Tag Archives: Ron King

Please Turn Over: The Artists’ Book

A Cardiff School of Art & Design and Library exhibition: ‘Please Turn Over: The Artists’ Book’ opens tomorrow in the Heartspace on the 1st floor of Cardiff School of Art & Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Llandaff Campus December 4th 10.00am to December 18th 12.00 noon.


“Take the book, my friend, & read your eyes out; you will never find there what I find.”       Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journal entry Feb 18, 1832

Please Turn Over: The Artists’ Book is an exhibition of book arts work by students and staff of Cardiff School of Art and Design, which considers artists’ books as creative process, living archive and research catalyst. Also on show will be artists’ books from Cardiff Metropolitan University Library’s Artists’ Books Collection, some donated by Ron King from his personal collection, also works by other significant artists such as Gilbert & George, Ed Ruscha, Dieter Roth and Sol Lewitt.

open books

Also featured is ‘Open Books’ an international touring exhibition: the response by 16 artists to Chinese folding books.

Further to this, we look forward to welcoming Ron King, John Christie and Sam Winston on Friday afternoon to view the exhibition, meet with CSAD and Library staff and students in advance of LIVRES D’ARTISTES: THE ARTIST’S BOOK conference being held this weekend at Cardiff University.


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In 2014, Cardiff University Library received a considerable donation of Artists’ Books from Ron King of the Circle Press, one of the most influential practitioners of the Book Arts.

Cardiff Met Library was also pleased to receive a significant number of books from Ron to enhance our growing Artists’ Books Collection.

In December 2015, Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR), in association with the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research and Cardiff School of Art and Design, will be hosting a major international conference to celebrate this donation. Plenary speakers will include leading book artists Sarah Bodman, John Christie, Simon Cutts, Ron King and Sam Winston.

4-6 December, Cardiff University

The full programme can be seen on the conference website here, and bookings are now being taken.

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The Art of the Book: Call for Papers

‘The Art of the Book’, Cardiff University, December 4-6 2015

Call for Papers

In 2014 Cardiff University received a considerable donation of Artists’ Books from Ron King of the Circle Press, one of the most influential practitioners of the Book Arts. In December of this year, the University’s Special Collections and Rare Books (SCOLAR) will be hosting a major international conference to celebrate this bequest. Speakers will include Ron King (Circle Press), Sarah Bodman (University of the West of England), and Chris McCabe (Poetry Library).

Proposals are now invited from practitioners and scholars for presentations of 20 minutes on any aspect of the Book Arts. A brief biographical note, along with an abstract of 200-300 words, should be sent NO LATER THAN October 1, 2015, to scolar@cardiff.ac.uk. Practitioners in attendance are encouraged to bring examples of their work for display at the conference.


Cardiff Metropolitan University Library also received a donation of almost 40 books from Ron King in 2014; further details of which can be seen in blog posts for the month of March 2015. These are now included in the Artists’ Books Collection in the Library and can be found in the library catalogue.

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Artists’ Books . . . some interesting journals

Here are a few journal articles of interest in relation to works and artists featured this month in

‘A blog a day – artists’ books – the Ron King d0nation’.

Weproductions Forty Years and Counting by Brandon Graham, Journal of Artists Books , Fall 2011, Issue 30, p30-37, 8p. The article considers several notable books from the influential and respected imprint, Weproductions, including “Chinese Whispers,” “Clinkscale,” and “Back to Back.” An elaboration on the 40 year history of the imprint since it was begun by its founder Telfer Stokes in 1971, who was later joined by Helen Douglas in 1974, is presented. Other Weproductions books considered include “Wild Wood,” “Last Days of Kas,” “Illiers Combray,” and “A Venetian Brocade.”

Between the Two by Cathy Courtney, Art Monthly , May 1998, Issue 216, p51-52, 2p. An interview with the artist Helen Douglas. Douglas discusses a range of topics regarding her new book Between the Two, including her handling of the camera, the book’s natural imagery, its absence of text and the quality of calligraphic line that she found through using the camera, and the contrast between the book’s red, velvety covers and the black-and-white imagery inside.


