Sarah Bodman

Lady Vengeance
March 3-28, 2009


Artist Statement

My inspiration is always the darker side of nature, human nature and history.

The Collector was inspired by the John Fowles’ novel of the same title, about a man who decides to ‘collect’ a human being. The Collector used a set of botanical slides from c. 1920, which were obviously some amateur botanist’s personal set, which had been dumped in a rubbish skip.  As I delved further into the box, the more unusual the contents became, slides of human skin and hair, which were perfect for this book. Each of the Collector boxes has one of the slides in.

Other works have included Pace Bend a foldout, map-based book, inspired by the film Dead Calm but translated into a dead end cliff walk near Austin, Texas, USA and The Marsh Test, a fictional account of the by the first public trial of James Marsh’s test for the presence of arsenic in the human body.

My production techniques vary. I used to work mostly with screenprint, letterpress and watercolour, but have moved on to use mainly digital print from photographs I have taken and manipulated. I often include the object that inspired the book, for Cuttings, I included a rusty gardening tool in each box; others have included glass sugar crushers or have been made from pulped clothes.

All my books use images that lure the viewer in by making the subject look attractive. 

I use botanical imagery to explore aspects of historical events, manipulated to re-interpret the notions of nature (and human nature) as something beautiful and safe. For example Livia’s Garden, a tour of the garden of Livia (wife of Augustus Caesar), who used her knowledge of 'medicinal' plants to remove any obstacles that threatened the stability of the Imperial family in Rome. Viola (2004) is a fictionalised account of a serial killer baker, who developed such a taste for parties that she began to arrange certain events in order to bake and ice more cakes.

Some recent artists’ books include Flowers in Hotel Rooms III (2008), the third in a series of books inspired by Richard Brautigan’s novel The Abortion; After Fallout for the Regenerator project (2007), The Romantic Tradition Unleashed for Rich and Strange (2007) and Against Nature (made with the help of Tim Mosely in 2006 during a residency at SCU, Lismore, Australia).

www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/saragal.htm

To purchase Sarah's work,
please contact Laura at 23 Sandy.

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Sarah Bodman • Biography

Sarah is Research Fellow for Artists' Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), where she runs projects investigating and promoting contemporary book arts. She is currently working with Tom Sowden on a two-year, Arts and Humanities Research Council (www.ahrc.ac.uk) funded project until February 2010: In an arena including digital and traditional artists' publishing formats - what will be the canon for the artist's book in the 21st Century? (www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/canon.htm)

Sarah is the editor of the Artist's Book Yearbook a bi-annual publication on contemporary book arts, published by Impact Press. She is also the editor of The Blue Notebook journal for artists’ books, and writes a regular news column on artists’ books for the ARLIS UK and Ireland News-sheet, and for the journal Printmaking Today.

Sarah is the author of Creating Artists’ Books (a handbook for A&C Black, UK and Watson-Guptill, New York, USA, 2nd edition published December 2007, ISBN 978-0-7136-6509-3).

Sarah's artists' books are included in many international collections such as Tate Britain, the British Library and the V & A Museum, All Saints Library and Winchester School of Art, UK; Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, Yale Centre for British Art, MOMA, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Mills College and Rhode Island School of Design USA; Museum van het Boek and AKI (ArtEz) The Netherlands; Biblioteca Casanatense, Italy; Southern Cross University, Lismore and Institute of the Arts, Canberra, Australia.

Read an interview with Sarah on the V&A Museum's Book Artists website here.

www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/bodmid.htm

To purchase Sarah's work,
please contact Laura at 23 Sandy.

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La Voisin

La Voisin is the imaginary diary of Catherine Monvoisin, provider of potions and ‘services’ to the court of Louis XIV. Monvoisin was a celebrated advisor to her clientele before being accused of murder by her rival La Bosse, who testified against her and advised the court to “go and look in her garden and see what you find”.

The book is loose leaf, six diary entries in letterpress type on the reverse of six hand-printed pages of roses with hand-tinting. The book, bottle and rose are also wrapped in hand printed tissue papers and tied with ribbon. All text hand set in letterpress Palace script. Printed throughout on Somerset satin, rose tinted papers. Box covered in hand printed and painted Fabriano papers.

