The workshop was a practical and inspirational event that considered new ideas in the creation of artists books. It had particular emphasis on pop-up art books.
Elina Rantasuo is a young artist from Finland, who, having completed her degree at the Glasgow School of Art, now teaches in a professional capacity in Finland and throughout north of Europe. She was able to provide this workshop as a result of the kind donations of funding from the Institute of Contemporary Art. (ICA), through The Finnish Institute in London.
With regards to your own work, she has some interesting combinations of materials such as photography, together with charcoal sketches, Ink and other media. One example might be a piece of work called "kissed by fire" which was a project she submitted in 2014 to the Gallery Anhava exhibition in Finland.
|Kissed By Fire, Rantasuo, E, (2009).|
Another example that was shown to us was that of "Dancer", which was submitted to the EEA Beelitz exhibition in 2009, with sound added to it byLauri Ainala, and exhibited in 2012.
An artist's book can be considered as "a movable exhibition". It can be of any format or size and of any media.
It is generally accepted that artist's book development as a separate genre seem to emerge in the late 1960s. There are a multitude of types which have come into existence since the teaching methods of art around that time were so radically changed.
For example, see the work of;
- Olaf Kangas, which is a box style book that contains tiny little trinkets and notes a little bit like a jewel box.
- The works of Jenny Rope for example a piece entitled "Wednesday"
- Kerstin Norvalli, where she used the idea of index cards in a filing card system.
- The works of Raphael DeCoste, which are a 4 size books in a large format, bound in a traditional Japanese style with leather bindings.
- The works of Voltori Distori, who created psychedelic silk screen type patterns but instead of putting onto paper, used the silk screens themselves as pieces of art, which were bound together.
- Daniel Naadend in his book, he made the paper folding through a series of concertina..
- David A Carter. This was my favourite book, which inspired me to make my own pop-up version of some ideas I have been playing with. In David A Carter's book, called "600 blackspots", an unusual name for a book, but an opening you will realise why it is called that, he has used a variety of methods of pop-ups through very careful paper folding, where the whole page, in fact the whole spread of 2 pages, becomes a three-dimensional object a very contemporary artwork. I love the book for its engineering and ingenious ways in which this artist has made two-dimensional artwork transform into three-dimensions in a wonderfully playful and brilliant way.
- Finally of most significant influence to the artist that ran this workshop, is the work of Tova a Johnson. She created the Moomins characters which were so famous to popular culture through the 1960s 70s 80s and 90s. See www.rikart.fi/en
All of these new pop-up books are re-energised genre of artistic works that have emerged from a much older form.
- At first I thought the workshop might not be for me, as I wasn't quite sure what direction it was taking. Perhaps a short agenda might have been a good idea to have included in the initial overview that Elena gave us. Nevertheless it moved into a steady self generated process of production and creativity.
- I was pleasantly surprised by the time I'd finished on the second day, that by moving into a different form of representation, I had the chance to explore an unusual vehicle to carry forward ideas.
- Overall this 2 day workshop gave me the chance to experiment and more importantly, to play. Without any boundaries or preconceived notions or ideas of what the outcome might be. I realise just how important this mechanism or process, or indeed lack of it, actually is when it comes to creating work. In an artistic sense the theme is usually the starting point rather than the process in itself.