QEST Scholar Manuel Mazzotti was awarded First Prize at the International Bookbinding Competition last week. His work ‘I DO – I UNDO – I REDO’, a collaboration with illustrator and printmaker Harriet Bruce, won The Complete Book category in the competition organised by the Society of Bookbinders at the University of Bath.
The International Bookbinding Competition began in 1999 and has developed into one of the most successful regular exhibitions of the craft. Attracting entries from all around the world, its success lies in the variety of work which is represented, ranging from fine binding to restoration and book-arts.
Manuel and Harriet started by looking at notes on hidden languages and the ‘emergence’ of Michel de Certeau. The resulting books explore the act of ‘emergence’ in both theme and function. They are bound with material that reveals shapes of wings, a rib cage, and a plant’s bud, suggesting a thing trapped and awaiting release. Each book in turn become a bud, cage or cocoon enclosing a single pop up page illustrated with a hand printed rubber cut stamp.
By opening the books the reader forces the emergence of the plant, the body and the insect, marking the sudden and expansive moment in each of these organisms’ existence that announces both death and new life. This illustrates a necessary destruction at the moment of creation that allows the cycle of life, and thought, to continue.
Huge congratulations to Manuel!