Presented in collaboration with the Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book.
Contemporary letterpress artist David Armes (Red Plate Press) and book conservator Andrew Honey (Bodleian Libraries) share their appreciation for paper and for the craft and art that goes into the making of books. Armes explains how he printed a new book on 'Oxford India Paper,' very thin but opaque paper used to print Bibles, encyclopaedias, and other lengthy works. The resulting work, Curses, exploits the paper's unique qualities. Find out how demanding this was, and hear about Armes's printing residency in Oxford, where he created the work 'Between Sun Turns,' a response to the environment and cityscape in and around the city. It has been thought that ‘Oxford India paper’ was locally produced at the Wolvercote Paper Mill; Andrew Honey discusses this idea, and reveals other historical paper research taking place at the Bodleian.
David Armes is an artist working with print, language and geography. His work is frequently site-specific and considers how sense and experience of place can be represented. He works primarily with letterpress printing on paper and, through using what was once an industrial process, he is interested in where the multiple meets the unique, where the ephemeral meets the archival. The final work varies in form and size from small chapbooks to large hanging scroll installations. He travels frequently for residencies and worked as artist-in-residence at Bodleian Libraries at University of Oxford (2019), Zygote Press fine art printmaking studio, Ohio (2018), BBC Radio Lancashire (2017) and Huddersfield Art Gallery (2016). He has recently shown work in the USA, UK and Germany, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Flourish Excellence in Printmaking award.
Andrew Honey is a book conservator at the Bodleian Libraries with a teaching and research role. He has recently completed the conservation and rebinding of the Winchester Bible and is the conservation advisor to The Mappa Mundi Trust. He has wide interests in the materiality of rare books and manuscripts, and a particular interest in historic paper. His paper research has ranged from the writing papers used by Jane Austen (Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts, Oxford 2018) to the faults found in the Shakespeare’s First Folio (‘Torn, wrinkled, stained, and otherwise naughty sheets’ – how should we interpret paper faults in seventeenth-century paper)