Artist's Books by Mike Clements

Abecediaries have, for centuries, taught children the alphabet. But why must we always start at the beginning, not the end? What better to put in a book that goes backward than words that are the same whichever direction you read them? For some letters, I resorted to old dictionaries to find little-used or archaic palindromic words long since excised from most modern dictionaries (see my artist’s book “Lost Words”) Digital print on Five Seasons recycled 110gsm 10.5 x 14.8cm £12

Lost Days 2017 - treefold. See also 2018 edition on the "What's New" page. 2018 edition £15

On Books 2017 - new version for Hay-on-Wye Book Arts Trail April 2017

A Contemporary Grand Tour - volume 16 Lanzarote 2017

Intersect - 20 original images of Intersections, arranged in five intersecting blocks of the self-invented structure I call the "Curved Quadrilateral" £75

"Brexit Post" fake postage stamps, with image of "Skidding Goat"

Topographic Fingerprints Inside a “psychedelic” cover, the pages revert to black & white and gradually add elements of the final image. Quite soon, most viewers work out that what they are looking at is a map with grid lines and ever more geographical features. Those familiar with the Sidney Nolan Trust (www.sidneynolantrust.org), where I do much of my work, figure out also that the grid lines, etc. are of The Rodd, the Trust’s base in the Border Marches, near Presteigne.

Jot or Iota - The phrase “not one jot or iota” comes from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:18, and originates from the Greek letter “iota” being the smallest in the Greek alphabet. Iota transliterates into the English “i”. So the phrase means “not even as much as the smallest dot or the merest dash”. The phrase “not one jot or iota” comes from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:18, and originates from the Greek letter “iota” being the smallest in the Greek alphabet. Iota transliterates into the English “i”. So the phrase means “not even as much as the smallest dot or the merest dash”. Conveived & realised for We Love Your Books 2016 exhibition "Dot Dash".

Thinking Inside the Box We regularly read about the importance of inventers and creative thinkers. Job advertisements call for candidates who can “think outside the box”, “push the envelope” or are good at “blue sky thinking”. But in this artist’s bookwork, the creative thinking (an original screenprint) is on the inside, while the outside has shallow management jargon like “brainstorming”, “thought showers”, “off the wall ideas” and “break-out sessions”. Do you think inside or outside the box?

A Few Hotel Rooms (soft shoe shuffle) Rather than show glossy publicity images of these hotel rooms, I’ve represented each by a photo of the complimentary slippers provided in the rooms. I think it’s very much in the spirit of Ed Ruscha’s seminal artist’s book “26 Gasoline Stations”, in which he chose to illustrate a journey along Route 66 from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles, not with photos of attractive landscape, but with very ordinary images of the unglamorous gasoline stations along the way. £25

As Nothing ends Well (three Shakepearean comedy stages) - for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death A sculptural form book that folds flat (to 11.8 x 8.5cm) and opens to a rough circle c24cm diameter. The book has three pages, each being of “Turkish mapfold” format. The pages are joined so that each open mapfold occupies c120° of the circle. Each page has an abstract image by the author inspired by the plot of Shakespeare plays “As You Like It”, All’s Well That Ends Well” & “Much Ado About Nothing”. The text on these pages quotes known speeches from the relevant play, e.g “All the world’s a stage …” from “As You Like It”. The title “As Nothing Ends Well” has parts of the names of all three Shakespeare plays used. The Sub-title refers to the resemblance of the open mapfold pages to a proscenium theatre stage. £35

Lost Days 2016 At first glance, this appears to be simply a 2016 calendar. On closer examination, we see that each month has some dates missing, defined by different mathematical series, simple code messages and relevant dates. There is a key on the accompanying envelope if you tire of working out for yourself the reasons for each month’s omissions. £25

The Twelve Apostles In the tiny village of Catacol on the Isle of Arran in the Scottish Herbides, there is a terrace of fishermen’s cottages built by the laird for crofters evicted from their land to make way for more profitable sheep farming. Each of the fishermen's cottages has a different upper window so that when the men were at sea, their wives could light a candle in the window and each man would know which house was signalling. The terrace became know as "The Twelve Apostles”. £5

After the catastrophic 4th Crusade of 1202-04*, Venetians occupied many of the Greece's Cycladic Islands, including volcanic Santorini. For protection against pirates, the Venetians built walled hill towns or castelli. One of the best preserved, at Pyrgos, had no more than 50 houses but also these six beautiful Byzantine churches. [*during which western Catholic crusaders sacked Constantinople, the capital of eastern Orthodox fellow Christians] "Open squeezebox" structure. Digital. 10.7 x 14.2cm £30

On Books (giving way to randomness). Shall I arrange my books in order? Will it be alphabetically? or by Subject? or should I just give way to randomness?” Soft cover £12

Attingham Park, photographs of fruit & vegetables from the walled garden of an historic house in Shropshire, UK. Attingham Park Photographs taken by the artist in the walled garden at Attingham Park, an historic house & garden in Shropshire, UK. The reader/viewer is left to identify the images and recognise the book as an abecediary. Also Available via Lul.com at £14.99

"From Pyrenees to Santiago - in the steps of Matamoros" A group of university friends, meeting for their annual reunion, decide that they will all take time off to walk the Camino de Santiago through northern Spain. Alas, one of their number is refused time off by his boss. As they begin their journey, the ten others agree that each of them will tell a story about the Camino and then send it on a postcard to console their left-behind friend. Digitally printed on mi-teintes 160gsm 20.4cm x 12.5cm £175

