The sheer variety of artists' books is one of the most surprising and delightful things about them. Although three of the book artists in this exhibition have used the leporello, or concertina, format they are very different in content and means of production. In this rare copy of Sord Vando Voo-Vo, Stephen Chambers RA has taken Jacques Jouet's poems in French and the language of Tarzan, translated into English as Healing Poems for the Great Ape, and adorned the pages with layers of woodblock motifs.
Jane Grisewood's Line Journeys are a collection of three digitally printed, and immaculately bound and boxed, concertina books, a product of her long interest in (and recently completed doctorate on) 'the line'.
Jo Davis Trench's three books of etchings, Poupées, Finials and Beasts, are inspired by the extraordinary carved finials of figures and animals on gothic pew-ends, so called poppy-heads (from the French poupées - nothing to do with poppies).
David Esslemont's work more closely resembles the usual notion of a book but because he is an artist and an expert in printing and binding, he produces books of a satisfying wholeness. Of the several books which will be available from his Solmentes Press, the one illustrated here, My Fellow Citizens, has the text of President Barak Obama's inaugural speech decorated with calligrams of frequently used words, the colour and size of the words depending on their frequency.
Jason Hicklin and Andrew Vass have produced collections of prints in solander boxes. Jason's three collections of etchings focus respectively on Jura, Tory Island and Colonsay with the landscapes punctuated by typography based on signs or texts found on the islands. Andrew's Eight Drypoints are delicate, abstracted forms of landscapes closer to home in Suffolk.
Piers Browne, inspired by the loss of Britain's elms, spent fifteen years making images for his book, Trees, which has a foreword by HRH Prince Charles and chapter headings by David Bellamy. The original etchings for that book and his personal book Sonnets for a Siren will be shown alongside the books themselves.
Trees, including elms, are celebrated too by woodturner Sam Cook who makes domestic and decorative pieces, from all sorts of wood. Large or small, some of his pieces have beautifully simple and functional shapes from sustainable British hardwoods, whilst others, from burr oak for example, show the grain and bark, the journey and organic nature of the wood.
The three ceramicists in this exhibition, Clare Crouchman, Billy Lloyd and Paul McAllister, all showed at this year's Origin and stood out for their fresh new talent. Our love of jugs even stretches to two dimensional representations: elegant glass ones in mixed media on paper in the case of Sue Skeen; and printed on fabric swatches, Jo Hinck's tributes to the enduring 19th Century drinking song Little Brown Jug (chorus: Ha, ha. ha, you and me, Little brown jug, don't I love thee!). Finally joy of living is confirmed by Susi Hines' jewellery and Alice Sielle's quirky linocuts of the Six Ravens of the Tower.
Open on Saturdays, 10 am - 5 pm or by appointment.
These images are a selection of the works available at the Gallery Please contact the gallery for further information.
North House GalleryThe Walls, Manningtree, EssexCO11 1AShttps://northhousegallery.co.uk/art-exhibition/artist/christmas-show-2010/artists-books-and-other-objects/Index.asp