Edition of 3. Each box contains: a different pharmacist's bottle, a hand-coloured set of prints and a dried red rose. Six double-sided loose pages, plus title pp. Box, approx 22 x 22 x 6 cms.

$250 USD

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


Angelier

A secret diary based on the 1857 trial of a young girl accused of murder by poisoning (arsenic in a cup of hot chocolate), the verdict was Not Proven.

The book is kept in a velvet bag with a small pouch containing a glass crusher, popular at that time for breaking raw sugar into hot drinks to sweeten the bitter taste of dark chocolate.

Edition of 3, 24 pp, 16 x 16 cms. Water-based screenprint throughout with watercolour hand-tinting and pressed leaves. Cloth-bound by Guy Begbie, and tied with ribbon.

$185 USD

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


The Collector

Inspired by John Fowles' novel of the same name. 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 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 a tissue slipcase, from those photographed for the edition.

Edition of 10, 20 pp, 19 x 19 cms. 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.

$160 USD

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


The Marsh Test  

Marie Lafarge was found guilty of poisoning her husband, in Paris, in 1840. Her trial was the first publicly documented use of James Marsh’s highly sensitive test for the detection of arsenic in natural compounds. Her husband had died of a gastric ailment shortly after eating cake baked for him by his wife.

The book is produced as a series of letters which appear to have been written by Marie Lafarge to her mother, and mention the Marsh Test. The folio also includes two fictitious print outs of photographs of her and her husband, and two diagrams of the Marsh Test; one etching which shows the original format of the test and one print which shows the enlarged flour particles.

The true version of the events is included at the end of the book, inserted behind the image of the blue ink bottle attached to the inside back cover.

Edition of 25, 16 x 19 cms. A series of loose-leaf pages, tied with ribbon inside the folio. The contents consist of: 9 pages of facsimile handwritten letters, one typed letter, two flysheets, one image with text on reverse, one note, one colour diagram and one etching of The Marsh Test diagram. Printed on Velin Aches Blanc and Somerset Satin papers. The edition of was produced through Photoshop™ and Quark Express™ using an Epson 3000 and an Epson 2000 printer, scanned from handwritten texts. The etching was also produced as an edition of 25 within the book. Bound in a blue buckram folio by Bristol Bound Bookbinding, with silver tooled title. Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York, USA, November 2002

$155 USD

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


Nature Trail

A boxed set of 14 loose-leaf prints, plus two bags of found objects. Nature Trail is based on a walk through the woods, and the unexpected find of a pair of pink shoes nailed to a fallen tree. The series of prints recreate the journey and offer a version of how they came to be there through a selection of text and image pieces and inserts, which act as clues to unravel the mystery.

Each box contains a bag of the remains of a pink orchid, bark from the scene and a pair of tweezers for conducting investigations.

Edition of 25, boxed (21 x 15 cms) Print size 19.5 x 14 cms. Hand printed on a variety of papers including, 380 mics card, Moulin de Gue and Somerset Satin. Screenprinted, with letterpress, xerox, hand-tinting, watercolours, paint and pencil.

$90 USD

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


The Secret Garden

A concertina-format book, based on the discovery of a set of arbitrary botanical slides in an old box. The slide images are a series of rather sinister developing contents. The book is enclosed in fake veneer wood covers, much like the cover of the original box.

Edition of 20, 8 x 8 x 1.5 cms. Inkjet print onto Velin Arches Blanc.

$35 USD

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


Livia's Garden

A tour of the garden of Livia (wife of Augustus Caesar). Livia used her knowledge of 'medicinal' plants to remove any human obstacles which threatened the stability of the Imperial family in Rome.

Edition of 30, 24 pp, 16 x 16 cms. Water-based screenprinting inks, with all pages hand-tinted in watercolour. Printed on Somerset Satin 300gsm. Hand bound by Guy Begbie, hardback cloth covers.

$100

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


Upshot

A collaborative book based on the word Upshot, printed as a series of responding pages one by each artist alternately. The book is an exchange of thoughts on losing and winning, inspired by the actions of people and nature.

