Sarah Bodman, Bristol, UK
Why Say It Again?, 2013
Another spine chiller from Sarah Bodman. Ostensibly this is a book of ‘dates’ with names and places and drinks noted down beneath a barely discernible glass ring mark. But this book has dark roots. It is the diary of an international poisoner. It is inspired by the historical case of a woman who practiced her delivery of Strychnine on many friends and family before getting it ‘right’. Her poison of choice, a bitter substance, was masked through strong or overly sweet drinks and foods, with meticulous note-taking of her attempts to formulate the correct amounts. The artist ponders how she would have administered her poison today? The appointments made, would she perhaps have been successful first time, or would she have needed to ask for another meeting?
Each page has been screenprinted with a clear water-based varnish, the stencils made from dipping glasses and cups into ink to make a mark, just as you would if you put a glass or cup onto a table. The marks, like the poison are barely discernible. The handwritten, colour appointments are in watercolour pencil. Once the job is done, the colourful notes can be wiped away, leaving only the first ‘date’ in pencil.
Edition of 20, September 2013. 140 x 140mm. Bound in charcoal grey bookcloth with hand-tooled title and ribbon ties by Rachel James of Bristol Bound Bookbinders.
£160 (plus P&P and insurance)
The Collector, 1998
Inspired by the John Fowles' novel
A study of the idea of the collector; through a series of images that gradually unveil a sinister side to the idea of collecting in both nature and human nature. The book contains a series of hand printed images of botanical greenhouses and old amateur biology slides. Each image was photographed, then screenprinted with hand-colouring. Each box also contains one slide in tissue slipcase, from those photographed for the edition.
Water-based screenprinting inks, all pages hand-tinted with watercolours. Printed on Somerset Satin 300gsm. Hand bound by Guy Begbie, hardback, cloth covers. Boxed with individual glass slide.
Edition of 10, 20 pp, 19 x 19cms.
£150 (plus P&P and insurance)
How Do I Love Thee?, 2009
Sarah Bodman and J P Willis (Australia)
A collaborative book; inspired by the Romantic poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43. An example of how far people in love will go to keep it. Pages were sent back and forth from the UK and Australia and then printed and laser cut at the Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE Bristol. Cover by Bristol Bound Bookbinding.
The book is the second collaboration between these two artists, who share a mutual interest in the darker side of human nature.
The pages reinterpret the sentiment of the original sonnet, and notions of nature (and human nature) as something beautiful and safe. What lies beneath can be very sinister.
Edition of 20, 15 x 15cm. This is 1/20 and is signed by both artists.
Flowers In Hotel Rooms Volume V, 2016
A limited edition artist’s book, 'Volume V' in a series of books inspired by Richard Brautigan's novel 'The Abortion: An Historical Romance', 1966. Each book contains 10 images/performances/tributes for 10 books read whilst travelling.
Sarah Bodman says, “Lots of travel for work can sound glamorous but in reality is mostly time spent in airports, stations and hotel rooms. These books have helped occupy my time by imagining what the characters in the books I read would be doing if they were here.
For 'Volume V', I read Gogol's 'Dead Souls', looking at a gilded mirror in a London hotel room thinking of Chichikov's purchases. In Melbourne, I read the 'Jerilderie Letter' alongside Peter Carey's manuscripts for 'The True History of the Kelly Gang'. In The Netherlands, working with Tom Sowden, for John Fante's 'Ask The Dust', I appropriate the palm tree remnants from an Ed Ruscha tribute video we made on the train. In Scotland I wept with laughter at an empty fridge thanks to David Sedaris's 'Barrel Fever', and after interviewing Dmitry Sayenko ate 'mashed peas' in Manchester for Daniil Kharms. I don't know where I'm going next, or what I'll be reading, but these days I look forward to any dull hotel or shabby motel - as I know anything could happen.”
140mm x 100mm x 12mm (extends to 880 mm when opened), 10pp, concertina format, archival inkjet prints from original colour photographs on Woodstock Superfine paper, bound with six-sheet card and a variety of vintage wallpaper covers, screen printed text on inside covers and secured with a belly band.
This copy is number 9 in an edition of 25.
Sarah Bodman is an artist and Senior Research Fellow in Book Arts at the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), UWE Bristol, UK. She is editor of the 'Book Arts Newsletter', 'Artist's Book Yearbook' and 'The Blue Notebook' journal, and writes regularly on artists’ books for the 'ARLIS News-Sheet', 'Printmaking Today', 'Artists Newsletter' and other international publications.
See the complete book on our Instagram feed.
£25 (plus P&P and insurance)
Gift: I Made This For You, 2016
A limited edition artist’s book inspired by the 'Angel of Bremen’, Gesche Gottfried, considered a model citizen by the public but who actually murdered fifteen people by lacing their food with arsenic.
Produced to resemble the type of pamphlet publication / recipe book given away with newly purchased gas cookers in the 1940s–50s. It contains 14 'recipes' for 15 people. Each of the dishes was cooked and photographed by the artist in the same sequence that the original dishes were prepared. GIFT in the English language means a present, it is also the German word for poison.
214mm x 148mm x 5mm. 32pp, 17 black and white images, saddled stitched, offset lithography printed on Cyclus Print 100% recycled. Signed and numbered in an edition of 500 by Axminster Printing Company, Axminster, UK, June 2016.
See the complete book on our Instagram feed.