Yesterday we were joined by 11 students on the Exit Portfolio Course for a workshop looking at the Library’s unparalleled collection of artists’ books. The workshop came at the end of this one-year programme, in which the students are asked to evaluate all aspects of their work by creating a visual portfolio. Over the years, these visual portfolios have taken various forms, with many students producing books, or a series of books. As part of their research, tutor Helen McGilp asked each student to look at a range of books in order to explore structure, pace, narrative, editing, design, materials, and bindings.
It provided an excellent opportunity to show 40 or so books from our Artists’ Books Collection, which numbers about 1,500 titles in total. The examples chosen included works by David Bellingham, books by former students at the School, and titles from the C’est Mon Dada series published by Red Fox Press. Academic Liaison Librarian, Duncan Chappell provided a short introduction to the history and definition of the artist’s book, before the students were let loose to explore the books themselves and draw inspiration from them.