2016 Research Fellow Lyn Ashby
Book artist, researcher & writer Lyn Ashby was the final research fellowship recipient. Lyn investigated the nature of stories that are made possible through the medium of the artists’ book. He looked at the historical foundations and ways of reading artists’ books, dipping into the postmodernist theories of the eighties and the current parallels observed in digital reading in contemporary society, concluding:
"We must read differently now. Except for digital natives, screen reading is, relatively, the new reading for many of us. But the really new reading is back with the (new) book, the artists’ book. And this is a process of reading in which the direct, material experience or process of comprehending (or attempting to comprehend) the work on its own material terms, is a vital part of the meaning that the maker of the book is pointing to. The narratives that arise then are less conclusive and less consoling. They’re more confused and confusing, more troubled and quarrelsome, more mischievous and more able to accommodate uncertainty. And thus, perhaps, more mature. In the end, since there is little chance of undoing all this experiment with narrative, it probably also means that there’ll be no more happy ever afters."
Lyn’s research paper was delivered as part of the Siganto Foundation Artists’ Book Lecture 2017. He has also had his paper published in The Blue Notebook: Journal for artists' books published at the University of West England in October 2017.