B..Bam B..BAM!

VIP please noteI don’t mean the ‘B..B..BAM’ logo to overtake the word ‘artists book’, I think it’d be a good rallying call, like an invigorating ‘quality’ hallmark symbol to use on any publicity material. The ‘pop-art’ similarity is about that stimulating bounce that comes with the onomatopoeia. Pete

I do not wish to ruffle any feathers but I feel the term ‘Artist’s Books’ is a bit misleading. I believe that to attract a wider spectrum of people in to Artists’ Books markets with a view to buy the books  we make, rather than merely view them, there is a need for a more catchy symbol on publicity material, a signifier which is less bewildering, more informative and more inviting, more exciting, maybe:

a b b bam

I believe the term ‘Artist’s books’ can be misunderstood by anyone who is unaware of the beauty that lies within (the field). I’m not being silly nor am I joking. Some people I know who happen to be very bright-intelligent and who get about a bit have been fascinated to see what ‘artist’s books’ are composed of/can be. But, just think of the first timer who comes across a poster which talks about “An Artists’ Book” event. Those uninitiated might be put off, believing that this event is only for ‘artists’ and they are not that, it can be intimidating. I believe after my recent participation at English Artists’ Books Markets in Oxford, Bristol and now Gateshead there is a lot of (simple) work to be done to increase members of the public willing & eager to put their feet over the threshold into the ‘market-place’.

I am going to suggest maybe the slant be changed from ‘Artists Books’ to something like, ‘Books by Artist MakersB..BAM! Let’s think about it? Let’s talk about it? Let me know if you think it’s a good idea. We need something to get folks over the threshold, especially in England where the pinch of the recession still bites the majority and is going to worsen in the next five years as government squeeze the less well off. Books by Artist Makers take a lot of thought and a whole lot of making. They are works of art in themselves which often take longer to create than a painting. Indeed some have several ‘prints’ in as part of their beauty. People may buy a framed print for say £50 (I know that’s cheap, but it’s just a figure to play with, to try to make a point), but would the same folks buy Books by Artist Makers with say 3-6 prints in for £50?

Here’s a quickly sketched onomatopoeia for Books by Artist Makers a b b bam

Cowboy Pete, cowboy pete fingers gunsBukman Artist-Maker

(Hooray, total ‘visits’ to my blog since it began tipped over the 7500 mark today).

Below I have added some comments which came in since I posted this blog about artists books (artisbuks) and the gap between their beauty and the public’s not ‘getting’ what they are. Please add your thoughts if you have any which say things not already said by those who added comments.

seems like we are touching a chord, thanks to yez. Here’s some replies already:

“I think that’s a great idea Pete. To me ‘Artist’s Books’ conjures up an image of books containing illustrations of their artwork or writing, with brief notes or explanations. As opposed to a complete work that you would admire as much as a photograph or painting hanging on a wall. I would never expect the book to be hand-made.” (Maxine, a ‘normal’ non-artist person.)

“Pete, I think you’re right a LOT of people do not understand Artist made books, and I do like your idea BUT how to get other people on board ? I know this is something we as a group at ArtBookArt are thinking about when advertising our event how do we get the concept across to those who think our exhibition may be books about rather than made by artists?

Yes the cost of an artist’s book versus a painting or a print, its partly to do with global forces, people can buy a book (any book) much cheaper and most people do not have the awareness of time taken + cost of materials. However in the right place and with the right buyers it is a different story. Perhaps venue and place is an important consideration in the selling and understanding of artist made books, and when trying to reach people who have never heard about them perhaps there has to be a different approach, a more educational one with some work-shops on simple book structures.” Gwen, (Artist’s Book Maker).

“You make a good point there Pete.

BookArt is a confusing term and it also hides a lot of mediocre stuff as well, just to do something in a book theme is not necessarily good art, it attracts all different sorts and some are not artists but craft people.

To me, for it to be good art, the book form has to be relevant to the art work, it has to enhance/emphasise the artistic thrust of the work. For instance your Venus Stairs book is a story of a work being created, over time and thought, into a an artwork.  Also, using the structure of a book and distorting it to jolt or draw out another perspective, such as using folding lead sheets, is another good way. Also, the attraction and power of using literature/poetry/drama/knowledge communicated in words, as another material to incorporate into the artist’s ‘palette’ is very powerful. There could be an interesting search and analysis on how artists have used words/books in their works over time.

