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The exhibition comprises works of four artists who work within the boundaries of the Artist Book, outlining the diverse nature of the book format, from sequential narrative to mapping and code to installation and interactive pieces. The common thread of the book is also expressed in the artist’s production methods through various print methods and sequencing within their work.

Vitrine installation
Unbound exhibition views, Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury

By the gallery entrance, a museological display case contains The Beauties of Decomposition, collaboration with Michael Hampton. Concept-specific paper is a refined substrate in the world of the artists’ book. The logic of the work is materially inscribed in the fibres of handmade paper. In the case of The Beauties of Decomposition, the paper’s meaning is derived from ‘The Book Dispersed’ project. This special edition contains a paper specimen composed of pulp from the abortive funding application for ‘The Book Dispersed’ an exhibition devised by the collective Media Instaveis/Unstable Media I am part of, blended with pulp from Michael Hampton’s magnum opus Unshelfmarked: Reconceiving the artist’s book (author’s copy), together with extra pulp from Samuel Smiles’s Self-Help (a print on demand copy purchased on eBay). The book, dedicated to the late Auto-Destructive artist and activist Gustav Metzger, is a work about dispersion in the form of a conversation between scattering and collecting/organising.

At the centre of the exhibition are four new editions of Flora McCallica. These works- two hanging installations and two books on display tables- have historical and biographical references, mixing orphan photographs dated 1958 found in the Lisbon flea market, and botanical specimens from an herbarium dated 1920s discarded by London Kew Gardens. Like pieces of evidence altered by the passage of time, the silkscreen and stone lithography prints have stains and patterns that are unique to each print.

Another work recreated for this exhibition is Participatory architectures (how to build your own living structures), a work inspired by the outdated remains of a 20th century architectural utopia, a village developed as part of national housing project code-named SAAL, the experimental programme of peoples’ right to place emerged in the short experience of participatory democracy during the Portuguese revolution. The sculpture includes two oversize book covers referring to the Self-build movement in Portugal and the USA, and the newspaper The past persists in the present in the form of a dream (participatory architectures, archive and revolution) documenting a SAAL village facing extinction.

Areopagitica (Milton’s Nose) is a table assemblage with self-published newspaper and clay noses created by students at St. Paul’s School ceramic studios. Through collage, studio portraiture and found material, the work references two earlier self-published pamphlets: John Milton’s 1644 Areopagitica and David Bomberg’s 1919 Russian Ballet.

Unbound: David Faithful,  Jo Milne, paula roush & Print City
October 20 – November 9, 2017
curated by Rob McDonald
Herbert Read Gallery, University for the Creative Arts Canterbury
[artists' statements]  [ All Inked Up programme newspaper]  [gallery website]

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ə/uh/-books is the photobook publishing programme of exhibitions, artists’ talks and publications I curate at the London South Bank University. Projects have taken on various formats ranging from installations and presentations to the production of editions through commissions and collaborative workshop formats. This work has been shown nationally and internationally at All Inked up Kentʼs International Artist Book & Print Event UCA Canterbury & The Brewery Tap Folkestone, KHiO Publishing Studio Oslo National Art Academy, PRINTed #4 Singular publications zt EINA  Centre Universitari de Disseny i Art/ UAB Autonomous University of Barcelona and Arts Llibre Worshop  at ESDA LLotja Escola d’Arts i Oficis de Barcelona, Spain.

Project's archive:

Year II
ə-books #10 May 15-18, 2018 Unveil’d Photobook #01
ə-books #9 Mar 9th- Mar 23th 2018 Jens Masmann L ND N 
Year I
ə-books #8 Tuesday 25 April – Friday 26 May 2017 Tadej Pogačar + Dejan Habicht: HU? Pre-Brexit Tour
ə-books #7  March 28th – April 21st 2017 Héloïse Bergman:  The Dying Art
ə-books #6 March 21st  – March 24th 2017 Andreia Alves de Oliveira: River Boats & Inner Thoughts
ə-books #5 January 31st- February 25th 2017 Jessica Brouder: I Believe in You
ə-books #4 October 18th- November 18th 2016 Marc Vallée: Vandals and the city

ə-books #3 September 14th- October 12th 2016 Amy Warwick: Blame your parents
ə-books #2 June 28th- August 28th 2016 Martin Toft and Gareth Syvret: Atlantus
ə-books #1 May 25th- June 24th 2016 Lara Gonzalez: made and published

About ə/uh/-books project space:

During its first year of programming, the space operated out of the London South Bank University Student Centre.  With its two walk-in vitrines, the space acted as a folio (a double side printed page) between the interior and exterior of the university, as well as an experimental and reflexive form of exhibition practice for photobook works. For the second year of activity, the project has used the University's Borough Road Gallery.
The space’s aim is to supplement and extend both the teaching contents and practices of the photobook publishing programme as well as making a contribution to current debates in photobook publishing and curating. The programme alternates the presentation of students photobook works with photobook publishing projects by guest photographers, aiming to promote a dialogue between students, lecturers, invited artists, curators and theoreticians.

