Today sees the opening of the Liverpool Art Book exhibition, at Central Library – the biggest event of its kind ever held in the city. For a month or so, the world’s most dazzling examples of book-as-artwork, exquisite bookbinding from the Library’s specialist collection, and a range of contemporary artists’ books will reveal the creativity, and ingenuity of the art book world.
“I established Liverpool Book Art because of my passion for Artists’ Books,” says curator Simon Ryder. “I’ve been attending fairs and exhibitions dedicated to artists’ books across the UK for a number of years, discovering, exploring, acquiring and getting engrossed in long conversations.
“Liverpool has a fantastic arts scene, and also has storytelling at the heart of its culture. We also have a showpiece venue in the stunningly refurbished Central Library. I thought it would be really exciting to bring all these elements together. I started with the idea of organising a major Artists’ Book Fair in Liverpool. While there have previously been successful artists’ book fairs in Liverpool, at venues including the Bluecoat, Wolstenholme Projects and Camp & Furnace, I wanted to try something more ambitious.
“The idea for the exhibition leading up to the Fair came from the realization that not enough people know about artists’ books, and I wanted to try and expand the range and numbers of people involved, who might then be interested in attending the Fair.
“At both the exhibition and the fair, you’ll find an amazing range of art works – from unique hand-made books to sculptures made from book pages; materials ranging from hand-made paper to driftwood book covers; and in size from a book within a matchbox to a piece which hangs across the whole width of the Hornby Room!
“I discovered that there are many more Liverpool artists creating artists’ books than I was aware of. I’m delighted to be able to present the strength and creativity of the talent in Liverpool and the surrounding region, with a significant number of local artists being selected from an extremely high standard of competition.”
Liverpool Book Art
Exhibition: until 6 July, free
Art Fair: July 4-5