Tuesday 7 May 2013

Mike Watts & Sue LeCren - Christchurch Specials

Sue LeCren and Mike Watts with
Freedbook and Patternotion
Two for the price of one!

Both the books and the lovers of art, culture and  'Duke Special' that are holding them here.

A big welcome to the fold for New Zealand's 'Sue the Librarian' and hope you enjoy the FreedBook. Don't let your food get cold either, looks delicious.
Keep in touch with Sue on Twitter at @LiSu and as she says herself, 

"I'm an escape artist for a living... I live to escape... well OK, I'm a librarian. Same thing"

Well you couldn't find a book closer to your ideology, here's the Harry Houdini of publications, a true literary escapologist.

If any of you don't know the distinguished gentleman pictured here then let me introduce you to Mike Watts, who is both a stem cell aficionado at UCH and photographer on London's live music circuit. As well as bumping into one another in live music venues he recently accompanied us on all 10 miles of our Patternotion Blue Plaque walk across North London.

It seems he has got itchy feet once again and has travelled a little further than those 10 miles of Patternotion. Have a good time in New Zealand and keep taking those photos, we love them.

Mike Watts is @DrFizzy if you want to keep abreast of his adventures in your Twitter walking boots.


Friday 12 April 2013

Sharon Read - Rainy Day Art

The reference to “these images” and the use of a number in the title would suggest that this is one of a series of photographs. I’d definitely like to see more. No sign of a Rain On The Pier 2 in Patternotion alas. A very good reason not to buy that particular book I’d say. Maybe other photo’s in the series are available on the web or in other publications. There’s no guarantee that any of the others will be as interesting or beautiful as this one of course. Sharon Read may have thought to herself “I peaked with my magnificent contribution to Freedbook. No point in carrying on. Anything further would be an anticlimax”.
Each of the 552 planks on this particular Pier has a name on it. Those of a romantic bent may enjoy inventing reasons for this perhaps involving a memorial of extreme bravery in the face of freakish weather conditions. The real reason is easily googled and actually quite mundane. The fact that one of the names on the pier seems to be ‘Simmonds Settees’ doesn’t immediately suggest seafaring heroics. Please don’t let me put you off though. A lifeboatman called Simmonds Settees could easily have lived and worked in the south of england at some stage. Who am I to suggest that this person never existed or that he/she never risked life and limb on numerous occasions to rescue others from a watery grave. It’s quite possible. At a party I was once introduced to a dental assistant named Warehouse Remnants, so you never know.
I always enjoy the dizzying view of the sea through the gaps between the planks on piers. I’m sure they’ve featured in my dreams a few times. In Rain On The Pier 1 you can’t actually see the waves.* The angle the photo was taken at doesn’t allow for it. The gaps just create satisfying black sloping lines. The three ovoid shapes formed by large firmly hammered nails are pleasing too. Yes. This is definitely a good argument for just buying Freedbook and ignoring all other Sampson Low publications.
* My inner bad poet wanted me to write  “but you can hear them!” at this point but I ignored him.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Freedbook travels Dubai Business Class

Malc Dow's Patternotion page
  As you know the FreedBook is no stranger to travelling the world. At its very inception we teamed up with the Books For London libraries in an attempt to set our artwork free, but like overprotective parents we wondered if our teenage offspring would sink or swim out there in the real world.

Well we just got that phone call to tell us that it neither sunk nor swam but FLEW and is still flying high!

This journey started when I sent a copy of FreedBook to the artist Malc Dow. He was busy preparing for Sampson Low Ltd's new book, Patternotion, and needed some pointers on style and format. A copy wound its way to Scotland and ended up on Malc's coffee table. Well after reading it several times over he embraced the spirit of the FreedBook and set it free.

Now Malc is a compassionate kind of guy and knew the FreedBook needed some company, sustenance and love. So he left it in 'The most salubrious place in town for free fast broadband', or to you and me the coffee shop at Perth Library. Just as he said his goodbye to FreedBook he wrote his number in the front page as a parting gift.

Of course Malc forgot all about it and got on with his life.

A few days ago he got a phone call from a mystery man. It was a very clear phone line so he presumed it was someone local. The caller said.....

"I picked up this book on my way to Dubai. So I maybe just leave in the book shelf at Dubai airport - I am in transit there... or shall I leave it here in the magazine rack here on the plane... it's business class..."

So Malc said.... "Leave it in the bookshelf!! For goodness sake it or will end in the bin otherwise!"

