11 October – 12 November, 2011
A book cast in glass, a book carved from wood, books made from plastic and mirrors, delicate books of hand made paper, a book in a matchbox, even a book made of pillows; the diversity of entries in the third edition of The Sheffield International Artist’s Book Prize far outstripped our expectations and the response from visitors was overwhelming.
This year’s competition, launched early Spring 2011, brought in over 170 entries from 22 different countries, including nearly 50 entries for the Student Prize alone. Books were submitted from five continents and included entries from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Croatia, India, Japan, Korea, the United States with almost 40 entries coming in from Germany and the Netherlands. The range of the books submitted was equally diverse: from hand etched plates illustrating unusual narratives to weird and wonderful fold-out offerings; books no more than an inch square to one that extends more than forty feet long); manipulated books made by delicately cutting and reforming old editions to complex conceptual conceits; books in boxes, books in envelopes and a book made of silk in an egg.
Visitors to the exhibition were encouraged to view and handle all books submitted and asked to vote for their favourite book, with the winner of the Main Prize again being decided by visitors to the show. This year over 500 votes were cast by visitors and due to demand the exhibition was extended by a week to allow what must have been several thousand people to see the diversity of books on offer. Talking numbers often does not do justice to the response an exhibition gets; the comments received throughout, the fascination of visitors and most noticeably, their desire to discuss the range of books or individual offerings provided real testimony to the success of this initiative.
The first prize winner with over 50 votes was Kaho Kojima’s ‘A Drop of Cloud’. Second was Chisato Tamabayashi’s ‘Airborne’. Several books amassed over 30 votes, amongst them were entries by Ariane Severin, Hans Eijkelboom and David Harper. Noticeably, the visiting public seemed to be drawn to pop-up books and photography books though it is difficult to generalise when two thirds of the books received at least one vote.
Most pleasing was the fact that many visitors came back time and again whilst others stayed for hours: the exhibition seems to work well on different levels both for those who just want to skim and look at the odd title to those who have the time to really get to know the books on show.
For the judges it was an unenviable task selecting one winner from the 170 submissions. This year’s jury consisted of Sarah Bodman from the Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England and Maria White for Tate Library in London who assisted John Clark from Bank Street Arts in selecting the two Jury Prizes.
The first of those, the Student Prize, proved really difficult: there were nearly 50 entries in total displaying an enormous range of originality, creativity and skill. Picking one winner proved hard going but after a couple of hours of deliberation the Student Prize was awarded to Clare Rogers for ‘Inventory: A list of everything in my home’. Special mention for other student entries from Zabby Allen, Clare Isabel Anderson, Eddy Dreadnought, Hazel Grainger and Eleanor Symms.
The special Jury Prize was awarded to Elisabeth Tonnard for her book, ‘A Dialogue in Useful Phrases’. What particularly appealed to the judges was the originality of the idea and the flawless execution of that idea in the book itself: an exercise in simplicity and imagination. We look forward to working with all Prize Winners next year on exhibitions at Bank Street.
A final mention and word of thanks goes to all those who entered the Prize this year and in particular to all those who donated their books to our Collection. Over 95% of those who submitted a book were generous enough to donate top our collection following the exhibition. These are currently on show in our Education Room and over the months ahead we will be building a permanent archive to house this unique collection, which now numbers over 240 books. We will also be staging further exhibitions using selected books from the Collection and visiting Book Fairs around the UK in 2012.
Thanks also go out to all those volunteers who helped stage the exhibition this year. It was a difficult task working out how best to show the books to their advantage for ease of reference and viewing when they ranged from books almost a meter square to those the size of a matchbox and everything in between. It took the best part of a month to work out how fit all the books into the three gallery spaces at Bank Street and considerably longer to index and catalogue the entries to ensure the smooth running of the Prize.
