Wow, what a busy and creatively stimulating few days! During the past week I have attended a Sussex Book Arts meeting and enjoyed a talk by Jo Wonder founder of British Women Artists (plus maker of books but also artist and animator) http://www.jowonder.com/; a talk at The Beacon Arts Centre in Hastings hosted by the Creative Director of Nobrow books http://www.nobrow.net/(gorgeous!) where I learnt more about their unique approach to printing; and then yesterday I took my 1st and 2nd year degree students to the Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Fair at Somerset House in London. It’s fair to say that my head is buzzing with ideas!
Interestingly, in a world where technology is now performing tricks that seem like magic and at a time where our lives are becoming increasingly geared around the digital, all the of these events have stressed the importance of the handmade. Both Nobrow and Pick Me Up in particular were celebrating hand printed graphics and illustration, using digital means when it added something rather than as the focus for their work, as demonstrated by http://peckhamprintstudio.com/ and their wonderful collection that included ceramics and rugs too!
Risograph printing was particularly popular at Pick Me Up, a process considered obsolete not so long ago (see Studio Risotto http://risottostudio.com/ and Hato Press http://hatopress.net/). Whilst Nobrow have moved into litho printing out of understandable economic necessity their layered inks style mimic the silkscreen process and this is partly what makes their books so individual and appealing. Oh, and I also saw the Secret 7″ exhibition too, which was a really exciting mix of digital and handmade that included printed, illustrated, cut, folded and even knitted album covers!
These are exciting times, I wonder what the future holds? Personally I can’t leave the handmade behind – to touch, feel and create with our hands I think is part of being human, but the digital age brings infinite and magical possibilities – I hope the future embraces them both.
A few pictures from Pick Me Up and Secret 7″:
(PS: I really want this rug!)