Artists’ Books at Canterbury. London. A Three Dimensional Expanding City Skyline. Illustrated by Sarah McMenemy (2011).

Artists’ Books MCM

McMenemy, Sarah.

London. A Three Dimensional Expanding City Skyline (2011).

London hosts a variety of famous landmarks and buildings, Sarah McMenemy has designed a rather sweet, intricate pop-up book of these different places. The book looks at London’s most famous attractions and extends out to form a skyline of London. Buckingham Palace, Harrods, Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament and The Tower of London all feature in the book. Each page gives a bit of information about each venue alongside the delicate watercolour illustrations.


London. A Three Dimensional Expanding City Skyline (2011). McMenemy, Sarah. Walker Books.


London. A Three Dimensional Expanding City Skyline (2011). McMenemy, Sarah. Walker Books.



London. A Three Dimensional Expanding City Skyline (2011). McMenemy, Sarah. Walker Books.


London. A Three Dimensional Expanding City Skyline (2011). McMenemy, Sarah. Walker Books.



Artists’ books at Canterbury. This is a paper trinket for you to wear. David Shrigley (2006).

Artists’ Books SHR

Shrigley, David.

This is a paper trinket for you to wear (2006).

Known for his surreal black and white illustrations and bizarre statements drawn on paper, David Shrigley is an icon in the fine art world. This is a paper trinket for you to wear adds to Shrigley’s extensive work in a small artists’ book format. His strange, almost comedic drawings and odd comments carry through the book with no specified meaning, opening it up to the viewer to interpret them.

You can find more of David Shrigley’s work in the library catalogue and on his website:

Or follow him on Twitter:



David Shrigley, This is a paper trinket for you to wear (2006). Artists’ Books SHR.


David Shrigley, This is a paper trinket for you to wear (2006). Artists’ Books SHR.


Artists’ Books at Canterbury. The Observer’s Book of British Birds. Andrew Malone (2010).

Artists’ Books MAL

Malone, Andrew.

The Observer’s Book of British Birds (2010).

There’s a variety of artists’ books in our collection, from hand-bound books, photocopied zines to re-purposed books. Andrew Malone takes old illustrated books and gives them a new life. He delicately cuts around each individual illustration creating an almost pop-up like effect with his books. Andrew’s focus is mainly on wildlife, primarily in Britain. His other works include Wild Life in Britain a Ladybird Conservation Book, The Observer’s Book of Birds’ Eggs and The Observer’s Book of Butterflies. You can find his re-purposed books and his handmade books in the artists’ book collection under MAL.


You can follow Andrew on Twitter where he posts more of his work:


andrew_malone_1Andrew Malone, The Observer’s Book of British Birds (2010). Artists’ Books MAL.


Andrew Malone, The Observer’s Book of British Birds (2010). Artists’ Books MAL.


Andrew Malone, The Observer’s Book of British Birds (2010). Artists’ Books MAL.



Artists’ Books at Canterbury. The Present is not a Purgatory. Diary comics from 2008 – James Nash (2008 – 2009)

Artists’ Books NAS

Nash, James.

The Present is not a Purgatory. Diary comics from 2008.

Each day is different for everyone, James Nash documents his day-to-day life using three panel comics. The whole comic is a year long starting from January 2008 and ending in January 2009.  Each day shows a brief snapshot of his life at the time. From working in a bank, moving to London, skating with his friends, trips out and other various activities. Throughout the comic a rather poignant underlying aspect of James’ life emerges, his anxiety and depression. James addresses these issues to his readers bluntly and honestly.

James Nash, The Present is not a Purgatory. Diary comics from 2008 (2008 – 2009). Artists’ Books NAS

Artists’ Books at Canterbury. Lonely Robot – Aisling Marray (2009).

Lonely Robot – Aisling Marray

Artists’ Books MAR

Created by Aisling Marray in 2009 after the Foundation trip to Amsterdam. A concertina style zine with each page becoming a different location. The zine follows a robot wandering around the streets of Amsterdam, exploring and discovering new people and places. The zine allows the reader to experience robot vision by putting on a handmade pair of 3-D glasses. Also included in the zine is a chocolate bar to keep your energy up whilst you wander through Amsterdam.


Aisling Marray, Lonely Robot (2009). Artists’ Books MAR.



Rare Books at Canterbury

The Canterbury Rare Book Collection, offers the opportunity to explore rare and unique publications.

The focus for this blog is a large boxed folio of text and colour plates of Nicolas de Staél, text by R.V. Gindertael / translated from the French by F. McFarland and published by Methuen in 1961, Cat. No.2/6601/1.


