Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Interview by Gretchen King for TYCI Blog

Gretchen King interviews artist Jackie Batey about her artistic process and influences for TYCI
"The Internet has a magical way of taking one down the rabbit hole during an innocent image search. This holds true with my recent discovery of UK based artist Jackie Batey. While doing a Google image search for ‘vintage b&w zines’ I clicked on an image that intrigued me. This led me down the rabbit hole that turned out to be Jackie’s collection of work." TYCI Blog
 Read the full interview here... http://www.tyci.org.uk/wordpress/interview-jackie-batey/

"TYCI - A collective run by women. We explore and celebrate all things femme, providing an open forum for discussion and a place to share ideas and make connections. We write about things which affect us and put together features on art, theatre, music, film, politics, current affairs and most things in between." From TYCI website.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

HOME now on show at the V and A Museum.

HOME is to be exhibited at the Vand A Museum, London, as part of the display curated by Deborah Sutherland.
Building Memories: The Art of Remembering
As part of Sky Arts Ignition: Memory Palace.

More information can be found via the link below.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Artist's Book: Be Nice When It's Finished - Berlin


Be Nice When It's Finished - Berlin
Leporello constructed from a single A3 sheet folded to make 16 pages.
80mm X 100mm with separate grey card folding cover with silver lining and silver 'pipe' on front.
Red and white ribbon is bound into the book to resemble builder's hazard tape, and keep the book closed. Brighton 2014. Edition of 20 - all numbered and signed plus embossed with Damp Flat Books name.

Micro Artist's Book celebrating the major building works that have become a regular feature of Berlin. After visiting Berlin in 2006 I was amazed at the scale of building works and in a return visit in 2013 it was still just as frenzied. A walk round the city made me feel as if I was in a real-life 'Sim City' that was constantly being knocked down and rebuilt around me, I took lots of photos of the pink pipes, cranes, hazard tape and false facades. Berlin is a dynamic place to be and there's a strange feeling that if you turn your back the building behind you might not be there when you turn around again. It's 25 years since the Wall has come down but the city itself has still not worked out what it's wants to be and the transformations are constant. The title of the book is from a quip my uncle Harry used to make when we came across building works in London (or any city) - "London, be nice when it's finished". I love the idea that one day Berlin will be finished, - maybe I'll visit in another seven years and have a look.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Future Fantasteek! on show in Russia 13th March – 18th May 2014

I am delighted to have been invited to exhibit three issues of Future Fantasteek! Nos. 12, 14 and 15 as part of the following international exhibition.

RUKSSIAN Artists Book
Artist’s Book in the UK and Russia
International Project

(Following text from Sarah Bodman - curator).

State Historical, Architectural, Art and Landscape Museum-Reserve «Tsaritsyno», Moscow
International Association «Kniga Khudozhnika», Moscow
Book Arts at the Centre for Fine Print Research, UWE Bristol, UK.

Curators: Sarah Bodman, Mikhail Pogarsky, Vasily Vlasov, Viktor Lukin, 

Place: Tsaritsyno State Historical, Architectural, Art and Landscape Museum-Reserve, Moscow

Date: 13th March – 18th May 2014

Concept: Artists’ books speak the international language of art. These books can be understood in almost any corner of the world. All artists, who work in the genre of the artist’s book professionally form a large international community. However, the artist’s book like any other artform has its own regional and national peculiarities. Apart from the language in which the text is presented, there are various historical roots from which the artist's book has emerged and on which the contemporary tree of this artform grows. In every country and in every city young artists learn many things from prominent artists and as such, new formal and informal schools of thought around the artist’s book are formed.

The international Project “R
UKSSIAN Artists’ Books” aims to demonstrate the unique and common features of the artist's book, presenting works by artists from the UK and Russia united by national artistic traditions.

British artists: Angie Butler, Anwyl Cooper-Willis, Barrie Tullett, Charlotte Hall, Christopher Robinson, Craig Atkinson, Elizabeth Willow & David Armes, Guy Begbie, Hazel Grainger, Helen Douglas & Thomas Evans, Jackie Batey, Jeremy Dixon, John Bently, John McDowall, Julie Johnstone, Les Bicknell, Nancy Campbell, Otto, Pauline Lamont-Fisher, Philippa Wood & Tamar MacLellan, Sarah Bodman, seekers of lice, Simon Goode, Simon Le Ruez, Sophie Loss, Stephen Fowler, Susan Johanknecht, Theresa Easton, Tom Sowden.

