Auras and Levitations by Susan Hiller is our Book of the Month for May. To mark the occasion we have been looking through the Book Works archives at some of the other projects we worked on with Susan Hiller, including By Night, a special edition box of miniaturised postcards featuring images of the sea taken at night.
The edition of fifty was produced by Book Works Studio in 2018 for Tate Editions, and forms part of Hiller’s Rough Seas project. The postcards are presented in a cloth-covered box lined with douppion silk and letterpress text, and can be arranged in any configuration. See the Studio archive for more details.
As museums and galleries begin to reopen, it’s great to see the artists we work with able to show their work again, with several exhibitions opening or reopening. Opening for the first time today is Rosa-Johan Uddoh’s new solo exhibition, Practice Makes Perfect,at Focal Point Gallery in Southend.
Focal Point Gallery is delighted to present the first institutional exhibition of new work by Rosa-Johan Uddoh, an interdisciplinary artist working towards radical self-love, inspired by black feminist practice and writing…‘Practice Makes Perfect’ explores the relationship of childhood education with popular ideas of the British nation, and how this forms British subjects. This develops Uddoh’s practice exploring the effects of black British popular culture on self-formation. Responding to the current debates about black history within the National Curriculum and urban space, Uddoh has approached the creation of new work for this exhibition as therapeutic ‘wish fulfilment’ in a time of uncertainty in education and wider racial tension.
Later this year, Book Works and Focal Point Gallery will publish a book, in partnership with Bluecoat, Liverpool and The Bower, London and designed by Rose Nordin. The book will be Uddoh’s first and comprises a collection of scripts, each aiming to trouble how a particular character in popular culture performs (and produces) ‘black British’ identity. Presented as scripts, sheet music and instructional worksheets, the reader is encouraged to insert their own experiences and interpretations, in their head or through live performances of their own. Selected texts will also be exhibited as works on paper within the exhibition. The book will be available to pre-order shortly.
Rosa-Johan Uddoh was also recently profiled in Art Monthly, and the piece is now available to read without a paywall.
Harun Morrison – Experiments With Everyday Objects
Also opening today for the first time at Eastside Projects in Birmingham is Harun Morrison’s new solo show, Experiments With Everyday Objects.
‘Experiments with Everyday Objects’ takes its title from a 1970s science book that describes over sixty experiments for children to do at home using readily available materials. A copy of the book belongs to the artist’s father, a former science teacher. Harun is using a selection of these experiments as scores for a series of actions to camera that evoke the weirder end of YouTube demonstration videos. The series began during the first COVID-19 lockdown using whatever was to hand.
The experiments with everyday objects extend beyond the book’s instructions to include other things with personal and socio-political resonance of various sizes. These include the reconstruction of a stage prop originally designed by dancer Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson (1878–1949), the evocation of the recently demolished Birmingham pub, Eagle & Tun (compulsorily purchased for the HS2 railway development) and his narrow-boat Zoar.
The exhibition is in a state of Becoming Live across these coming months with elements shared online and in the gallery from 19 May. Book an exhibition visit HERE.
As part of the project, earlier this year Morrison published a zine, Interviews with Critical Workers, which you can download free here. It contains interviews with eleven UK public sector workers about their experiences working through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Book Works is delighted to be publishing Harun Morrison’s first novel, The Escape Artist, in 2022 as part of the Interstices series edited by Bridget Penney.
Book Works is a leading contemporary arts organisation with a unique role as makers and publishers of books.
Established in 1984, we are dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists. Our projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects. Book Works consists of a publishing and commissioning department; and a studio specialising in binding, box-making and multiples.
The Book Works Studio offers a specialist bespoke service for range of clients, from artists, designers, galleries, and businesses. We provide binding solutions, develop prototypes and specialise in unique book artworks, boxes, and portfolios. We have an extensive archive, and offer tailored educational events, and bookbinding courses. The Studio generates income from clients and is self-sufficient.
Book Works Publishing is dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists. Our projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects and include publishing, a lecture and seminar programme, exhibitions, the development of an online archive, and artists’ surgeries and workshops.
Our audience is vital to our work. The process of engaging and developing our audience is initiated with our commissioning programme, and driven through all aspects of our activities, particularly our public programme of events, our workshops, artists’ surgeries and education activities, and through our interest in collaborating with other organisations and libraries. Our programme of commissions is diverse, and reflects our commitment not just to work with cultural workers from all backgrounds, but to invest in networks and programmes that engage, and develop and create new artistic voices.
Include new projects with: Phyllis Christopher; Francesco Pedraglio; Sarah Tripp; Praneet Soi; Stuart Brisley; Nina Wakeford and Art on the Underground; Erica Scourti; Sophia Al-Maria; Bouchra Khalili; Laure Prouvost; Stephen Sutcliffe; Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan; Contact – a series guest edited by Hannah Black with Hamishi Farah, Momtaza Mehri and Derica Shields; and Interstices, a fiction series edited by Bridget Penney with Harun Morrison, Diana Georgiou and Licorice by Bridget Penney.
By supporting Book Works you will help support artists and writers at the emerging stage of their careers through our diverse commissioning programme of open submissions, guest editorships, public events, exhibitions and publications.