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SUBSTANCE — Portsmouth Artists’ Book Event 2018

SUBSTANCE Aspex Gallery

SUBSTANCE is a one-day event at Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf Quays that’s perfect for anyone who enjoys their culture in a more physical literary form, exploring artists’ books as a multidisciplinary art medium.

There will be handmade, hand-bound, hand-illustrated books in a grand range of styles and formats to peruse, examine, discuss, and even to buy. Expect performances by poets, readings by writers, and characters coming to life to tell you their stories. 


Curated by Dave Kirby and Danny Aldred, SUBSTANCE will bring together multiple artistic disciplines, inviting visitors to participate in the process of making and telling 'stories', from 11:00am to 4:00pm, for free.

Exhibitors include:

  • The University of Portsmouth, The Ministry of Books/Illustration Staff & Students
  • Winchester School of Art & Graphic Design
  • Artists Books Online
  • Pete Kennedy of Apuldram/Apulhead Originals
  • Mark Beechill of Less Than 500 Press
  • Tracey Bush of Fathom Five Books
  • Eileen White
  • Helen Scalway
  • Jan Fairbairn-Edwards
  • Murray Marshall of Transrational Publications
  • Lee Shearman of Microlibrary Books

Throughout the day a short series of talks will be delivered by artists’ books practitioners Egidija Čiricaitė, Suzuki-Bosco, and Catherine Polley, in addition to performances and readings by Majid Dhana/Jidos Reality, Christine Lawrence, Amanda Garrie, the Portsmouth Writers' Hub, and many more.

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Visitors will also have the opportunity produce their own ‘zine, using a risograph printing machine courtesy of Winchester School of Art.

SUBSTANCE is the first national artist’s book event to be held in Portsmouth, featuring established UK and international artists, as well as students from a broad range of artistic disciplines.

The free event will showcase traditional printed book arts, handmade low-tech ‘zines, self-publishing poets and writers, spoken word and sound, performance-based artists, experimental works, sculptural pieces, and site-specific interactions designed to spark conversations through stories that both challenge and reinforce ideas of what a ‘book’ is.

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Earlier Event: March 17
Phantom Thread
Later Event: March 22
Darkest Hour