Substance – Artists Book Event 2018 at Aspex

Aspex Gallery will host ‘Substance’ next March –  a one-day event exploring artist’s books as an interactive art form presented by Dave Kirby.  CCI is pleased to announce that Dr Maureen O’Neill and other University of Portsmouth staff will be taking part.

Substance runs 18th March 2018, 10am until 5pm at Aspex Gallery. Dave Kirby is a multidisciplinary artist from Southsea who has been involved with artists books for more than 25 years. Dave’s work is held in national and international collections.

Featuring established UK and international artists and students from a broad range of artistic disciplines including writing, poetry, illustration, printmaking, spoken word, performance, sound, and sculpture, Substance is an exciting curated event bringing together multiple artistic disciplines in the context of making and telling ‘stories’.

Substance will showcase straightforward, traditionally printed, bound book arts – handmade low tech ‘zines, self publishing poets and writers; spoken word, sound and performance based artists; experimental, sculptural and site specific interactions designed to spark conversations and stories that both challenge and reinforce ideas of what constitutes a ‘book’.

‘The Artist’s Book’ is a key medium for the exploration of form and function.

The intention is for artists and visitors to engage and interact, to generate narratives through those conversations, and in the course of the event to see, and hear those dialogues transformed and re-presented. Visitors to the event will experience a few of the processes of how narratives and other content can be generated and contained, encapsulated in forms that can be taken away and relived elsewhere.

Event curator Dave Kirby says, “My aim with ‘Substance’ is to present a slice across the current genre of artists books; to focus on relationships between forms of content – archive/narrative and its [re]presentation/ retrieval. What comes first, the contents or the container? How does one even begin to make a ‘book’?

For further information please contact Dave Kirby, Portsmouth Artists Book Event // 07780 283603

Follow the Artists Books blog here, or for more information on Substance click here.

We will report more information about the plans for the day in a future blog post.


Aspex Gallery has been supporting emerging artists, exposing the creative process, and engaging new audiences with visual art for 35 years. Delivering an exciting and varied programme of exhibitions, off-site projects and participation events, the aim is to make the appreciation and creation of art a more inclusive activity.


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