I know I am little slow but over the weekend I had the chance to browse the latest issue of Bonefolder. It is excellent by the way and well worth popping over to the site and downloading a copy. Muriel Prince’s article Women and Books: Contemporary book artists share their thoughts was of particular interest as recently I have become more interested in book binding and artist books. I have always had an interest in this area and have started to bind my own visual journals. Murial Prince asks why so many women are attracted to artists books as a format and suggests that possibly “it’s the freedom of the multi-disciplinary approach that appeals to women, the not being pigeon-holed and restrained by tradition or convention, the idea that anything goes – the concept can be realised using any and every means at the individual’s disposal.”
It had me thinking half the day because my mind wondered if it was an area of artistic practice where women felt they could carve out a place without having to contend with a huge and historically long pile of baggage like the tradition of painting or sculpture has.
The “no rules” aspect of a particular practice is often highlighted when women talk about a creative practice they love. For instance both crazy quilters and art journallers constantly say that anything goes there are no rules. It is as if throwing away the rules is necessary in reaction to some areas of textile practice. It is as if many women feel that the generations of strict rules about for instance what is and is not done when embroidering a cloth has to be responded to. The thing is there is actually no rules left in many of these traditional areas too. However there are lots of people who still believe there are and are fearful of breaking some unspoken rule they do not know about.
Back to artists books as format you can still explore a concept. The physical size is also small and often intimate which may also be a factor.
Anyway this one article gave me food for thought but I really wanted to simply point to the whole issue as it is well worth reading if you are at all interested in the paper arts or even if you simply keep a visual journal
If you feel like leaving a response here or musing on your own blog about the importance of rules please do and leave a comment to let me and everyone else know. I know I will read it … now must be off I have a living to earn