yellow back books
Yellow Back Books is a new collaboration exploring the potential of an artist book bookshop in Cardiff. We – Louise Hobson, Becca Thomas and Samuel Hasler – want to connect with a network of artist book publishers and readers, collectors and sellers, and create in-depth contemporary discussions. Thanks to an Arts Council of Wales Research and Development Grant, we recently participated in an informal mentoring day with Eleanor Vonne Brown at X Marks the Bökship in London, and we will soon be heading to meet with Good Press in Glasgow.
‘Yellow Backs’ along with ‘Penny Dreadfuls’ were some of the earliest examples of books printed cheaply for the mass market, and distributed through train station shops. We’ve long been interested in aesthetics and form of cheap pulp novels, and we’re interested in the way they were a part of democratising the publishing world.
Like the train station bookshops, we want to connect with a network of artist book publishers and readers, collectors, sellers and discuss the form of artists books. We think that artists books provide a similar potential for democratising the otherwise seemingly elite world of ‘art objects’. Their affordable, portable and intimate form, gives the artist book a opportunity for a specific type of engagement, and also a form that encourages collections.
We believe that the artist book is a specific and precious space of experimentation; it has an age old tradition within the visual arts to be referenced and manipulated. We will be looking at artist books, and artists writing and we’ll be writing criticism about them, meeting books on their own terms and applying the personal and thoughtful critique that they deserve.
We welcome encouragement, criticism, counter criticism, suggestions and questions.