Artist’s Book Fair events in the North East, are not a regular phenomena, yet activity in the region proves there is a lot of bookish activity going on up here (and that also includes the temporary return  and display to the North East of the Lindisfarne Gospels )

From Zine makers, to comic groups such as Paper Jam Comic Collective , who were just one of many  contributers to a Thursday Social event at Baltic 39   in January 2013. The evening  offered visitors  that chance to explore art fanzines and take part in unusual board games.  The whole evening  complimented the Jim Shaw exhibition on show at BALTIC and Baltic 39.

Photo:David Lawson

Traditional book restoration  has its roots in  Newcastle’s Literary & Philosophical Society in Bolbec Hall  where regular book restoration sessions take place.  The Lit & Phil is also home to the North East contingent of Society of Bookbinders  the group meets regular offering inspiring talks and skills based workshops.  The Monkseaton based bookbinding classes  originally facilitated by expert bookbinder David King,  is now lead by Designer Bookbinder member  Ruth McCann who provides not only essential knowledge, but inspiring insight into the tradition of bookmaking.

The local Universities deliver regular bookmaking and binding experience to students both in Fine Art & Design, with  Deirdre Thompson taking a leading role in students learning experience. Northumbria  University plays host to a specialist Paper Research Faculty as well as an MA in  Conservation.  In 2010 while taking part in an AA2A (Artist Access to Art Colleges) I organised the Gallery North Artist’s Book Fair for one day in June.

Photo: Roger Coulam
Photo: Roger Coulam

The Fair attracted book exhibitors from far and wide, from Scotland to Surrey.  A long with  a range of exhibitors stalls,  there were drop-in activities for visitors in bookmaking and printmaking which offered the chance for those new to artist’s books, to experience at first hand the art of bookmaking.


I am organising the  next Artist’s Book Fair in the North East, hosted by BALTIC and  proves to be a bigger event, staged over two days (14th & 15th June 2013) forming part of the Festival of the North East, which heralds the arrival of the Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the earliest examples of innovation and creativity from this region. The Gospels will be displayed at Durham University’s Palace Green Library from 1st July to 30th September.


Visiting the BALTIC Artist’s Book Fair will be Lucy May Schofield in her Citreon Van stuffed full of Artist’s Books ready to deliver a round of Bibliotherapy.

Bibliotherapy with Lucy May Schofield

Exhibitors application forms can be downloaded here. BALTIC Application Form Deadline 1st April 2013

If you can’t make the BALTIC Artist’s Book Fair, there are  loads coming up around the country……..

Publish and Be Damned Fair Saturday 2nd March, ICA London, UK.

16th International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair Friday 8th & Saturday 9th March 2013

Parkinson Court, University of Leeds, UK

Artist’s Book Market at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh Saturday 20th April 2013

Bristol Artist’s Book Event at Arnolfini Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April 2013

Turn The Page  The Forum, Norwich, Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th May 2013


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