PUBLISHING IN THE VERNACULAR
The 2016 Small Publishers Fair exhibition is curated by Dr Ross Hair, author of ‘Avant-Folk: Small Press Poetry Networks from 1950 to the Present’, published by Liverpool University Press.
Avant-folk looks at small press publishers in Britain and America from the 1960s to the present day who have been influenced by both folk traditions and the avant-garde. It features work by leading poets, publishers and artists including Simon Cutts, Lorine Niedecker and Jonathan Williams.
The Small Publishers Fair has been a touchstone to several of the featured publishers. Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Wild Hawthorn Press was an early attendee. Simon Cutts and Erica Van Horn’s Coracle, and Thomas A and Laurie Clarke’s Moschatel have been here every year since 2002.
At the Fair this year you’ll be able to see and buy recent works by Coracle. Due to illness Moschatel is not attending, though Peter Foolen Editions will have available a recent work by Thomas A Clark, ‘a slow air’; a book he made in collaboration with Diane Howse. Moschatel hopes to return for the 2017 Fair.
The exhibition ‘Avant Folk’ will be marked by the launch of a pamphlet published by UEA Publishing Project. There will be also a seminar on the Friday for students and others interested in finding out more about this fascinating and still-thriving strand of publishing.
Click here for a review of ‘Avant-Folk’ by Michael Caines of The TLS.
To have gathered from the air a live tradition.
Ezra Pound, Canto LXXXI
Images from top: Thomas A Clark’s print The Dawning of the Day, Simon Cutts’ After John Clare – interior and exterior, and the book cover for Jonathan Williams’ Shankum Naggum.
NANCY CAMPBELL: BOOKS AND PRINTED MATTER
Nancy Campbell is a British artist and writer whose work explores polar and marine environments. Nancy apprenticed as a letterpress printer to master craftsmen Crispin and Jan Elsted at Barbarian Press, Canada, before working as a printer and typefounder in New York. In 2010 she was Artist in Residence at the most northern museum in the world, on the remote island of Upernavik in Greenland. It was here that her interest in the disappearing languages and landscapes of the Arctic was kindled.
The exhibition presents a selection of Nancy Campbell’s works from the last decade. These include artist’s books produced under her own imprint – Bird Editions, collaborations with other artists, including Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck, Abigail Rorer and Roni Gross, and titles from publishers such as Enitharmon Press and MIEL. The variety of media on show demonstrates the many different forms the printed word can take, from pochoir-illustrated livres des artistes and letterpress-printed broadsides to print-on-demand paperbacks.
Many of the works on show have been made by Nancy in response to witnessing cultural and climate change in coastal communities in Greenland, Iceland, Denmark and ‘the debatable lands’ on the Scottish-English border. These include How To Say ‘I Love You’ In Greenlandic: An Arctic Alphabet, which was awarded a Birgit Skiöld Award in 2013, and Vantar/Missing, a visual history of avalanches.
Nancy Campbell was recently described by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy as ‘a deft, dangerous and dazzling new poet writing from the furthest reaches of both history and climate change’. Nancy will launch a new publication, proviso, at the Small Publishers Fair, and there will also be opportunities to hear her read from her collection of Arctic poems, Disko Bay.
herman de vries books and editions
Our 2014 exhibition ‘herman de vries’ was curated by designer and publisher Peter Foolen in collaboration with herman de vries. An extended version was first shown at the Van Abbemuseum in 2013-2014. Most of the works are from Peter Foolen’s own collection.
The exhibition gives an overview of de vries’ artists’ books, catalogues, cards, ‘earth rubbings’, dried plants and leaves, and editions, as well as publications from his ‘eschenau summer press’, which includes artists’ books by Thomas A Clark, Chris Drury and Karin Sander.
herman de vries was born in 1931 in Alkmaar in the Netherlands. He will represent the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale in 2015. An extensive retrospective is currently on show at the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.
herman de vries was one of the founders of the Zero movement. This autumn, an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York ‘Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow 1950s-1960s’ will explore the movement, which anticipated aspects of Land art, Minimalism, and Conceptual art. de vries’ work has been shown at the Cairn Gallery in Nailsworth, and his exhibition ‘documents of a stream’ was held in 1992 at Inverleith House at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.
Peter Foolen Editions will publish a small book on the occasion of this exhibition.
A SMALL EXHIBITION OF THE WORK OF MARTIN ROGERS AND LES COLEMAN
Accompanying the Small Publishes Fair 2013 will be an exhibition curated by
John Janssen celebrating the work of Martin Rogers and Les Coleman.
John Janssen writes :
From the start of the Small Publishers Fairs there have always been exhibitions to accompany the event, and I have been involved on two previous occasions, both times in collaboration with Martin Rogers and Les Coleman.
A Scintilla of Small Press Publishing was our inaugural show in 2002, when the Fair was held at the Royal Festival Hall, before finding its true home in Conway Hall. Then in 2009 Les Coleman and I showed Written Drawn and Stapled, American Poetry Publications 1965-1975. Martin Rogers through his RGAP imprint published the catalogue for this, and was again very much the hands-on producer for this exhibition, and its subsequent show elsewhere.
The presence of Martin Rogers, as the founder and organiser of the fair, and Les Coleman, as a regular exhibitor from the start, always had been part of the unique ambience of the Fair. Les also regularly gave readings at the Fair. So we much missed their absence due to illness at last year’s Fair. Martin died in Dec 2012, and Les only a few weeks later, in January 2013.
Our exhibition this year can be no more than a small tribute to these two artists, who both worked in many media and formats, including sculpture, publications and editioned work.
Martin and Les shared a sense of humour and light touch, which often was reflected in their work. Our small selection of just a few of the more quirky examples of their work, shown in the very display cases which Martin himself devised and adopted for the shows he helped to set-up at Conway Hall, may serve to mark our esteem and affection for these two artists.