Beyond the Book - An exhibition of artists who use books as their medium - 5 April - 8 June 2014

Beyond the Book sets out to explore the transition of books through a variety of formats, from bound volumes and photographs to sculptures, installations and jewellery. It opened at Devon Guild of Craftsmen on 5th April 2014 (previewing on the 4th 6-8pm) and runs until 8th June 2014.

Organised by Devon Guild of Craftsmen, with support from the University of Exeter Arts and Culture, this symposium seeks to discuss and expand on the premise of artists using the book as a cultural and symbolic object, and as a container of history, narrative and memory. The accompanying exhibition Beyond the Book seeks to examine the question:

What happens when artists consider the matter of books?

The conventional book became a household object after the invention of printing, and has only recently been rivalled by the computer screen and electronic text. Beyond the Book sets out to explore the transition of books through a variety of formats, from bound volumes and photographs to sculptures, installations and jewellery. Beyond the Book examines the broad spectrum of work currently being created by artists and designers who are using books to deconstruct and describe their qualities, both aesthetically and conceptually. All of the artists in the exhibition share an interest in memory, language and narrative. They use books as a way of filtering their ideas. Beyond the Book aims to demonstrate how diverse the Book Art movement is in the UK by showcasing British-based talent, and to illustrate the notions and narratives behind the making. Alongside the why, the exhibition will examine the process, material and nature of production.


The co-curators Su Blackwell, Artist and Saffron Wynne, Exhibitions Manager Devon Guild of Craftsmen invite papers from practitioners, academics and arts professionals to discuss the exhibition themes further. Papers can either be for one of the specific areas (below) or to facilitate a debate/Q & A for one of the areas. The indicative scope of the symposium will include (but is not limited to) the following areas:


This topic relates to the physicality of the book, the printed surface of the page.

'The Seduction of the Book' and 'The Book as Object'

We invite you to question the role of the book as object, the use of christian louboutin books as an artistic material and playing with the book form itself.


Examining artists who use books as a way of filtering ideas/things in relation to language, memory and nostalgia. These artists are offering alternative meanings, narratives and contexts, questioning the role of language. They have a shared interest in language, between the written language and the body.


This theme explores the transformation of books into something new, giving life and new meaning to otherwise discarded objects. Books have been stripped of their utilitarian value by passage of time, regain and given a new purpose. We invite comments on a throw-away society.


Raising the question of the future of the book, at a time when the variety of technological possibilities are increasing and the future of books themselves is being questioned.


Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words describing your proposed paper and /or session you would like to organise, along with a biog of no more than 100 words. All abstracts and enquires should be sent to both convenors by 5pm, Monday 10th March 2014.

Su Blackwell:

Saffron Wynne:

Exhibition address:

Devon Guild of Craftsmen

Riverside Mill

Bovey Tracey


TQ13 9AF

Tel: 01623 832223



Touring to Long & Ryle, London 12th June - 17th July 2014