Frankenstein Books

We have two books in the current exhibition in Kirkby Library/Gallery in Knowsley – the first book was made for the exhibition in Liverpool Central Library, where it was shown off in pride of place.



This book/sculpture was inspired by the debate between William Lawrence’s materialism and John Abernathy’s spiritualised vitalism, which Mary Shelley would have been familiar with, and the ideas of the time about electricity, mechanisms and life. The ‘book’ is in the form of a modular origami heart (made from two copies of Frankenstein) with origami elements, electric wire and little cogs flying out from it, tumbles of electrical wire in the heart and the whole mounted on printed circuit boards and an old electrical connecting panel.

The Frankenstein themed exhibition (2018 being the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein) then moved to Knowsley, with a call out for more books, so we made this second one –


It focuses on the themes of Remorse and Revenge – Dr Frankenstein’s remorse and anguish at having created such a monster; the monster, rejected by Frankenstein and everyone he meets, seeks revenge. But in the end Frankenstein turns to revenging the deaths of his loved ones killed by the monster and the monster is finally remorseful beside the bed of his dead creator.

The concertina of the book (pages from a lovely old copy of Frankenstein) follows the development of the story – told by an explorer (Walton) sailing to the arctic. First there is a pop-up boat from a graphic novel edition of the book; the pages all icy white as the boat is stuck in the arctic ice, the words of the book whited out except every instance of ‘revenge’, ‘remorse’, ‘anguish’, ‘repent’ and ‘compassion’; the novel is all written in letters to Walton’s sister so there are little envelopes addressed to her flying off the pages.

Then there maps showing Frankenstein’s travels as the story unfolds – Ingolstadt where Frankenstein studied; Geneva where he returns to his family; Chamonix where Frankenstein goes to grieve but is chased by the monster; Tilbury Docks, London and Edinburgh on his way to the Orkney Islands where he goes to create a companion for the monster, though then destroys his half-made creation. The final page is a mesostics, using the monster’s final speech, making ‘Remorse’.


Under the concertina pages are little blotters (complete with blotted writings from the book) as Walton might have had on his desk as he wrote the letters telling the story told to him by the dying Frankenstein.”

The whole exhibition in Knowlsely is excellent – a wonderful collection of artists books, beautifully arranged and displayed.

Leeds Artist’s Book Fair this weekend

We’ve been having fun with slate (recycled Welsh roof slates) and labyrinths, Haiku and poems – and splashing about some lovely Pantone inks I got from the great Scrap store in Farsley. (All about labyrinths)

Cleaved, drilled, overlapped,

 enclosing warmth, facing storms.

 Wiped clean; a new day.


We submitted 100 bookmarks to the wonderful Bookmarks XV project this year –

Bookmarks XV

The Bookmarks project, initiated and run by the wonderful Sarah Bodman of UWE, invites book artists to make 100 book marks (all the same or different, any media but have to be a fixed size) which are then distributed to participating bookshops round the world to be given away with books – a change from the mass produced ones. A delightful idea and it has produced some wonderful bookmarks; sadly though this year is the final one of the project.

Running on from our Shakespeare book last year Clare felt this phrase by Polixenes in A Winter’s Tale aptly described the ‘prints’ I’d made by pressing lily flowers. We produced 5 versions (never being able to decide on just one of our experiments!) – plain print on watercolour paper, print on tracing paper machine sewn onto watercolour paper, print on tracing paper machine sewn onto print on watercolour paper, print on tracing paper hand tied onto print on watercolour paper, prints on zigzag tracing paper machine sewn onto watercolour paper and print on zigzag plain paper machine sewn onto plain paper. Phew. There were some other variations but we rejected them….

PAGES Leeds | International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair

Our stall at the 2016 Book Fair

We’re continuing the bark theme again a bit this year but have also having a new strand of Zigzag Concertina books … including walls, quotes, maps, skylines, pressed flowers and, of course, poems.

Link to our Pages 2017 page

And there’ll be a star appearance by our Tempest book, hot foot from its ‘working holiday’ with the lovely Simon in Sarno, Italy (he took a selection of the books from the 2016 Shakespeare Now! Liverpool Artist’s Book Fair Exhibition to be exhibited there) –

cropped-smallAgain we’ll be using invigilators from the wonderful Leeds Creative Timebank.

Deborah being jolly when invigilating the stall
Deborah being jolly when invigilating the stall
Lynette 'explaining' something to Clare...
Lynette ‘explaining’ something to Clare…

PAGES Leeds | International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair

Do join us for another exciting Leeds International Artists’ Book Fair

Saturday 5th March 11.00 – 6.00 :  Sunday 6th March 11.00 – 4.00

  We are bringing landscape into the Tetley.

IMG_8785cropped adj small

This year it is even more about bark! Our aim is to connect tree, rock, landscape with words and poems in an imaginative and dynamic way to challenge perception and increase appreciation. An emerging theme is also autobiography – look our for the faded postcard book! The major works on our stall are a result of a collaborative process between us: an artist who loves words and a poet who loves art, who both love trees, rocks and landscape.

This creative relationship builds on a 40 year friendship. We still want to change the world but now it is done through selecting roots to go with pieces of bark and then choosing found phrases from an old paperback. We end up with works which neither of us could or would produce on our own.

We love to talk about artist’s books, see other people’s and learn new things to try. We enjoy a stimulating conversation and lots of laughs. So do come and find us for a chat or add comments/get in touch on this site.

Our page on Pages website – rock-tree-landscape