How did you start making artists’ books?
During an English Literature degree I was fascinated by the material form of the books I studied - from Anglo-Saxon manuscripts to the first editions of Virginia Woolf and her contemporaries, hand-set at the Hogarth Press. I was interested in the making and publication of books as a practice, as well as the writing of them. I was very lucky to be able to study letterpress printing as an apprentice at Barbarian Press in Canada before working in printshops in New York and Massachusetts, developing the skills and knowledge I would later use in my own work.
What does BABE mean to you?
BABE is one of the most dynamic and welcoming of artists' book fairs in the UK. It attracts many international exhibitors and it's a great way to catch up with the projects other artists have been working on. Arnolfini is always buzzing - the celebratory atmosphere is no doubt helped along by the fact that BABE is generally held on a sunny weekend (at least in my experience!)
Would you like to tell us something about what you’ll be showing?
You can find me presenting The Polar Tombola, a live literature event which aims to raise awareness of disappearing Arctic languages and landscape. It also reveals how language and culture are entwined for all of us. Everyone can have a go at playing the Tombola - it's fun, free and it only takes a couple of minutes. BABE will be the last date in the Tombola's UK tour, and is also the venue where I've chosen to celebrate the launch of the anthology that has arisen from the project - The Polar Tombola: A Book of Banished Words. I'm excited about this new book which has contributions from wonderful artists and writers including Sarah Bodman, Vahni Capildeo, Will Eaves, Pippa Hennessy, Nasim Marie Jafry, Lisa Matthews, Phil Owen and Richard Price.
Nancy will be presenting The Polar Tombola at BABE 2017 on Sunday 2 April. You will find her on the second floor, outside the Reading Room.
BABE is the Bristol Artists Book Event, a bi-annual celebration of artists books which Arnolfini has organised with Sarah Bodman and Tom Sowden since 2007. It will be taking place at Arnolfini on the 1 and 2 of April. More information here.