Each page is printed in colour with related text. Edition of 20, 20pp, 18 x 28 cms. Water-based screenprint throughout with some watercolour hand-tinting. Spiral white-metal bind.

$140 USD

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


GM Future

GM Future explores some of the possibilities of genetically modifying nature on the cusp of the millennium. The book offers a series of examples from slow growing grass, to specially bred plants, and some of the consequences of these experiments. Texts are interspersed with pages collected from old gardening books, and therefore; each book is a unique copy within the edition, as no two collected pages are the same.

Edition of 200, 34pp, 12.5 x 17.5 cms. Each book comprises: 17 screenprinted text pages, 17 cut pages from old gardening books, spiral white metal binding, screenprinted heavy card covers.

$25 USD

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


Pace Bend

A book based on climbing routes through Pace Bend Park in Texas, USA. The climb is detailed with instructions, heights and map pins but soon develops into an ambiguous and uneasy situation.

Edition of 30, 18 pp, 12 x 16 x 1.5 cms. Archival inkjet print on white 200 gsm paper. Bound with a simple fold card cover, with screenprinted title. The format of the book is that of an unfolding map with a numbered map pin.

$35

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


Flowers in Hotel Rooms Volume I

An original selection of views for placing in a hotel room. Inspired by Richard Brautigan’s novel The Abortion, which featured an old woman who wrote a book about growing flowers in her hotel room by candlelight. The photographs in this book are of flowers I have found or placed in hotel rooms whilst travelling, some with a literary reference.

Edition of 25, concertina book, 13.5 x 8 x 1.5 cms. Archival Inkjet print on photographic paper, bound with white card.

$35

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


Flowers in Hotel Rooms Volume II

Second in the series inspired by Richard Brautigan’s novel The Abortion. The photographs in this book are of flowers I have found or placed, and actions taken in hotel rooms whilst travelling. This volume also includes tributes in reference to hotels mentioned in novels by Haruki Murakami and Colin Dexter.

The Dolphin Hotel has the same name as the hotel central to Haruki Murakami’s Dance, Dance, Dance - which I was reading at the time, so had to stay there. As with Murakami’s hotel, there was a brass plaque at the entrance and the musty smell was possibly the same. I was disappointed however, to find that there were only 2 floors rather than the 16 of the novel, and no elevator with which to enter Sheep Man’s world.

In Colin Dexter’s novel, The Way Through the Woods, Inspector Morse stays in Room 27 of The Bay Hotel, Lyme Regis. I booked the same room, and took the book with me.  The room was as described in the book, except for the broken window and lack of hot water. In the morning, I got up at 6.45 am and made coffee, whilst looking at the view of the bay, as Morse had done. The evening proved more difficult; I could not follow his footsteps by eating in the hotel restaurant, as dinner was not served out of season.

Edition of 25, concertina book, 13.5 x 8 x 1.5 cms. Archival inkjet print onto artists’ paper, bound with black book card, screenprinted white title and text on inside cover.

$35 USD

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


Flowers in Hotel Rooms Volume III

Third publication in the series inspired by Richard Brautigan’s novel The Abortion. The photographs in this book are of flower placings, actions and associations, produced in hotel rooms I have occupied whilst travelling. This third volume includes tributes made in Australia, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, Estonia and USA. for books by: Haruki Murakami, Ray Bradbury, Iain Sinclair, Tim Gautreaux, Robert Bloch, Agatha Christie, Edgar Allen Poe and Ed Ruscha.

Edition of 25, 13.5 x 8 x 1 cm. Archival inkjet print from original photographs on Woodstock Superfine paper, bound with six-sheet card and wallpaper covers, screenprinted text on inside cover.

$35 USD

To purchase contact Laura at 23 Sandy


To purchase Sarah's work,
please contact Laura at 23 Sandy.

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To purchase Sarah's work,
please contact Laura at 23 Sandy.

Back to Top

To purchase Sarah's work,
please contact Laura at 23 Sandy.

Back to Top

To purchase Sarah's work,
please contact Laura at 23 Sandy.

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