Telfer Stokes, Journal of Artists Books; Fall 99, Issue 12, p5-8, 4p. . . . Telfer Stokes discusses the artist’s books he has produced. From the outset, Stokes wanted to establish the way in which books worked. His first book, PASSAGE (1972) included a sequence documenting the construction of a corner of a room over the existing corner. This process of construction involving the existing shape of an open book continued in CHINESE WHISPERS, REAL FICTION, and THE BOOK. The books REAL FICTION, MIM, and YOUNG MASTERS & MISSES, however, no longer depended on the development of each page representing another step in the sequential visual narrative, but involved visual narratives where each page contained similar elements but featured different combinations every time.

King of the Press by Paula Carson, Creative Review; March 1997, Vol. 17, p43-46, 4p. The work of Ron King, founder of Circle Press publishers in 1966, is discussed. Anansi Company, a lively, exuberant wire puppet book based on a series of Jamaican songs and stories, is one of King’s most celebrated pieces of work. King wanted the book to feature puppets that could be removed from the book and played with. He pressed the puppets into handmade rag paper; the paper was dampened and molded, leaving niches in which the puppets could be placed.

Some other journals titles available through Cardiff Met with news and features about artists’ book . . . .


The Art Book

Artforum International

Blue Notebook

Book 2.0

Printmaking Today

Word and Image

Use the Journal A – Z here to locate the print and electronic journals. Many articles can be found by searching within the database Art Full Text here.

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Artists’ Books on World Book Day

It’s World Book Day . . . and we’ve just run a workshop for a group of Level 5 students from the School of Art & Design who are embarking on a project run by Tom Martin on artists’ books. After viewing the display of books donated to the library by Ron King, they spent an engaging 90 minutes exploring 50 or so examples of artists’ books from the Special Collection in Llandaff library.


A variety of book structures and bookbinding methods were examined – and there were lively comments about all aspects of the books: the feel and in some cases the smell of the books, the materials used, the methods of binding, the content and text through to the emotions evoked by some of the books.

Over the next few weeks the students will take part in a series of workshops in the print studio before assembling and binding their finished books.  We can’t wait to see them!

‘A blog a day during March – artists’ books – the Ron King donation’


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Artists’ Books

Alphabeta Concertina & Alphabeta Miniscule P1040338

Alphabeta Concertina is a new version of Ron King’s iconic 1983 publication – a double-sided concertina alphabet book featuring upper-case letters.


Alphabeta Concertina Miniscule: the design and construction for this title is the same as Alphabeta Concertina, but features lower-case letters.

To quote from Circle Press’s website: “Each is artwork, typographical experiment and feat of paper engineering. They utilise delightful pop-up techniques in tribute and meditation on the alphabet, the visual ‘DNA’ of languages.”

For more details follow the links to our catalogue, or to the Circle Press website.

‘A blog a day during March – artists’ books – the Ron King donation’

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Artists’ Books: Ron King

Ron King – Circle Press

‘Originally formed by Ron King in 1967 for a group of artists print makers interested in publishing limited editions of fine books and prints. The press, since that time, has produced artist’s editions of both classic and contemporary texts, poetry posters, first edition books of modern verse and a number of pamphlets’. www.circlepress.com

Cardiff University Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR) has recently received a generous donation of Circle Press publications from Ron King, some of which are currently being exhibited at SCOLAR. In addition Ron has given a collection of his books by a range of artists to Cardiff Metropolitan University. These have now been added to the Artists’ Books Collection held in the Special Collections room in the Llandaff Campus’s library.

blog day 1

All of these can currently be seen in the display case on the ground floor of the library.   We are enormously grateful to Ron for this donation, which is a significant addition to our growing collection of over 250 artists’ books; they will be used well by our students and staff. Artists’ books workshops can be arranged through the library.

Learn more about these new additions to our collection by following this blog during the month of March when we feature the donated books.

You can also read more about Ron King and Circle Press in these reference publications held in the library:

Cooking the Books: Ron King and Circle Press

Speaking of Book Art by Cathy Courtney

‘A blog a day during March  – artists’ books – the Ron King donation.’

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