About [ə] the upside down e or schwa:
It is the ‘uh’ sound found in an unstressed syllable, like the final vowel of “sofa.” It’s the most common vowel sound in English. Before people started calling it “schwa” in English (around 1895) it had a lot of nicknames: the murmur vowel, the indeterminate vowel, the neutral vowel, the obscure vowel, and this is why it is a good vowel to refer to photobook works, a contested term that remains under scrutiny (the eternal debate: is it a ‘photobook’, a ‘photographic book’ or a ‘photographically illustrated book’?) in spite of its established position within the history of photography.

About  ‘uh’:
It is that inexplicable thing…a kind of a “huh?” … described by Ed Ruscha to Willoughby Sharp in a 1973 interview, as a feeling evoked by some photobook works …
WS: … It seems to me that this approach is something you pioneered withTwentysix Gasoline Stations  precisely because the idea had priority over the execution, which you made as anonymous as possible. You shot fifty stations and pared them down to twenty-six so the original idea carried. I’m interested in your reaction to that.
ER: I realized that for the first time this book had an inexplicable thing I was looking for, and that was a kind of a “Huh?” That’s what I’ve always worked around. All it is is a device to disarm somebody with my particular message. A lot of artists use that.
WS: Give me some examples of “Uh.”
ER: I don’t know, somebody digging a hole out in the desert and calling it sculpture. You know, it’s a surprise to people.
 WS: Would Duchamp be the first “Uh” artist?
ER: I think that would be spelled H-U-H, with a question mark. […] I just use that word to describe a feeling that a lot of artists are attempting to bring out, and some are doing it very well.
In “…A kind of a “Huh?”: An interview with Ed Ruscha” by Willoughby Sharp, originally published in Avalanche 7- 1973

 ə/uh/-books publications:

Jessica Brouder
new photobook work crossing the boundaries between sculpture, weaving and publishing.
edition 0f 100

RS FILES London – Munich To Be Continued
collective photobookwork,  based on a set of rules created for the workshop Self-Publishing and the Photobook, March 9th 2018
paula roush and Jens Masmann
Featuring folios by:  Amelia Attle / Raluca Babos / Emma Bircham / Razvan Bronda / Iga Cegielko / Kate Gentry / Jessica Hansson / Isabella Hewlett / Peter Di-Mola Jordan / Kyle Jackson /Charlotte Joseph / Tomasz Klimara / Jai Mills /Daisy Morey / Micah Morgan / Regan Ross / Sam Sutton /Isaac Watson

conversation between paula roush and Lara Gonzalez
On the occasion of the exhibition made and published [ProCreate Project]
ə-books project space for photobook publishing
May 25th- June 24th 2016

conversation between paula roush,Martin Toft and Gareth Syvret
On the occasion of the exhibition Atlantus A transoceanic photography project
ə-books project space for photobook publishing
June 28th- August 28th 2016

conversation between 
Amy Warwick and paula roush
On the occasion of the exhibition Blame your parents [a photozine of post-teenage years]
September 14th- October 12th 2016

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A space for practitioners to come together, read, think and discuss a highly significant aspect of contemporary visual culture, ie the rich and diverse methods found in books produced by artists.

The Book Dispersed
With: Beatriz Albuquerque,  Patrícia Almeida & David-Alexandre Guéniot, Ana Alvim, Isabel Baraona, Ricardo Basbaum, Stanislav Brisa, Jessica Brouder, Catarina F. Cardoso, Isabel Carvalho, Paulo Catrica, André Cepeda, João Paulo Serafim, Margarida Correia, Renato Ferrão & Susana Gaudêncio, Julie Cook, Inês M. Ferreira, Os Espacialistas, Ana Fonseca, Lara Gonzalez, Dejan Habicht, Michael Hampton, Teresa Huertas, Andrea Inocêncio, Calum F. Kerr, Sharon Kivland, Tanja Lažetić, Catarina Leitão, Ana Madureira, Fernando Marante, Daniela de Moraes, Eugénia Mussa, Eva-Maria Offermann, Andreia Alves de Oliveira, José Oliveira, Susana Paiva, Tadej Pogacar, Pedro Proença, Carla Rebelo, Eduardo Sousa Ribeiro, Mireille Ribière, Sara Rocio, paula roush, Ana João Romana & Susana Anágua, paula roush, Manuela São Simão, Ana Santos, Kim Svensson, Francisco Tomsich, Francisco Varela, Rodrigo Vilhena, Emmanuelle Waeckerle and Gillian Wylde.
Curated by Media Instáveis/ Unstable Media [paula roush, margarida carvalho, ana carvalho, sofia ponte]
Casa das Artes (Rua Ruben A, 210) + Sput&Nik the Window (Rua Bonjardim, 1340), Porto, Portugal
September 24 -October 28, 2017
[press release] [project tumblr] [Unstable Media: Unstable Media, constructions and disruptions Portuguese Small Press Yearbook 2017]



