Bookmare 2

of average sunlight              BookMare 2


curated by Susan Johanknecht and Finlay Taylor


Sixteen small books propose events that respond to notions of natural phenomena.
Here, of average sunlight indicates a measurement, a measurement of something invisible, of life-giving substance, of radioactive material.
This selection of works focus on the book at an intimate scale, a hand-held thing to be explored. Offering a small library to browse in one place.

Exhibitions: Kingsgate Studios, 2017. National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London 2018.


Les Bicknell
sunshine yellow – solar dot
Arcs of light unfold and unfold. Two A4 sheets sewn, slit, folded, become 64 pages and variable structures. Fragments of patterning, arc shapes relief printed using ‘sunshine yellow’ ink.  

Nicky Coutts
Hawk Insomnia
A flipbook of text following the flight of a peregrine hunting at the same time each day, with photographs depicting wheeling through time in a moorland landscape.

Helen Douglas
Winter Solstice December 21, 2016. Sunlight enters a room, a lamp not on, blank book on a table, waiting to be sewn? Doubled shadow of the photographer, white sunlight shines in the gutter of the book. Reflection-shadow on a computer screen (not on). Light reveals presence, time, place.

Oona Grimes
an insoluble pancake
“MacCruiskeen says it is not smooth and not rough, not gritty and not velvety . It would be a mistake to think it blankety. I thought it might be like the damp bread of an old poultice but no, MacCruiskeen says that would be a third mistake. And not like a bowl-full of dry withered peas, either. A contrary pancake surely, a fingerish atrocity but not without a queer charm all its own.”     - The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien

Denise Hawrysio
Starring into the Sun 
This book sits in your palm. Look up into trees, down at your feet, unfold. A hand to the light, shades your eyes from the sun starring at which, could cause blindness.

Susan Johanknecht & Andrew Turner
 // calculation of average sunlight 
Computer code written to chart yearly movement of sunlight across a kitchen window, then reworked. An unfolding concertina of sky-blue paper, printed letterpress with fluorescent orange inks, can be read under UV light.

Bob Matthews
Wallet book (ethnic)
Folded canvas book with exposed positives onto a light sensitive emulsion. Coded imagery, an eclipse of the sun and machine stitched ‘text.’

Katharine Meynell
Moments on the train, scratchy window and soft landscape both apparent. Speed and stillness. Cooling towers of a power station appear, pass as pages turn, through and back to the dark covers.

Drew Milne
Solar Commune
Lichen photographs from an ancient stone site in the Luberon merge into Lokta and Mulberry papers. The text glows and flickers out, litmus from lichen, solar warnings.

Redell Olsen
Mox Nox
Sundials that used to tell time, passages that used to be ice bound. Collaged photosensitive papers affect this text. A unique sun-print is on the cover. Sources date from 1652 to 2014.

Tim O’Riley
"The horizon line is a reference for orientation, through which "up' can be distinguished from 'down' -- pilots use a gyroscopic pitch-bank or 'artificial horizon' to determine an aeroplane's "attitude' in flight, for example. Each page of the book also represents a month of the year, with month-by-month statistics for average light at London's latitude (51.5074° N)." 

Colin Sackett



of light
on paper


Kate Scrivener
Diurnal Nocturnal
Patterns of light and colour are explored through painted lines and dry point work. Wild cats and dogs are named as animals with varying hunting times, light and dark, day and night.

Mary Somerville with SJ & KM
Experiments on Light
One of Somerville’s manuscript notes from Rome in 1845 when she was experimenting on how to view and notate the solar spectrum – restaged with needles and prism on a London windowsill in 2017.

Finlay Taylor
Large Blue
Drawings and text made in response to the Large Blue Butterfly’s life cycle, which requires a certain quality of sunlight.

Erica Van Horn
when the air is clear  
How to speak of our perceptions of distance, space and light? Two accordion folded sheets offset and sewn, the book structure and text are simple yet complex.