The text on Nicholas de Staél, considers the development of his work. From the period of his painting known as the ‘epoque elue’ where  he combines fusion of the visionary and physical worlds with the essential properties of medium. The text considers the importance of the tactile impressions created by medium which stay throughout his de Staél’s work. Through interrogation of the artists composition, the artist’s beliefs are also examined.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES“I need to feel the presence of life all around me, and to grasp it in its entirety, as I feel it…”            De Staél

Roger Van Gindertael, who created the text in this publication was a Belgian painter of Expressionist landscapes and figures.  He was also the co-founder of the art magazine ‘Hélianthe’ and jointly on ‘La Nervie’. He eventually abandoned painting to become an art critic of the post-war Abstract movement.

Artists Books at Canterbury. Happy Travellers -Artists Book MIY.

Happy Travellers (2009)

Chie Miyazaki & Soju Tanaka

Artists Books MIY

A rather sweet and delicate artists’ book with subtle watercolour illustrations of some jovial characters who are travelling. They travel by unconventional means; tortoise, unicycle, cable car, ship and hot air balloon. With each page there’s a variety of bright characters, some hiding in the pages, encouraging the viewer to look a little bit longer at the pages to spot each character.

Find more of their work here:


Happy Travellers, 2009, Chie Miyazaki & Soju Tanaka.


Happy Travellers, 2009, Chie Miyazaki & Soju Tanaka.


Happy Travellers, 2009, Chie Miyazaki & Soju Tanaka.

In Our Minds Exhibition and Workshop at The National Archives.


We are excited to announce The National Archives will be hosting a workshop and talk “Using archives in your creative practice” to be held on Tuesday 4th April 2017.  You can find full details and how to sign up here.

The talk will include contributions from UCA students and staff who will talk about their experiences producing creative work in response to records related to mental health held at The National Archives and UCA Archives and Special Collections for the In Our Minds Exhibition. There will also be an opportunity to see the In Our Minds touring exhibition in partnership with The National Archives.  Full details about the project can be found on The National Archives blog.

The In Our Minds project 2016 was part funded by Friends of The National Archives and University for the Creative Arts.

Carryl Church – Acting Archivist.

Artists’ Books at Canterbury- Toasty Cats Number 4 – The Creature Issue

Canterbury has a superb collection of Artists’ Books and Zines of varying sizes, shapes and formats. This is the first of many posts which will examine individual items within the collection to showcase the cornucopia of works available.

Toasty Cats Number 4 – The Creature Issue (2005)

Artist’s books BOR

Toasty Cats, a zine by illustrator Magda Boreysza. Magda’s work plays with very delicate and intricate lines juxtaposed with quite hideous yet beautifully creepy creatures she has created. Her zine contains the comic ‘The Seed, Part 3’, following the life of two young girls and their dog Cora. Although there is little backstory to the comic (the stories can be found in previous editions) an uneasy atmosphere is developed through the sketchy rough lines, whispering shadows hidden in the mirrors of pages and watchful eyes glancing back at the reader. A delightful and enticing read.

You can find more of her work at:

Artist Book – 87 Octane

The Epsom Archive is home to a variety of artists books and I have chosen one to investigate, literally at random, with eyes closed dipping into a box.

I pulled out 87 Octane.


‘87 Octane’ created by Norwegian illustrator Maria Midttun is a risograph printed book comprising of text and drawings.

The book starts with ‘An attempt to make no-sense of the disappearance of Aage Moystad 11th of April 1940. Dedicated to the one he left behind; Anne Marie’

The artists book is in response to conversations with her Grandmother surrounding the disappearance of her father on a fateful day in 1940 following a bombing raid. The artist seeks to create a fantastical story to explain the disappearance.

The story starts with a character, driving in the night through a range of mountains. The character (presumably the father) is curious as he wears a large witch type hat and what appears to be sunglasses, despite the darkness. It’s evident from the gauge that he has nearly run out of petrol but he continues along zig zagging roads through a range of mountains. Then disaster strikes, he’s out of petrol. He takes a can from the boot of the car and starts to walk along the dark road. His sunglasses give a reflection of the road ahead but this could be interpreted as on egg timer, as if his time was running out. As he’s walking, the illustrations take on a more sinister feeling with the mountains having eyes and the darkness seeming to envelope him. After walking some distance, he peers over his sunglasses and sees the welcoming lights of a service station. Upon arrival, he begins to fill his petrol can with ’87 Octane’. Suddenly, the character looks shocked. The following four illustrations (which change to burgundy and pink colours) show the character vaporise and disappear; leaving just the hat. Another car driving along the same road approaches the service station. The driver starts to fill his car with petrol from the same pump where the hat and petrol still mysteriously lie. The final illustrations are of the second driver continuing his journey; the car billowing out fumes which contain the face and sunglasses of the father. Is this what happened that fateful night?

The book is currently on display in the archive room and is just part of an extensive range of artists books.


Tiffany Gregory, Library Adviser.