Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Turn the Page artists book fair - Part Two

As promised I am back with the second part of my visit to the 'Turn the Page' artists' book fair.  If you missed the previous post you might want to see that first, here.

After a short break for refreshments and fresh air we went back to complete our viewing. It gets tiring when you are standing for hours and super excited about everything you see! Energy restored, we started where we had left off....

First stop was Chris Ruston, one of my friends whose work I had seen in progress.  It was lovely to see it close up and unfortunately I was so busy looking and talking that I didn't take many photos. That will surprise those who know me!! Chris has been working on a project about whales, and it developed into a social history based on real life journals belonging to the captain of a whaling ship and his wife. Life was hard in those days and his wife spent three years on board, giving birth to two babies at sea. Here's some photos that I did take:

One of my favourite parts of this collection is a box with journals belonging to a sea captain and his wife. These are based on actual ones that Chris saw in Hull Museum. There is beautiful attention to detail with a clay pipe, ladies Victorian dip pen, and other interesting artefacts.

Part of the collection includes 2 large books, which you can see in the first photo. The hand printed paper used to cover the books, and
elsewhere in the collection, is beautiful, and the photo does not do it justice. Inside the books are bone shaped pages. Chris has added a video to her Instagram and this is worth checking out.

I think you'll agree that this art work is pretty amazing!

It was also lovely to see Karen Apps, another friend and whose work I have seen coming together. Karen slow stitches and has patience extraordinaire! 

This dressing gown is one of my favourite pieces, the tiny stitched writing is taken from a vintage letter. I wish I had asked more about the story behind it. I realised with hindsight that my energy was flagging after so many hours and I missed opportunities.   Next year I will spread my visit over the 2 days! Luckily I can go back to Karen and ask her to tell me more....

Another friend exhibiting was Paula Macgregor. She is a mixed media artist and enjoys making assemblages with narrative.

Below is one of Paula's most recent projects, a grandmother clock that tells the story of matriarchy. Just as we are connected by
family, each book is attached by a chain and decorated with beautiful vintage linen.

Another of Paula's work is a curiosity that could be a museum piece. The story is so convincing....

Like the grandmother clock, there is so much detail in the next curiosity box that you could happily loose another hour or two looking at. The story is based around the book shown on the door. As you unwind the scroll it reveals a code which you work out from clues in the book, revealing another tale. This appeals to my sense of intrigue.

Among the contributors was another friend, Ingrid Duffy. We first met at a Alice Fox Summer School, 2 years ago, and we discovered we had a mutual friend who lives in the Netherlands. It's a small and fascinating world.  Ingrid is a textile artist who often incorporates her photography into her work.  She is taking part in an Art Trail and I might try and go along. I only took one photo of Ingrid's stand, what was I thinking?!

There were a number of student groups exhibiting and also print making demonstrations.  This beautiful press was recently given to the John Jarrold Printing Museum and been carefully restored.  Based in Norwich this museum is only open on Wednesday mornings and it is on my list to visit, one day.

There were lots more stands but I will end with the Norfolk Longbook.  This is a collaborative project and artists, poets and writers were invited to submit their work. You can see this concertina book has achieved an impressionable length and there is a wonderful variety on it's double sided pages, with more on the table to add.

As you can see, the standard of work at Turn the Page is impressive and I felt privileged to be there and to meet the artists. I came home inspired and excited by what I saw, and I look forward to visiting again next year. Thanks for joining me in this post visit, and hope you liked what you saw too. 


  1. I can see how a week there still wouldn't be enough time. I think days could be lost & found with Paula's creations, really like her making connections & stories out of stories ... oh the talent!

  2. Thank you for your encouraging words - you can see more of my work at:


  3. Yes, two days would seem a good idea - I think I'd have had creative indigestion just admiring and taking in all these wonderful, unique works ... thank-you for making it possible for us to enjoy too :).


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