Russian artists: Nikita Alekseev, Tatiana Antoshina, Vasily Vlasov, Sergei Vorobyov, Viktor Goppe, Emil Guzairov, Aleksander Dzhikiya, Mikhail Dronov, Igor Zadera, Mikhail Karasik, Valery Korchagin, Nikolai Krastchin, Viktor Lukin, Kira Matissen, Valery Orlov, Peter Perevezentsev, Mikhail Pogarsky, Sergei Romashko, Aleksander Savelyev, Dmitry Saenko, Aleksander Svirsky, Vera Khlebnikova, Evelina Schatz, Sergei Shutov, Gunel Yuran, Sergei Yakunin.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Work in Progress - Library of Withdrawn Books

This is an idea for a series called the Library of Withdrawn Books or the Damp Library of Reimagined Books. I have a collection of vintage drawing and painting how-to guides along with many out dated art books. I wanted to imagine these books have reinvented or altered themselves for an imaginary library. The book contents will remain hidden but the altered covers shows the book has since transformed itself. This may form a series of 'altered covers' or a possible artist's book (catalogue) of withdrawn titles. What happens to all those books that no one else wants?
I want them.

Many thanks to Dr. Chris Mullen curator of the Culture Archive in Brighton and Jenni and Beth at the The University of Portsmouth Library for sourcing some great 'dead' books and magazines.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Artist's Book: Damp in Ditchwater

 Postcard souvenir booklet. First edition of twenty - Brighton UK
Heavy yellow card cover with shaped edge, printed in either, burnt-orange or turquoise.
Introduction page followed by 10 detachable heavyweight colour postcards with tissue interleaves.
One card contains a tipped-in stamp and handwritten salute.


"A charming history - told through postcards - of the philanthropic, family-run Damp Industries’
partnership with the sleepy town of Ditchwater-by-Sea. Damp Industries’ self-appointed mission, is to strive until culture, learning and suitable products reside in the South."

In this sequence of ten postcards the intriguing relationship between Damp
and Ditchwater-by-Sea is slowly revealed.
.....What happened on the opening day at the Damp Museum?
.....Who wears the Cod-Sash?
.....Why is the curator missing?

This book has grown out my fascination for less-than-exciting museums. I particularly enjoy the secondhand mannequins with scuffed noses and displays that have been gathering dust for years. I make a point of searching out the least-popular tourist attractions, in the hope of finding a display of manky plastic fruit or - my favourite - a historical family diorama. The trend in swish, technologically interactive museums are fine for children, but the creepy dank interiors of the deserted local museum are my delight. I have been recording these museum interiors for a number of years in the hope of celebrating these fast-disappearing gems. The second-rate displays often reveal an 'any old rubbish for the tourists' attitude that is sharper than any deliberate satire.

The narrative behind Damp in Ditchwater is the story of an unscrupulous company that, hounded out of its own country, has started over again in England. The clash of values, along with the townsfolk's desperation to 'be put on the map' reveals itself through the comments on the reverse of the postcards. Starting slight but getting more and more vocal until there is little room to actually write a message on the postcard. The Damp employees and Ditchwater townsfolk have an uneasy alliance, where both are gritedly out-for-themselves.

Selected Exhibitions:
The Southern Cross University Acquisitive Artsits’ Book Award is coordinated by the SCU Next Art Gallery, 89 Magellan Street, Lismore, NSW, Australia.
Now in it’s 5th year this annual award provides Southern Cross University with an opportunity to continue to develop an artists’ book collection of national significance and in so doing also contribute to the development and awareness of artists’ books as an art form. Exhibition opening & announcement of acquisitions August 11 - exhibition continues to September 22.
Damp in Ditchwater has been selected for this exhibition.