So that's what our Mystery Caller did....and is it still there? Well who knows.
But what I do know is, even if its on a continent far far away, then its got there in style!


Wednesday 23 January 2013

Thank a tree with Leigh

Leigh Maynard - Hopkinton Town Library

Sorry for the absence from the blog, submissions are flying in from all over the world to our new Patternotion book and keeping me occupied day and night. We've even received 3 absolute crackers from New Hampshire artists, Tom Hosmer, David M Carroll and Laurette Carroll.

FreedBook continues its journey through the snowy landscape of this fine state, in fact you'd have to say it has New Hampshire's motto of 'Live Free or Die' at its heart. So nothing could be more apt than FreedBook's latest stop at Hopkinton Town Library where it's found itself in the hands of the charming Leigh Maynard.
Leigh is the librarian for the children's section and every November she has a project during National Recycling Week. Her project, "LOVE BOOKS? THANK A TREE", entails taking recycled children's books, placing them in bags with brightly coloured yarn loops attached and hanging the bags on easily accessed trees limbs around the town of Hopkinton to create a scavenger hunt for children (between the ages of 3 to 10). The children who find the books can keep them, and there is a book mark too, which the children can take to the library and enter in a raffle for two friendship bracelets, one for the finder and another for a friend.
Grabbing a magnetic artwork in E17

Its heartening to see projects like Leigh's flourish and to know there are similar ideas germinating across the world like our partners at Books For London. We too have participated for the past 3 years in Walthamstow's 'Art Grows on Trees' with the dynamic Katja Rosenberg and CollectConnect's very own 'good egg' Dean Reddick. Where it's always great fun to meet up with artists who are prepared to give their art away for free and brave enough to place their work right under the public's noses.

Leigh's been very kind to give us two thumbs up, both to Books For London and to the serendipity of the FreedBook project.

If she ever needs any arty surprises in her Love Book Bags then I'm sure we can organise some colourful magnetic artworks for her literature loving children.
What do you say!


Friday 14 December 2012

Warner Bookstore - The place to be

The FreedBook found itself outside the coolest Bookstore in the U.S. this week.
As you know we've supported the Books For London campaign, that encourages commuters to swap their used books rather than bin them, but MainStreet Book Ends is a step further towards sustainability. The bookstore is only the second bookstore in the US to be fully powered by solar energy!

Katharyn Nevins (pictured) is the owner of this fantastic community store and a supporter of our magnetic adventures (MOAP).
The bookstore has an attached carriage house which has been converted into a gallery for artist to display and sell their work, along with a cafe, which screens movies, hosts book and poetry readings and houses the local farmers market twice a week.  Katharyn is an advocate of buying local and supporting small businesses.  The grounds around the bookstore are given over to the public with a patio for public gatherings and an amphitheater for concerts.

One day we'll hope to get out there and have an exhibition in the grounds of the Bookstore if Katharyn will accomodate our motley crew.
Thanks to MOAP director and CollectConnect artist Tom Hosmer for the photo and his tireless support.


Tuesday 4 December 2012

Free in Concord, New Hampshire, USA

FreedBook has been set free in Concord, New Hampshire, USA but luckily found itself in the safe hands of Jemi Broussard.
Jemi is the Membership Coordinator for Red River Theatres and a great supporter of the arts.  http://www.redrivertheatres.org/ 
...and it seems a great supporter of all things British too....
Red River Theatre has a British Thriller Series running on Sundays where they serve tea and biscuits during the film.
Can't get better than that!

FreedBook author/artist and top bloke Tom Hosmer (page 24) is our man in Concord. He organised the successful MOAP exhibition in August 2011 with the New Hampshire chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA-NH). Aswell as exhibiting hundreds of magnets at the Minor Threat Pop-Up Gallery he hit the streets of Concord, placing magnets on store facades for the public to pick up.

And when Jemi and Tom next come over to the UK we'll treat them to some Custard Creams with their tea.


Sunday 2 December 2012

FreedBookCrawl : The Movie

Little did we realise as we traversed the London Transport network for the FreedBookcrawl that we we're being filmed by artist Peter S Smith. Have a look at what we got up to below! Unsurprisingly there's quite a few trains involved!
If you'd like to pick up a FreedBook for FREE then you can see exactly where we left them in this video.
All the books left at the Books For London shelves we're signed by the artists on the day.
If you'd like a signed copy and can't make the journey to West Ealing, Acton Central, Enfield Chase, Charlton, Coulsdon South, Wimbledon or Raynes Park stations then visit the BUY Freedbook page (right) and buy a copy for £4.99