The Book Dispersed is a space for practitioners to come together, read, think and discuss a highly significant aspect of contemporary visual culture, ie the rich and diverse methods found in books produced by artists.

In the 1960s and 1970s the artists’ book came to be seen as an alternative, democratic platform largely free from commercial and/or institutional control, which could be accessed in the private sphere. With the rapid development of digital technology and the consequent rise of the internet one might have expected the book to have become less relevant as an artistic medium, yet this has not come to pass. That digital technology has made it easier and less costly for artists to produce and distribute their work worldwide is certainly a contributing factor, but given its creative potential, couldn’t the artists’ book also provide a format that not only challenges exhibition norms, but actually expands their horizons?

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Russian Ballet Riot, 2012
newspaperwork, 64 pages, colour, digital offset on newsprint paper, 29 ×38 cm
and 20 pages booklet A5 size facsimile edition of Russian Ballet an artist’s book by David Bomberg published in London in 1919
Photography and design: paula roush
edition of 100
msdm publications
Commissioned by the Borough Road Gallery, London
Published as part of the exhibition David Bomberg: Objects of Collection, presented in the Digital Gallery, London South Bank University, 10-12 December 2013


Newspaperwork developed in response to David Bomberg's collected works in the Borough Road Gallery exhibition London’s Post War Art Scene: David Bomberg & The Borough Group  ( Nov 30 2012-March 23 2013) and shown in parallel to  David Bomberg: Objects of Collection  (Sep13 2013-March 29 2014) in the exhibition Photobooks: Objects of collection (photobooks commissioned by the Borough Road Gallery in response to the exhibition David Bomberg: Objects of Collection), Digital Gallery, London South Bank University, London UK
Collage brings together the world of the Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (the historical context for Russian Ballet) and the protests in support of Pussy Riot following their 2012 arrest.
The work is inspired by traces of David Bomberg art studio in Borough road, now converted into the London South Bank University’s School of Arts and Creative Industries lecturer’s offices where paula meets her photobook publishing students for tutorials.

Researching the teaching and learning environment in the Borough Polytechnic “which was to become the centre of the most vanguard and adventurous art education in post-war Britain,” [1] the work is inspired by the traces of the former art studios in Borough road and the University archives.
Bomberg’s revolutionary teaching methods, informed by a search for the “spirit in the mass,” [2] that was keenly adapted by the Borough Group (1946-1951) as their modus operandis, precedes current practice-based approaches to art as research and comes alive in the new self-published work.
Bomberg’s early enthusiasm for self-publishing and his involvement with the performative aspects of modern culture was evident in his pamphlet-book Russian Ballet (1919) whose reinterpretation is part of the work.

Bringing side by side the Borough group’s artwork and the newly commissioned publication completes the circle that started with the radical educational approaches to modern art in post-war Borough Polytechnic and continue with contemporary discursive approaches to art in the University’s photographic arts teaching.

[1] Dominika Buchowska, 2011, Teaching Art In Post-War Britain: The Case Of The Borough Group 1945-1953, Polish-AngloSaxon Studies volume 14-15, pp. 107-129; [2] C. Holden, History of the Borough Group, date of access: 6 Nov 2012

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SKALA Gallery , Poznan, Polland
Booki. Studying Photobooks
Curated by Jarosław Klupś & Honza Zamojski ( University of the Arts in Poznan
Selection of books  by: Victoria Rowena Browne - Kunsthøgskolen, Oslo/ paula roush - London South Bank University/ Olja Triaška Stefanović - Vysoká škola výtvarných umení, Bratislava/ Vladimír Birgus - Institut tvůrčí fotografie, Slezské univerzity v Opavě/ Linn Schröder - Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, Hamburg/ Jarosław Klupś - University of Art in Poznań.
November 25 – December 2, 2017

[press release] [Booki LSBU-catalogue of photobooks]   [ Booki poster ]