Place, Identity and Memory – books made by artists
Opens 23 May to 28 June 2009, Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries, Scotland.
Then the exhibition tours libraries and other venues across Dumfries and Galloway, ending at Stranraer Museum, 55 George Street, Stranraer, DG9 7JP, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland between the 26th September – 31st October 2009, to coincide with the annual Literary Festival at nearby Wigtown, Scotland’s Book Town. This is a travelling exhibition by IRIS. The aim of IRIS is to develop Dumfries and Galloway as a recognised centre for book arts in Scotland and internationally.
Headroom and Damp in Ditchwater both feature in the exhibition and catalogue.

Scheduled to appear in the November-December issue of the Book Arts Newsletter No.31, UWE, Bristol, UK

Babylon Lexicon - New Orleans, 14-30 Nov. 2008
Damp in Ditchwater and Headroom will be on show at the New Orleans Bookfair - Babylon Lexicon. - Future Fantasteek! Issue No.5 will also be exhibited, at the same time, during the New Orleans Zine Fair.

Re: 2008 The Gallery, The University of Northampton, Monday 12th – Thursday 29th May 2008
New book - Reboot has just been completed and accepted for the exhibition Re: 2008, Damp in Ditchwater joins the exhibition as part of The Ministry of Books Show.
  • The Gallery, The University of Northampton, Avenue Campus, Northampton, NN2 6JD, UK. 
  • Artworks MK, Milton Keynes, UK from 14th July–14th August;
  • Herefordshire College of Art – Summer 2008;
  • The Space Gallery, University of Portsmouth from 3rd-14th November 2008.
  • Quay Arts, Newport, Isle of Wight, UK

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Work in progress - Library of Found Magazines

I'm working on a series of altered magazine covers with a working title of: The Library of Found Magazines. I have a stack of Woman magazines from the 50s and 60s. I've always enjoyed the hyperbole of magazine advertisements since studying for my Ph.D. a while ago, when I researched American cigarette advertisements from 1945-1964. With this series I want to explore the UK magazines that instruct women how to be beautiful, successful but also an efficient housekeeper
(see also my book Anxious Homes about poor housekeeping).  The hand drawn text is illustrated transcripts of the copy within the magazine, I've added no words of my own. This series may form the basis of a new artist's book or an exhibition.

Ph.D. The Safe Cigarette - completed in 2003

The Safe Cigarette: Visual strategies of reassurance in American advertisements for cigarettes: 1945-1964. 
I chose to make limited edition books and multiples for the practical element of my Ph.D. The Safe Cigarette, which I successfully completed in March 2003. 

The thesis identifies specific design and illustration solutions in cigarette advertising such as considerations of artwork, photography, layout, typography, characterisation, and diagrammatic representation of process. The conclusions are then used as the basis for 9 books and multiples in which I explore, within my own artwork, the dynamics of visual instruction, and the devices for reassuring the anxious consumer using irony and humour throughout.

This thesis is in two sections, the written element presented as a sequence of eight Volumes, 
and the practical element presented as an inter-related set of Artist’s Books and Multiples.
This thesis presents a series of Artist’s Books and Multiples of graphic expressions of anxiety, each informed by a comparative study presented as a sequence of Volumes of the visual strategies used to advertise cigarettes in America in mass-circulation magazines between 1945 and 1964. The thesis is presented as a boxed object containing the eight Volumes, with Gatefolds and the 9 Artist’s Books and Multiples.