So, anything to help explain that these works are art works based on a book form could be useful.

Maybe it could help shake out the different type of players under the ArtistBook banner from fine bookmakers, crafts people, illustrators, printers, poets/writers, to artists. There will be a lot of resistance to change the term from the established ArtistBook fraternity. But from an artist’s point of view I guess there would be a lot of agreement.

I like the pop-art shout. I have another one, WaBiAW!   Words and Books in ArtWorks!

It’s really all about the emphasis and priority, as to what comes first the book or the artwork.” Duncan (Mod from Twisted Wheel 1960’s days.)

“…The name change might work as well and I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but I don’t think that on it’s own it will make a huge difference. But B.B.Bam is a cool idea and I love the graphic. The battle I think is to change the way people think of artists’ books by having more book markets and making them as accessible and welcoming as possible. Keep making books though Pete, and entertaining us with your wonderful performances.” Gary Malkin, Book Archivist BALTIC

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It’s Not All About The Money

My Future Works

venus great rainbo comestMy new book called Venus Stairs with a rainbow comet  or two on it. I made 10 for BALTIC book market and sold NONE! Good job really as there was a design fault which I spent last week rectifying. Now it’s good and it’s got a tiny diamonte diamond hidden in it too. It’s all about my big picture, Venus at the Stairs (below is a future variation on it)venustares + multi color  back smwhich my ‘performance’ at BALTIC was all about.

 If you’d like to see the performance from the weekend at BALTIC book market  Gateshead Scroll down by hitting the ‘down’ arrow, that gets the films on screen. Arrows on top left near the left lady’s bonnet will take you along to 3rd film in, the Dancing Cowboy! 45 minutes with some idiocy & dance added to serious talking about art.

  http://balticplus.uk/?tagId=38568

cowboy pete fingers gunsCowboy Pete
More on the Cowboy Pete show in my blArt next week.

Some folk make fortunes from their outputs like the old curmudgeon Cirvan de Man. Some spend lifetimes putting stuff out and still make no return. But It’s Not All About The Money, (Jesse J. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GReIQJc_1xw ). It really doesn’t matter what you do cos if it don’t catch (on to ‘public’) attention you can out-put until you are blue in the face and spend all your own time and money making your products and contribution but remain ‘in the red’. It’s about the feeling, Really. The feeling that you bring with you to; the work, the event, your life and the life of others & what you leave behind in those things- your legacy.

So, like, have you heard about Flann O’Brien? No? He was a wordsmith and a funny man & a good writer who never got ‘known’ about like his fellow Irishmen; Beckett, Joyce and or Cirvan de Man that new knight of the Realm and multi-millionaire bloke. http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/vanmorrison/summertimeinengland.html

Have you ever heard about…Lisa Fischer? She’s a wonder-full singer who accompanies the Rolling Stones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4ueTukzqHY WOW, listen to her high note on the first song.

I am 100 days short of being 65 years young, in old currency that was an Old Aged Pensioner but nowadays 60 is the new 40 so where does that leave me, Forever Young? Here’s Beyonce with JayZ doing their version- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TT3nAT3G1ak  That’s very different from the original Bob Dylan rendition!

So, I am a mere 100 days short of being 65! I am a fully made up man. I realised, when I opened a book on Georges Roualt in all its perfection altho written in Japanese & French from Tokyo Art Museum that my life is in perfect pitch. I need nothing more. I am happy in my 64 years and 260-odd days worn skin. Last Saturday I did my best ‘performance’ so far at BALTIC. I can see now that all my future work needs only to be my own efforts using ANYTHING I see fits, creating reflections in word, image & artefact utilising my experience, abilities, skill and all.

A friend said, “You are certainly getting noticed. I like the comment about it probably take all the two days to understand your work!” Which raises the issue of ‘understanding’ or ‘comprehending’. You don’t hear anyone say they don’t ‘understand’ Beyonce or Bob Dylan, we just enjoy. Understanding? No it’s not to do with understanding as such. It’s to do with interest. I am interested in the thing so much I wish to understand it more, then, back to the start of this piece- It’s about the feeling. The feeling that you bring with you to; the work, the event, your life and the life of others & what you leave behind in those things- your legacy.

