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I made it to the forest-like part of the beach where the eucalyptus and acacia trees could provide enough shade to conduct my first self-taught photography class. My palms were sweating but it wasn’t from the heat. It was from wanting to create something perfect, exactly as I was experiencing it before me. To be able to capture so much more than I could see: the awe, emotion and wonder that accompanied the experience. What is it that photographers do to produce in the viewer a blistering heartache? How does an accidental moment become an eternal imprint in the minds of so many people? How do you capture those moments where time is wrecked, elongated, paused, contorted, wielded into a thousand stories? And what about the necessary self-obliteration that gives way to being completely present in the encounter with a photo; was that something that I could actually bring about? I didn’t know how to capture my unsettled state in that specific landscape. I didn’t know, yet I desperately wanted to convey to someone this moment that they had never lived, but that could liven every boundary of their flesh with scintillating and terrifying familiarity.
Fleshed out on the porous boundaries between memoir and fiction, five interrelated tales – each dedicated to one of the senses – recount what it means for domestic, interpersonal and systemic violence to be the primary component of one’s world. From the nascent queer scene of 1980s postcolonial Cyprus to present-day European metropolises, we follow the unnamed protagonist in her quest to construct meaning in a class and a cultural context that lack any sort of support or analytic tools. Deploying a language that vibrates with synaesthetic sensuality, Georgiou captures a life riven by injustice and its inscription on the senses.
Diana Georgiou is a writer and curator based in London. Her recent writing engages with the horrors of violence and the difficulty of their narration. Attentive to the sonic resonances of language, her textual work also takes the form of recorded sound poetry and performative live readings. Other Reflexes is her debut novel, and was commissioned by Book Works from open submission for the Interstices series, guest edited by Bridget Penney.
Book Works sees graphic design as crucial to realising artists and writers’ ideas in the final form of the book. While conventionally designers often become involved in the later stages of a book’s production, and with a limited brief, we involve the designer in a collaborative process from the start, with designer, artist and editor working together to create a book that realises the artists’ vision.
Sara is a graphic designer who publishes, researches, and teaches. Her work is typographical and content-driven. She often works with artists, most recently with Benedict Drew, Rosalind Nashashibi, and Jessica Stockholder. Since 2008 she has co-directed the non-profit art and design press Occasional Papers. She has curated several exhibitions, most recently Off the Grid at Design Museum Gent (2019).
She lectures at design conferences internationally. Since 2017, she has been a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale. Sara has taught at numerous art schools including Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Art, London, and is currently lecturer at KASK School of Arts, Ghent, where she is completing her doctoral studies.
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Graphic Negotiations #7 – Sara De Bondt; ; 2022;
Book Works statement on the recent Arts Council England NPO funding announcement
We are very pleased to share that we will continue as part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. We would like to thank Arts Council England for their ongoing support.
This support, as part of the 2023-26 Investment Programme, recognises the role Book Works has within the contemporary art scene nationally and internationally, the importance of our focus on publishing, and the genuine opportunities offered through our commissions, education activities and through the Book Works studio.
Our approach is collaborative – working with artists, designers, writers, printers, libraries, project spaces and other institutions – both those supported by ACE, as well as those reliant on project funding or other sources of income. Many of our projects have been made possible with the support of these organisations and following the decisions in this funding round, we are concerned about the impact that some institutions and project spaces that we have worked with now face. Whilst we welcome the principle of decentralising funding from London, and the news that ACE have secured an increase in their overall budget, national arts funding has suffered from huge cuts over the last decade. The latest decisions are very likely to impact further on the sustainability of London’s art organisations, and on workers already facing inequality and insecurity resulting from the realities of the current economic crisis.
I would like to also thank all those that we work with: artists, designers, writers and editors, and project collaborators for their work, time and enthusiasm for our projects, and note the invaluable support from our publishing partners during the last two years: DACS, The Mosaic Rooms, Parallel Oaxaca, Focal Point Gallery, Bluecoat, and The Bower. We are very lucky to have the interest and ongoing contributions from Book Works’ Supporters and Readers Club. Special thanks to our Board of Trustees and to the team at Book Works who have invested a huge amount into the organisation, especially towards the success of this application.
Book Works is a leading contemporary arts organisation with a unique role as makers and publishers of books.
Established in 1984, we are dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists. Our projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects. Book Works consists of a publishing and commissioning department; and a studio specialising in binding, box-making and multiples.
The Book Works Studio offers a specialist bespoke service for a range of clients, from artists, designers, galleries, and businesses. We provide binding solutions, develop prototypes and specialise in unique book artworks, boxes, and portfolios. We have an extensive archive, and offer tailored educational events, and bookbinding courses. The Studio generates income from clients and is self-sufficient.
Book Works Publishing is dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists. Our projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects and include publishing, a lecture and seminar programme, exhibitions, the development of an online archive, and artists’ surgeries and workshops.
Our audience is vital to our work. The process of engaging and developing our audience is initiated with our commissioning programme, and driven through all aspects of our activities, particularly our public programme of events, our workshops, artists’ surgeries and education activities, and through our interest in collaborating with other organisations and libraries. Our programme of commissions is diverse, and reflects our commitment not just to work with cultural workers from all backgrounds, but to invest in networks and programmes that engage, and develop and create new artistic voices.
Include new projects with: Phyllis Christopher; Francesco Pedraglio; Sarah Tripp; Praneet Soi; Stuart Brisley; Nina Wakeford and Art on the Underground; Erica Scourti; Sophia Al-Maria; Bouchra Khalili; Laure Prouvost; Stephen Sutcliffe; Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan; Contact – a series guest edited by Hannah Black with Hamishi Farah, Momtaza Mehri and Derica Shields; and Interstices, a fiction series edited by Bridget Penney with Harun Morrison, Diana Georgiou and Licorice by Bridget Penney.
By supporting Book Works you will help support artists and writers at the emerging stage of their careers through our diverse commissioning programme of open submissions, guest editorships, public events, exhibitions and publications.
Book Works is a registered charity, dedicated to advance education for the benefit of the public in the visual arts, particularly books which may be recognised as works of art in their own right.
We have a board of trustees who input their range of diverse expertise and interests into our development:
Teresa Drace-Francis (Chair)
Gerrie van Noord