The International Artist’s Book Prize is an exhibition at Bank Street Arts in the city of Sheffield. The exhibition brings together 445 artists from around the world to showcase their handmade books, forming a visual library. The main prize-winner of the exhibition is voted for by the exhibition visitors, and the pressure of being a member of the judging panel, will make you want to leave no page unturned.
Unlike other exhibitions Sheffield’s Artist’s Book Prize allows you to really get stuck into the work around you, encouraging you to pick up and have a nosey through the leaves of each amazing book on display. The collection of work covers every imaginable interpretation of the theme ‘book’, and each piece demonstrates the ingenuity of each individual artist in the exhibition, with not one book comparable to another.
Among the books on show, my personal favourites include Alys Jones’ ‘Beyond the Wire‘, crafted with 100 hand cut holes, which alter the images as the pages are turned, shifting time and play with the reader’s viewpoint. Dutch Artist Els ter Horst’s ‘T Draadje’ presents a small book of doodles, and uses thread to playfully animate line drawings. The Coffee Club Collective’s ‘Almanac: The Circus’ is an illustration extravaganza of lions, tigers and…llamas; Jade Laura’s ‘Worry Book’ contains some very relatable worries such as ‘I worry that my dog will miss me’, and ‘Everything in my Wallet’ by Erin Mallea, does exactly what it says on the tin. With five rooms full of these creative specimens stacked on shelves and boxes, this exhibition will leave you insanely envious of the creativity and talent bestowed upon each piece, not to mention leaving you utterly bemused as to which you would crown the winner.
There is only one thing that is for certain when visiting this exhibition, and that’s the overwhelming urge you will feel to one day make your very own little book.
The 4th International Artist’s Book Prize 2013 Exhibition can be seen at Bank Street Arts between the 5th October and 30th November 2013.