In conclusion- Pete (c’est moi) has found a new man in himself

‘I QUIT

Barking up wrong trees

And

Chasing wil o’th’wisps

Let ‘them’ come invite me

Let them open their doors

I stop pushing

No longer

Waiting at the threshold

I AM HERE

And Now

I perform my work

In all ways

I USE any thing

I create Images & Artefacts

From all I see and find

I am not after convincing

I am not after converting

JUST BEING

I feel replete

I feel complete

I KNOW what I shall do with

The rest of my life

& Work

I got a perfec book

Georges Roualt

I know where am (Apul)headed

I no longer have compunction

Only Compassion

For my Self & Others

I Am Alive

& Well.

In 1973 my old philosophy tutor Bill Josebury and his friend Prof Daveney the Head of Philosophy at Exeter University both told me that I’d never make a fortune, not a penny, centime, dime nor yen. But I did get into zen.

NOW & ZEN

Am also looking back, way back to when I began ‘writing’ in 1969 thru the early 1970’s, in my ‘notes’ from way back zen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AACGQ0a7J0w  I am re-working my writings into The New Shrewd Idiot (same as the old one?). BUT I am going to add many images from the media of the early 70’s as accompaniment and background. Am looking to the great work of Dave McKean* as inspiration and example of ways to do ‘layouts’. I’m excited with the possibilities. I been waiting long time, now am embarking and it’s too late to stop…me NOW.

And I shall be starting to do my sculptbuks wherein am going to use all my collected detritus ‘Creetoors’ (that’s a play on the word creatures) and maybe typewriter write the werds (that’s a play on the word ‘word’)?

Now there’s a new ‘tingalingi’ thing, I think.

a postoffice full sm

Creetoors from an assemblage I did in the 1980s.

Don’t tell me you don’t understand it. We don’t really understand anything at all, only small parts of the whole of creation, our little place in the universe and even there we take years to ‘get’ what is going on, then the ground shifts or someone moves the goalposts. So looking at the above image where I used lots of materials; linen, feather, cockroach, beetle, bone, stone, pot and wood to make an assemblage of relationships between the objects. It’s not for ‘understanding it just is.

* Dave McKean shifts my ground & moves my goalposts! WOW, that man is good. His art is so good it almost kicks me into oblivion, sends me reeling. Once upon a day I gave up trying because I thought it had all been done previously and it couldn’t be improved but I learned my lesson then, DON’T GIVE UP, Keep on Keeping On, there’s a place for you, somewhere a place for you, peace and quiet and I’ll take you there… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x899P8en-qs

Baltic Artists Book Market 2015

I think Janet’s blog about BALTIC Artists’ Book Market 2015 is great. She says quite correctly, “It’s very difficult to explain to people the concept of the artist’s book in this context” and i believe it’s a name well known amongst artists book-makers but little understood outside the field and there’s a need to rectify that gap in understanding. I think at BALTIC where they did lots to promote the two day event on socila media and on the first floor of the gallery plus a little notice on a tripod at the stairs as you entered the building BUT the term ‘Artist’s books’ can be off-putting to anyone who is unaware of the beauty that lies withing (the field). I’m not being silly nor joking. Some people i know who happen to be very bright, intelligent and who get about have been fascinated to see what ‘artist’s books’ compose of/can be. But, think of the first timer who comes across a poster which talks about ‘an artists book’ event. Those uninitiated might be put off thinking that this event is only for ‘artists’ and they are not that, it can be intimidating. I believe after recent participation at Oxford, Bristol and now Gatesheadthere is a lot of simple work to be done to increase those willing to put their feet over the threshold into the ‘market-place’. I am going to suggest maybe the name be changed from ‘Artists Books’ to something like, ‘Books by Artist Makers’ B..BAM, B..BAM! Let’s think about it?
Pete Kennedy Artist-Maker of Beautiful Books

Janet E Davis Art

This is the third of the Baltic Artists Book Markets that I have attended. This one was held on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th July at the Baltic Mill, Gateshead. I went to the first because I knew of it through Theresa Easton who organises them – and I found it interesting. The second one had the added attraction of a couple of my friends from way back showing their work. I had thought I might try making some suitable work and getting a table myself for this year’s. The 2015 call for proposals happened before I’d put the thought into action however, so I decided to concentrate on seeing other people’s work, trying to take photos and tweet about the event to try to encourage others to visit.

