Liverpool Book Art focuses on showcasing unique book works and small editions, and as such its artists’ book fair has built a reputation as an event that celebrates the handmade artist’s book. This year’s fair in July will see 40 artists showing their book works, from individuals to collectives.
Last year saw the fair invited to take its ‘Shakespeare Now’ exhibition to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale della Valle del Sarno in Italy, and the successful tour has led to new collaborations between the cities of Liverpool and Sarno, with further events on the horizon.
Continuing the theme of Italian connections, this year’s fair will see British artist Kate Bernstein showing book works based on her ongoing investigation into the workings and history of Paolo Uccello’s The Battle of San Romano (1438-40). Bernstein regularly visits the panel on display at the National Gallery as a source of inspiration for her passion of working with perspective, structure and colour.
Bernstein has been researching Uccello and his working methods for many years, interpreting minutiae from his formulae for perspective and use of symbolic colour, and the dramatic tension created by his staging of characters within his painting.
Bernstein studied fine art at Goldsmiths College before undertaking an MA in medieval studies at Bristol University and also formally training as a bookbinder. This particular combination of specialisms has allowed her to interpret Uccello’s work through the lens of artist, craftsperson and historian.
Her unique books are hand produced using traditional printmaking processes, bound in cloth or leather as beautifully made artefacts. Her trilogy of works, Uccello’s Formula (2016) – made in homage to the three panels that complete the original The Battle of San Romano – pay tribute to Uccello’s practice, the relationship of figures, backdrop, pattern and mathematically calculated perspective.
Bernstein even printed Uccello’s Formula, Siena (III) (2016) in a studio in Italy, 50 miles from the historic battlefield. At the fair she will launch Perspectives, a new folio of bookworks continuing her investigation of the Uccello narratives.
Liverpool Artists’ Book Fair, 8-9 July 2017, Liverpool Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW. liverpoolbookart.com
Use the Artists’ Books series tag for more from Sarah Bodman
1. Kate Bernstein, Uccello’s Beautiful Battle, 2016. A variable edition of two, screenprint on Simili Japon, bound in book cloth with raised design
2. Kate Bernstein, Perspectives, 2017. Detail of screenprint on Somerset paper from edition of 2 folios each with 9 prints of which 5 are unique
3. Kate Bernstein, Uccello’s Formula, Siena (III), 2016. Screenprint and monoprint on Simili Japon paper, soft bound in printed book cloth with leather spine
4. Kate Bernstein, The Painter’s Daughter, 2017. Screenprint on Somerset paper, bound in folded Somerset paper
5. Kate Bernstein, Uccello’s Woman, 2015/16. Relief print, pastel, pierced pages, unique book bound in red leather, blind tooled in diadem design