The thesis identifies specific design and illustration solutions in cigarette advertising such as considerations of artwork, photography, layout, typography, characterisation, and diagrammatic representation of process. The conclusions are then used as the basis for 9 books and multiples in which I explore, within my own artwork, the dynamics of visual instruction, and the devices for reassuring the anxious consumer using irony and humour throughout. 
Each Volume has a Gatefold visual montage with juxtaposed imagery central to the theme. The thesis combines visual analysis and the making of imagery in equal measure. The vast proportion of original visual examples used in the Volumes are reproduced for the first time in colour from a wide range of contemporary magazines. Particular emphasis is placed on the professional manuals generated by the advertising profession itself. 
A brief study of the cigarette market in the pre-1945 period identifies early anxieties about the product and how the tobacco industry and the advertising industry sought to address them. The thesis identifies the industries’ invention of the 'Safe Cigarette' and then explores the anxieties implicit in that concept, presenting visual means by which anxiety is depicted. Visual strategies of reassurance in the form of personifiers are compared - ranging from people in socially esteemed professions through to the use of animals (dogs) and visual fictions (Santa Claus).
Two factors in particular have been identified to distract consumers from the gathering sense of unease in the safety of the product that culminated in the report of the American Surgeon General in 1964 - the appeal to the consumption of the cigarette in the outdoors and the corresponding success of menthol cigarettes, and the appeal to the reassurance that technology can impart - in the success of the Filter-Tip market. The twin polarities are reflected in the Artist’s books, 'Which Filter Works?' and 'Menthol Daze'. 
In the last Volume the techniques of persuasion after 1945 are compared with those used by the American Huckster of the early twentieth century and the thesis concludes with an assertion of the role that visual humour can play in exposing fallacious marketing. 

I photographed and documented the artist's books and multiples in a CROM that accompanied the 'tin'. I've now made this available via my website as a 'stand alone' set of files, this will open in a new window. It includes all the images used in my PhD research, gatefold illustrations along with the books.
I hope to reconfigure the whole thesis in the future so it can be downloaded digitally or read via ebooks.
The actual 'tin' is held in St.Peter's Library in Brighton and registered at the British Library.

Artist's Book: Confidence

This small book measures 95mm x 95mm.
Stitched binding, 12 pages printed in black & white with a pink centerspread.
Each book contains elements tipped-in by hand, such as tickets, cards and rubber stamps.
Produced in editions of 25, First Edition produced in 1997.

This book was inspired by the idea of cheating. There are pages on how to cheat at various games such as monopoly, cards, rolling dice as well as bigger cons such as winning a raffle through to the lottery jackpot. The book itself however, is as fake as the cheats it describes, obviously written by a fraudster. This book comes with a slipcase belonging to a different book (sporting themes), in order to hide Confidence on the bookshelf - The slipcases all have unique titles. The tone is humorous targeting the gullible who believe you can really, get-rich-quick.

Artist's Book: Surely Not!

The book measures 102mm x 202mm.
Stiched binding, containing 8 pages, a central gatefold on orange card with an orange card cover. 
This book was part of my practice-based PhD on anxiety in advertising.

This book was inspired by the notion that, when looked at closely, smoking a cigarette is a strange activity. The Bob Newhart monologue 'The Introduction of Tobacco to Civilisation' is a case in point. Smoking is not a basic need such as eating or drinking but rather a skill that, once the fundamentals are learnt, requires practice and patience to develop. The "believe-it-or-not" strategy was based loosely on Ripley's regular feature in newspapers and collections from the 'fifties, but the images were developed from cigarette advertisements from the U.S. between 1938-72 and then redrawn to place emphasis on the absurdity of the activity. Grubby marks on the illustrations were enhanced to give the feel the images are 'dirty' as printed.

I composed the text in a style aiming to satirise the short-snappy 'Amazing Facts' tone of children' comics or encyclopedias. Texts aimed at younger readers often seem to convey the anxiety that the reader will tire of a subject should the copy spread to more than 5 lines. I have made sure that the concepts in Surely Not jump breathlessly from theme to theme at high speed never allowing the reader to dwell on one story for long. The font chosen was one resembling a style often employed in comics to give the feeling that the text had been hand written. 'Comic Sans' is heavy and stolid but its informal structure tries desperately to imply jollity. The central gatefold shows the Smoking Beagle, hopefully reminding the reader of the vast number of beagles that were used to test cigarettes (to public outrage in the late eighties). The gatefold was designed to sit on orange heavy weight paper, along with the cover. The main pages were printed on 130g cartridge paper. The orange and white colours are reminiscent of the colours used in marketing a regular cigarette of the period.

This book is held in various permanent collections including:

The V&A Museum, UK

Golda-Meir Library, UWM LIbraries, Milwaukee, USA

The Culture Archive, Brighton, UK

Eton College Library, UK

Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, Chicago, USA

The British Library, London, UK

St. Peter's House Library, Brighton, UK

Knights Park Library, Kingston University, Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK

Howard Gardens Library, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, South Wales