It’s very difficult to explain to people the concept of the artist’s book in this context, especially in the medium of…

View original post 1,565 more words

It’s not just the books!

ahed in curtain call

Thanks to the 30 visitor-‘hinnies’ to this blArt on its first day up with your 51 ‘views’.

I just got back frae doing the BALTIC book market. What a wonderful weekend. Not as many folks came in to the bookfair as we all hoped and there are some ways I think that can be moved forward at future gigs but It’s not just about the books, is it? I have to thank Theresa Easton, Hannah Marsden & Gary Malkin for their hard work, interest, indefatigibleness, helps, patience, humour, example and a whole lot more. It was wonderfully set up. My table at 1x2metres was best I ever had.

ma tyebel left ma tyebel

Have to thank all 3 for organising the event, I’ve never had so much help on arrival and on being sent packing and all. ta to Theresa Easton especially for tweeting and retweeting and rebloggin ma blArt https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/peter-d-cowboy/ and for making me feel so at home thru-out. Thanks also to Janette who guarded my stall whilst I shot off to see the Gormley at Hatton. there was a wonderful show of Albert Adams work at University Gallery Newcastle too. How he lived a lifetime and I never heard of him I don’t know. Certainly one of the best print-makers ever from these isles.

My ‘tyebble’ at BALTIC- I forgot to place our collaboration on the wall David! There’s ma new buk centre left, ‘Venus Stairs’ behind the little concertina buk ‘Inside this great jug’ with all its color pics of my heroes.

I had prepared my new book ‘Venus Stares on the Stairs’ to promote my picture of the same names. I took my pic to the Baltic too and prepped a show at High Noon on the Saturday to ‘explain’ my werks. I was in tremulous trepidations about doing the ‘performance’ but it turned out fine, really, really fine! It was the best reception I have ever had and the actor in me reacted to the good will and cranked up the act so I heard myself saying tings I had not scripted as the audience laughed and laughed at my antics. So. I entered in me cowboy outfit with Bruce serenading ‘Cowboy Pete’ thanks to Hannah Marsden’s wizardry. I did my Zumba reeling and rolling whooping and swirling my imaginary lariat. I did that ting wit ma legs where you go bow-legged and then turn around what I lurned in Zumba, I shot the sherrif wit ma six-gun fingers and I galloped on me imaginary hoss across the stage ‘leaving women crying in my wake’ (Bruce). Follow that! And I did. I recited Kabir’s poem about what’s inside the clay jug and shewed my big pot and scrolls off and that was only a starter. Now for the real object of the ‘talk’, ‘Venus Stairs’ picture.

I had prepared a powerpoint with my mate Dave Doughty’s help to add some music. (I shall try to put the presentation up in a future ‘blArty Pete’s’. It was projected onto a big screen and I had a ‘clikie’ to control the speed. Then I read my senryus about the making of the picture. Most everyone seemed to like the ‘show’ and they clapped with vigorosity at th’End. (It’s going to go up on BALTIC archive eventually and when it does, filmed by Gary Malkin, I shall send a link in my blArt.) That made my weekend, well that and selling a page from my collaborative letterpress pages printed by David Jury.

I learned a lot from doing the gig.

On the way back my chauffeuse Christine and I mulled over how tings can be improved. The fact that nobody bought any copies of ‘Venus Stairs’ had to have a reason. We worked out it needs a slip cover

a slip cover idea

with information on, like reviews, so am gunta aks some of the key players from the book event to scribe some werds for us.

Cos I werked out that books won’t attract interest if you don’t adhere to some tried & tested marketing ploys employed in the ‘normal’ book market; good cover, information, category etc

All these tings are not on my book at present.

Bruce borrowed my hat for this song!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLZ3uGd3gTo

There were other performances but I only got to see one which was done several times by Sylvia Causer and Andrea Freeman.Sylvia + Andrea sm

They did great, just continuing with their ‘reading’ even tho at times there was nobody watching, or just Hannah, bless her.

hannah watches on sm

They read the end of books, with Sylvia reading the words and Andrea interrupting the punctuations.

