Typing pool

typewriter

We are pleased to announce that the Whitton Small Press have introduced a new model to their fleet of typewriters. Its the Underwood 315 which has a fetching turquoise carriage and matches nicely with the Whitton Library paintwork.

Do join us on Wednesdays and Fridays in November to try it out!

Visit the Richmond Literature Festival for more details.

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Whitton walking books

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Nelson Primary small press experts finished their Whitton walking books with a Japanese binding stitch. Their rubbings, which they made on a walk around Whitton, look fantastic and make interesting reading.

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Drawing with Nelson Primary School

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The amazing group from Nelson Primary School have been tackling flip books from observational drawing, (above you can see their warm up drawings of bee’s, cups and koala bears) Emily and I will be filming their flip books to make into one enormous A B C flipping film.   Last week, in the autumn sunshine, we made a mini tour of Whitton town centre, doing rubbings of all the surfaces that we could find, a sort of texture survey.  We are going to be making all their drawings into books next week.

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Leaflet designs

Emily and I have been designing a leaflet for distribution that could advertise our residency in the library in November.  It happily involved getting all our rubber stamps out and playing around, this is what we’re good at.

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Whitton – Arts Award at the library

Emily and I have been working with a talented group of pupils from Nelson Primary School.  We are guiding them through their Arts Award Explore, with the support of Liz Howell, who is Arts Festivals Coordinator at the Richmond upon Thames Arts Service.  We meet on Wednesdays at the library and so far we have made concertina books, chatterboxes and folded explorations of the library.

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The London Art Book Fair – September

Emily and I made a good excursion to the London Arts Book Fair for some book art appreciation and to begin an artist’s book collection to take to Whitton Libarary.   Mark Pawson was there with his exciting work, and we discovered many new artists and makers, who’s work it was great to see too including Hato Press and Otto,  and Chisato Tamabayashi‘s eye poppingly intricate work, which was booky, but cinematic too. IMG_9775 IMG_9772

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The Foyer at Kettle’s Yard

Emily and I have just finished a 15 week project with young people at the Cambridge Youth Foyer for the Circuit programme in collaboration with Kettle’s Yard.

We started the project by introducing the group to the work of Henri Gaudier Brzeska, to tie in with New Rhythms, an exhibition at Kettles Yard which marked 100 years since the artist’s death at the age of 23. A few from the group were able to visit to the exhibition after hours, to do some drawings and think about his amazing work and life. Gaudier Brzeska died as a young man, not without his fair share of troubles, but he lived his short life with great vigour, and the exhibition is about dancing, wrestling and movement, so there are many points for us and the group to connect to his work. For those who couldn’t come to the exhibition, we made a little film of our trip as a document, and we looked at prints of his drawings and sculptures and a clip from Kenneth Anger’s film ‘Savage Messiah’

abidrawing Foyer gus lemon lion001 liviusstill01 liviustransfor takeover takeover01 takeover02 tray001 victor wire zoetropeThe group had expressed an interest in working with animation, so each week we brought along some different techniques and had them on offer for the participants to experiment with and dip into if they wanted. There were some people who came every week if they could, and others who put their head round the door. Sometimes people made things, sometimes they didn’t. The group size could be anything between 2 and 7.

We really wanted to offer them some new possibilities and open them to new techniques and ideas, so each week we brought something new to try, but often they didn’t feel up to it and we found that the most important thing was creating a comfortable space and a kind of quietness, which allowed them to form their own ideas and take the lead. Sometimes we felt like our artistic skills and equipment weren’t really needed, but in the end we realised that being there, chatting about this and that, encouraging them to make things was the most important part of this project. Emily and I found it quite a different experience to leading workshops with big groups in a gallery or school, the challenge required a different kind of stamina, and perhaps more creative improvisation on the spot.

Over the weeks, the group made some really wonderful drawings, animation, experiments with light and optical toys, and they have been very proud to show it to other residents at the Foyer and to visitors to the Cicrcuit Takeover event at Kettle’s Yard. With Lucy’s support, two of the group hope to achieve their Silver Arts Award, which is no mean feat.

The final Circuit Takeover day at Kettles Yard in July was brilliant, we saw the young people from the Foyer, who have struggled with lack of confidence, anxieties and other physical and mental barriers, come together and show their work, share some techniques and take part in a wider arts project. We felt privileged to have shared the creative journey with them and we are a little bit sad to say goodbye as they go off onwards to the next part of their journey.

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Whitton Library

Emily and I really pleased to say that we’ve been awarded an Arts Council Funded residency in Whitton Library.  We’ve been doing some research, and we’ll start in earnest in September helping pupils at Nelson Primary School with an Arts Award qualification and then installing ourselves in the library as a small press, making artist’s books, optical toys and animation with library visitors and local groups.  We made a second visit to the library today, and it’s such a brilliant space, friendly, vibrant and well used. We can’t wait to get started.

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The Bureau of Lost and Found

Preparations for our Bureau  are continuing at top speed.  We’ve visited the foreshore to fetch more treasures, we’ve unearthed all items of stationary and furniture that will help transform the Floating Cinema, we’ve bought a modest costume, raided the scrap project, and delved into the archives.  But today was the highlight for us when we met Lyn Blackmore of the Museum of London Archeology.  We are really lucky to have her with us on Wednesday evening at the Floating Cinema, where she will help us uncover a little bit of the history of the foreshore using our shoe box of finds.

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Lizzy spent a sweltering few hours on the Tower of London foreshore today researching archeology with The Thames Discovery Programme. This part of the foreshore isn’t open to the public, and isn’t often revealed by a low tide, so it felt very special to make it down the steps to see what we could find.  At the end of an hour or so, we all laid our treasure on the sand to see what we had, for inspection by an archeologist from MOLA.My personal highlights were the animal teeth and a lot of pottery, some of which came from medieval times, there were also some wonderful decorative clay pipes.  Mudlarking with 20 people at once was pretty useful, because 40 pairs of beady eyes made for a really nice overview of the treasure to be found on the Tower beach.

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