At first glance, a 2015 calendar, albeit with the artist’s unique “hidden content” structure (containing the first six months of 2016). But each month has some dates missing, defined by different mathematical series, etc. There is a key on the accompanying envelope if you tire of working out for yourself the reasons for each month’s omissions. Digital print on mi-teintes 160gsm 6.9 x 10.3cm £25

At first glance, a 2015 calendar, albeit with the artist’s unique “hidden content” structure (containing the first six months of 2016). But each month has some dates missing, defined by different mathematical series, etc. There is a key on the accompanying envelope if you tire of working out for yourself the reasons for each month’s omissions. Digital print on mi-teintes 160gsm 6.9 x 10.3cm £25

Lost Banks - a fan structure with nine removable fictional "credit cards" commenting humorously on public attitudes to bankers following the 2008 credit crunch. Prompted by receiving a new credit card on which the supplier's name was almost hidden and the supposedly prestige description "platinum" emphasised. This set me thinking of other possible banks that might not want us to know their name or how they run their banks. Digitally printed using archival inks. 10.2 x 6.8 cm £95.00

Celebration of a palindromic date, 11 November 2011 - or 11/11/11. Digital print on Heritage Bookwhite 120gsm & mi-teintes 160gsm paper. 15.0 x 9.5cm £25

Champions rarely-used words that Collins excised or threatened to remove from its standard English Dictionary to make room for “new stuff” like “twitter”, “google” & “facebook”. Adds them to the Collins School Dictionary (which was too abbreviated to have contained these words in the first place). Brown paper cover, recalling how children used to be told to protect their school books. Digitally printed pages on Five Seasons re-cycled 110gsm paper "tipped in" to bought school dictionaries. 11.0 x 15.1cm £30

One of a series in homage to Ed Ruscha. The delightful French holiday island documented not with its obvious attractions but through its benches. Digital print on 4CC 200gsm & 120gsm coated papers using archival inks. 12.2 x 8.3cm £12

Another homage to Ed Ruscha. The ancient and wonderful city of Thessaloniki in northern Greece documented not by its Greek, Roman or Byzantine sites but through the small ads plastered over every available vertical street space. Digitally printed with archival inks on Heritage Bookwhite 175gsm. Poster 29.7 x 55.0cm Scroll tube 29.7 x 4.0cm £25

Even more direct homage to Ed Ruscha. The smart Portuguese seaside town of Cascais documented through its manhole covers rather than its more obvious & delightful charms. 20.4 x 14.5cm folded, opening to 40.5 x 57.6cm poster. Digitally printed using archival inks on Somerset Book 115gsm paper. £25

Documents the credit crunch recession of 2008 onwards through photographs of the shops that closed on one British high street. Part of a series of artists’ books on the theme of 26, conceived as a homage to American artist Ed Ruscha. I developed the idea further by casting 26 photographs of defunct shops as contemporary cigarette cards and telling the story of a playground cigarette card game at my all boys primary school in the 1950s. Digital print on JPP Simili Japon 225gsm paper. 9.5 x 21.0cm £20

A pun on the chick-lit blockbuster novel. A flip book with exactly "what it says on the tin". Each shade of grey documented by its % brightness, its 8-bit RGB values and its hexadecimal code. Digital print on Five Seasons 120gsm recycled & Somerset Book 175gsm paper. 10.0 x 6.5cm £15

iPad drawings with the lyrics of the song Paul McCartney wrote for John Lennon’s son, Julian, when John left his first wife and Julian’s mother, Cynthia, for Yoko Ono. Julian’s nickname was Jules, so the song started out as “Hey Jules”. The words have been interpreted in many ways. Cover picture: drypoint etching by Mike Clements. Binding devised by Mike Clements. Digital print on Five Seasons 110gsm paper. £12

Based on a 2011 calendar, but with key dates removed in each month. Should you tire of working out the reasons for the dates omitted, there is a crib list on the central support card. The omissions derive from mathematical series and simple code messages. "Jester's Hat" structure, which folds flat, invented by Mike Clements. Digital print using archival inks on "mi-teintes" 160gsm paper. 22.9 x 16.2cm £30.00

From a series of artist’s books on the theme “lost”. In popular tourist locations in northern Greece, fragments of carved marble litter the ground near ancient buildings. Archaeologists cannot hope to identify the age, original purpose and location of every fragment. These are truly “lost” marbles. Of course, “lost marbles” has another colloquial (and arguably politically incorrect) meaning. Do these stones no longer know what they have done in the past? Digital print on Somerset Book 175gsm paper £30

Hitler’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels thought that people would believe any lie, however big, if it is told loudly and often enough. Despicable though Nazi propaganda was, the theory may work. This book appears to contain just repetitions of a portrait of the artist’s eyes and nose. In fact, the left-hand side of the self-portrait is a mirror image of the right-hand side. This is difficult to detect and made more so by the repetition. Digital print on Heritage Bookwhite 120gsm 7.5 x 10.5cm £25

Lost Keys Another in my series on the theme "Lost". Original blind embossings of keys found clearing out a relative's house. Nobody now knows what each key was for. So they are "lost". £35

An artists' book about the universal postal system in a rural area. I made and posted 26 postcards successively in the 26 post boxes I passed along a 41 mile journey between my home in Eardisley, Herefordshire and Westhope College, Shropshire. The date and time of posting was recorded, along with the date and time of delivery. Each postcard has a photograph of me posting that card. The cards were addressed to 26 different volunteers. Fives Seasons 110gsm & Heritage Bookwhite 120gsm 14.0 x 20.9cm £30

All photographs © Mike Clements