online of the Visual Arts Scotland virtual exhibition, F L O W, their first online VAS Members’ winter show, running online throughout December 2020 and January 2021. Exhibitors include artist’s book makers who have appeared in exhibitions at ECA Library, and/or who have artist’s books in our ECA Library Artists’ Books Collection, for example Entropie Books, by Barbara Morton, and works by Karen Gabbitas, an ECA Alumna, and Susie Leiper, a former RSA Open annual ECA Library Award winner.
In addition, the traditional University of Edinburgh Christmas Charity Craft Fair is going virtual between 1st and 20th December. Many ECA students and graduates are involved, as well as our talented and creative University staff.
Visit our virtual exhibition hall at www.christmasfair.sps.ed.ac.uk, where you can find gifts big and small to make Christmas extra special!
This year, the Fair is in support of Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, helping in the fight against Covid-19.
Our new display at ECA Library features Voyage boxed: sea journeys, island hopping & trans-oceanic concepts, curated by Imi Maufe and Rona Rangsch, Künstlerhaus Dortmund, c.2014. This beautiful Artists’ Book consists of a collection of art works and an exhibition catalogue issued in a square box. The collection of artworks consist primarily of printed material on paper, a combination of single sheets and booklets, one wooden board printed in colour with string with a small sheet folded concertina style attached, plus a compact disc of ocean wave sounds. The artworks are either 15 x 15 cm, or folded to approximately the same size. Leaves of clear wax paper are interspersed between each work. The artworks are variously photographs, collages, drawings and poetry.
The box also includes one crumpled corner of a map of Shetland (20 x 20 cm), crumpled tissue paper, an unbleached fabric ribbon and a small ceramic egg, in a cloth bag with drawstring.
The 20 artists collaborating in this work included Nancy Campbell, David Faithfull, Christine Morrison and Ian Stephen.
Accompanying CD: Sea of curves, by Jeff Talman, with researchers Matt Fowler and James Traer.
Published in a signed and numbered edition of 50 copies.
ECA Library’s copy is number 42.