I said I were going to reblog this lovely review by Janet Davis which goes a long way towards explaining what artists books are, but i realised I didn’t yet know how to reblog, so if you click on this link it should take you to her blog:

https://janetedavisart.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/baltic-artists-book-market-2015/

Peter D. Cowboy 

glasses & gun close up

Peter D. Cowboy  alias Rhody O’Dork odork sheriffsays he’ll be coming to BALTIC with me and, as you already know, when he says that there’s nought I can dae aboot it (that’s me Geordie heritage talking noo).

Am away frae ma compooter a few days after I post this, am on the trail as O’Dork puts it.

a beuys influence

Above is a bit from a buk on Keifer I bought last time I wer in BALTIC. (O’Dork bought a yeller plastic doll which he’s bringing to the show).I am an inbetweena. I do these performance ting and I create images, artefacs and buks. So I look forward to ma latest show, ‘How to explain Veus on the stairs to a live audience at the Baltic’ and keep an eye on my stall at the same time! Well I got this split personality and so we should be Alright Now by the Free.

Alright am ready, nearly.

madgrad earings an fleurs sm

Ps here’s ma girl getting her MA at Courtauld & St Clements this week. Proud Pete.

expecting on stairs at tate brit smtate

And. I saw this lady on the stairs at TATE same day, I feel a painting coming on, oh no, I did not aks her permission.

Alright am ready, nearly.

So am nearly ready for BALTIC next week.  Their fame even spreads to the south coast, altho this design in Margate is not theirsbaltic logosm

Been a busy fascinating week. I joined ENAS at Margate to see the Grayson Perry show at the Turner Gallery which was pretty good. If he keeps practising he’ll make those pots straight one day.  Everyone in the Enas coach seemed to love his work, his wit & intelligence. His work is inspiring. I love the way he tumbles the barriers over, pushing stultified tradition over yet replacing it with new possibilities. I can’t indeed won’t show any images of his work as a protest, a BIG protest about this crap many galleries have about not taking photos etc. It’s such a negative ting. I aks you when you come see my works to take photos, as many as you likes.

fiona fouhy

Then I wandered around the town and saw some nice art, especially  Fiona Fouhy’s etchings.

fiona fouhy2

Here’s some shots from me Margate trip:

peter pizza

that’s me hungry fer petesa

I enjoyed Heidi Plant’s heidiwork at the Resort studios and may go back to do some work in their print studio. And when we arrived back at Firstsite wur we set out from the moon was out and the gallery looked so good. moon site

Next day I was back on my bike and over to London toon to do ‘Poetry’ with a visit to the Poetry Library first to deliver a signed cover for my collaboration work with David Jury. Saradha http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/saradha-soobrayen introduced me to the books of Anne Carson who seems to be an artist writer after my own art. There are lots of parallels in our books’ materials & looks. She were born in Toronto, Ontario in 1950, I was born in Glasgow the same year. Her Antigo Nick has a very similar feel to my Apulgold book, and the similarities don’t stop there. There’s a staggering resemblance in the way she made a book called Nox and the new version of my Shrewd Idiot. So much so you’d think I have copied her, not so, I never heard of her til Saradha introduced her work to me. But the way she has cut & pasted images and words is identical to my prep work already done. I just find that so encouraging and supportive, showing me I am on the right track. Of course the subject matter is very different. Mine is all about me, hers is about her brother.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/dec/30/featuresreviews.guardianreview7

I finished off at Enitharmon where I still couldn’t find William Blake but I saw a launch of a book on Ed Dorn with his wife Jennifer and others reading poems of his. I bought her poem Eastward Ho, The Saga Of Vitus Bering wherein I discovered that the Bering straits were named after a man called Bering! Bright that.

Did you know that the Boss had done a song about my youth? Enjoy- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i5A1Pn0z6k

Now down to some hard graft, polishing ma dancing boots, shaping ma cowbouy hat, donning ma spurs, covering ma buks, learning ma werds and preparing ma presenting skills for BALTIC nex Saturday at High Noon. Bring yer camras, feel free to take them darned photos of Outlaw Pete and his outputs.