The full list of artists who entered this year is as follows: Klaus von Mirbach, Alex Blake & Sam Marsh, Sam Marsh, David Willis, Jina Wallwork, Thomas Fritz, Bryan Eccleshall, Bryan Eccleshall and others, Katherine Johnson, Lizanne van Essen, Joel Lardner, Jordan West, Stephen Kirby, Jean-Claude Loubieres, Marije de Wit, Frans Baake, Nikos Mantzios, David Vassie, Marinus van Dijke, Carl Rowe, Antonio Claudio Carvalho, Peter Bennett, Beate Gördes, Gavriella Kalafati, Rita Barros, Grania Hayes, Jenna Adams, Marilyn R.Rosenberg & C.Mehrl Bennett, Cordula Diaz, Glenn Holman, Glynis Candler, Photobiblio, Christiane Sasportas, Aav, Lorna Jewitt, James Bacchi-Andreoli, Rosie Leventon, Josefina Posch, Irina Yablochkina, Sophie Aigner, Andrew Law, Anne Rook, Joanne Soroka, Margaret Gosley, Andrew G Smith, Charity Ann Blansit, Beth Evans, Bernd Reichert, Ellen Wilkinson, Anne Marie Johansen, Eddy Dreadnought, Zabby Allen, Mairi Timoney, Clare Rogers, C Hartnett, Rachel Porcheret, Mia Vucic, Johannes Gerard, Sarah Hinds, Matthew Herring, Ariane Severin, Lauren Winsor, David Harper, Hazel Grainger, Nadine Arbeiter, Ann Ellis, Richard Williams, Dietmar Pfister, Lou Cabeen & Ann Hursey, Guylaine Couture, Barrie Tullett, Ahlrich Van Ohlen, Eleanor Symms, Yuko Parris, Yael David-Cohen, Elisabeth Tonnard, Sharon Graham Sargent, Suzanne Ray, Keith Turner, Hans Eijkelboom, Amanda Thompson, Christina Mitrentse, Marilyn R.Rosenberg, Birgit Daa Birkkjaer, Jackie Bowcutt, Jakob Anckarsvard, Sarah Romano, Tom Baggaley, Marcus Irwin, Patricia Kaersenhout, Mariken Wessels, Bill Burns, Claire Isabel Anderson, Steven Schofield, ToPé, Lorna Barrowclough, A.H. de Jong, Diana Sprenger, Vic Cruz, Andrew Malone, Tamara Ivanova, Mavina Baker, Theresa Easton, Bas Fontein, EJ Major, Mirjana Vrbaski, Manya Dorian, Donaque Elsi, Vassdal Ellis, Jennie Merriman, Sun Young Kang, Michelle Rowley, Ewa Monika Zebrowski, Rachel Barron, Jeremy Dixon, Eunjung Hwang, Barbara Greene, Sarah Dive,r Alexandria Higlett & Georgina Hounsome, Julie Taylor, Mayumi Arakawa, Curtis Singmaster, Merle Hunt, Diana Mazuru, Rachel Rawlings, Chisato Tamabayashi, Joan Ainley, Susan King, Matthew Burbidge, Eu-Jin Sol, Kaho Kojima, Katja Stienen, Theo Simpson, Carolien Adriaansche, Rebecca Freeman, Sarah Barnes & Gemma Wright, Lina Avramidou, Jo Brudenell, Fiona Wilson, Philippa Wood, Mia Leijonstedt, Mary Rouncefield, Saba Ferrari, Rachel Smith, Arnett Powell, Joy Clements, Patricia M. Jones, Emma Dolphin, Misha Maltsev, Steph Newell, Damon Kowarsky & Nancy Ibrahim, Mirei Yazawa, Helena Wee, Catherine Fairgrieve, Claire Tindale, Lee Thompson, Jon Dunning, Sally Roberts, Pat Hodson, Mary Conway, Marion Hewitt, Filippa Dobson, Russ D Hunter, Kim Bevan, Astrid Beumer, Gralha Azul, Group Kinnari, Sanghavi Parikh.