Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Friday, September 24, 2021
Across UK
turn the page / Rosie Sherwood

This year turn the page Artists’ Book Fair is presenting an online anthology to celebrate the incredible artists who have participated since the fairs launch in 2012. Each month ttpABF presents a rolling showcase of our amazing artists, publishers and smaller presses. Since its launch in 2018 the turn the page Symposium has hosted two hugely popular events that presented and discussed the theory, history and practise behind work like that exhibited at the fair. As part of the anthology showcase, we will be hosting two online talks, one in June and one in September.

The September event will be help on Saturday 25th from 3-4.30pm. We have the honour of presenting Kate Bernstein, a previous recipient of the ttpGraduate Prize, in conversation with Dr Sian Prosser, librarian and archivist at the Royal Astronomical Society. Join us for this amazing talks, a follow up discussion, and your chance to ask questions of the Kate and Sian.

Book for free today:

A Zoom Link will be sent to all attendees prior to the talk.

The Talk

Measuring the Heavens: A collaboration between Dr Sian Prosser Librarian at the Royal Astronomical Society and Kate Bernstein, book artist.

In 2018 book artist Kate Bernstein was invited by Creativity and Curiosity, an artists and astronomers project, and the Royal Astronomical Society to research at the RAS Library. Funded by the Arts Council to collaborate and introduce artists’ books to a wider audience Bernstein’s initial research led to the production of three small artists’ books in editions of 20: The Infinite M, Printer of Stars and The Typographical Planet. These explore the role of early printing in disseminating astronomical knowledge and are now in public and private collections.

Dr Sian Prosser, librarian and archivist at the RAS, was key to introducing Bernstein to the historical collection and guiding her through the significance of the books and artefacts. In 2019 Bernstein and Prosser began a collaboration which led to the making of Measuring the Heavens, 2020, the title is a translation of Uranometria, the title of Johann Bayers, 1603, star atlas from which is also derived the central image of the constellation Serpens.

The work reflects some of the RAS collection and the role and function of the Library itself through its imagery, structure and form; a folded book sits within a bound folio, the whole within a box. Each facet contributes to the whole but can be seen as distinct, suggesting the contribution of individual books to collective astronomical knowledge and the individual and collective nature of a library collection.

Measuring the Heavens was exhibited in the RAS library and in An Lanntair, Stornoway, as part of the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival. Prosser and Bernstein gave a presentation at the festival to an audience which included artists and astronomers, as part of a day of talks dedicated to Creativity and Curiosity. A film was made about the collaboration in the series Print in Conversation for the Centre for Fine Print Research and the work was featured in Printmaking Today in Summer 2020.

Bernstein and Prosser are now embarking on a new collaboration with the artist Gillian McFarland one of the founders of Creativity and Curiosity. This will explore the work of the astronomer Caroline Herschel,1750-1848, sometimes known as the Comet Sweeper. Her handwritten notebooks, which reflect her extraordinary dedication to observation and data collection as she ‘swept’ the skies discovering comets, are in the RAS collection.

About Our Presenters

Dr Sian Prosser

Sian has managed the library and archives of the Royal Astronomical Society since 2014, making them accessible to researchers and working with colleagues to use them in outreach and education activities. Sian started out as a linguist, working in logistics and export before completing a PhD on French medieval manuscripts at the University of Sheffield. She then qualified as a librarian and worked at the libraries of the Universities of Leeds and Warwick before taking responsibility for the RAS collections. Sian completed the UCL Certificate of Higher Education in Astronomy in 2019.

Kate Bernstein

Kate is a printmaker and book artist who responds to historical sources to create contemporary work. Kate has an MA in Medieval Studies and an MA in Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking which combine with a comprehensive training in book binding to inform her practice. An advocate of sharing skills she teaches others to make books and takes part in artists’ book fairs and events which engage with a wider audience. Kate has work in private and public collections and is currently working on Libri Nuovi a project to celebrate the work and life of Dante with Bristol University and other book artists. A new collaboration with the Royal Astronomical Society is planned and Eve’s Diner, a book celebrating Eve’s autonomy after leaving the garden of Eden, will be ready for the book fairs of 2022.

Hosting the Talks

Rosie Sherwood, founder of the turn the page Symposium, will be hosting these online talks during this year’s anthology celebrations.

Rosie is an artist, independent publisher, curator and scholar. Her interdisciplinary practise incorporates photography, sculpture, book art and text. Sherwood founded As Yet Untitled in 2012, specialising in limited edition book art and events. From 2017-2020 she was Creative Director of turn the page Artists Book Fair and Symposium.

Sherwood’s current creative research, An Ever Moving Now, is an exploration of wildness, rewilding, and our relationship with nature. Before Covid-19 Sherwood had begun a Fellowship at the Chelsea College of Art Foundry. This position will resume when it is safe to do so.