The Book: Materiality and Making

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London Gallery West is delighted to present an exhibition of bookworks by four artists, designers and illustrators who traverse various content, media and contexts. The exhibition focuses on the relationship between the book as a material object and the processes of making which lead to its final outcome. Diverse narratives of process, which include letterpress, silk-screen, blacksmithing, and hand binding, reveal the act of making a book to be as significant as the final work. They touch upon contemporary concerns about retaining the sensual, human attributes of the book in an age of digital transformations and dematerialised, screen-based outputs; whilst at the same time retaining a place for making as a form of thinking. Sheena Calvert's metal-bound book expands upon some of the paradoxes of the material book as a container of knowledge and the book's relationship to the question of the body and embodied thought. Emma Dodson explores the 'spaces in between', using photography, print and inked-up abandoned objects that were, bound into books and returned to the environment where they were found. Christine McCauley draws on the historical resonance of letterpress and the time-consuming nature of the process to reflect on the embedding of form and idea while paying homage to the material culture of the Naga tribe, while Katherina Manolessou's children's book shows how the making processes of drawing, collage, dummy-making and silk-screen printing were fundamental in resolving the story and defining the characters and overall look of the book.