More of Melanie Bush's work can be seen at:
http://www.flickr.com/melmakesbooks

There are also lots more photos of Melanie's work at the bottom of this section.
So keep on scrolling down the page!

General Introduction

My background is graphic design; for several years I worked as a pack designer in London before I moved to teaching. Until June 2013 I was a full time, then part time Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at The University of Northampton, UK.

I came to book making as a means to communicate therapeutic stories for and about adopted children. During my MA in Visual Communication at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design, The University of Central England in 2000/01. I developed these ideas further and submitted my first Artist’s Book - [Unwrapping [My Year] 2000] to Cally Baker’s Women’s Millennium Book Project

I continued to explore therapeutic books for children and ran workshops with social and family workers. I was exploring communicating painful stories in a metaphorical and poetic way; this also led me to a different writing structure.

Then real (adoptive) life intervened with great challenges that caused me to move away from the therapeutic and adoption books for some time, towards books created more for simple exploration and communication. However, themes from the earlier books lived on in the subsequent work such as; wraps, [un]folding, collaboration, personal perspectives, layering and secrets.

Several years on and I find biographical and autobiographical elements continue to surface in the books I make. Now that I have left teaching I plan to pursue my own practice more.

I have Artists’ Books in national and international, public and private Collections; such as the Tate Library, London; The State Library of Queensland, Australia; Pace University Mortola Library, Westchester, NY, USA; Bower Ashton Library, UWE, Bristol School of Creative Arts, UK; Cardiff School of Art and Design; London College of Communication; Winchester School of Art and Middlesex University.

Exhibited book works
2013    
‘tracery de la dentelle en punt’ (2013) at 4th Sheffield International Artists Book Prize,  Bank St Arts, Sheffield Oct- Nov 2013
‘tracery de la dentelle en punt’ (2013), ‘Xanthic’  (2012) and ‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ 2007 exhibited at MK Calling, venue artworks-mk, July – Sept 2013
‘tracery de la dentelle en punt’ (2013) created for wlyb 2013 theme of ‘point’, shown online from June 2013
‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ (2007) and ‘Rage and… ‘ (2010) exhibited at Fifth International Artists’ Book Exhibition: The King St. Stephen Museum, in collaboration with the City Gallery Deák Collection / Szent István Király Múzeum (King St. Stephen Museum) 8000 Székesfehérvár, Hungary, May – Oct 2013
 
2012     
‘Seed’  (2012) and ‘minute catalogue’ (2012) with Dr Emma Powell shown at wlyb ‘minute’ exhibition at Avenue Campus, The University of Northampton, UK, Nov –  Dec (extended)
‘Lineolate Vittae’ (2009) and Xanthic (2012) at ‘Love British Books’, The Artists’Union Gallery, Yerevan, Armenia, June 2012 and The University of Northampton Oct-Nov 2012.
‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ (2007), at Handmade/Homemade exhibit, Pace University, Westchester, NY, USA & concurrently at Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia, USA, March 2012, http://handhomemade.wordpress.com/
Xanthic (2012) ed 10, for 10th anniversary of bookartbookshop, London for ‘X= or what is to be done?’ at the Red Gallery, London 21-23 Feb 2012 http://www.redgallerylondon.com/node/93 and at bookartbookshop Feb – Oct 2012.  Selected as one of 10 winners, a copy of each of the 10 winning books went to The Tate Library Collection, bookartbookshop archive and other Book Arts Collections.
 
2011     
‘seed/grow/harvest’ (2011) and ‘Crop Catalogue’ (2011) with Dr Emma Powell, exhibited at Avenue Campus, The University of Northampton, Northampton, Oct – Nov 2011, extended to Jan 2012
‘Extracts & Analects’ (2010), ‘Bermuda Sketchbook’ (2009-11), ‘(e)motive Catalogue’ & ‘(e)motive  sketchbooks’ (2010), ‘Rage and...’ (2010), ‘M/Em’ (2010), ‘A Long Walk in Wintertime’ print from Chapter 2 (2009) exhibited at 'Work in Progress' Avenue Gallery, The University of Northampton, Northampton, June – July  2011
 
2010  
‘A Long Walk in Wintertime Chapters 1& 3 (the beginning and the end)’,  exhibited at Sparks Artists’ ‘Book this Space: Altered Books’, Bucks County Museum, Aylesbury, Oct 2010 - Feb 2011
‘Extracts & Analects (2010)  and ‘emotive’ ( 2010) shown at 5th Manchester Artist’s Book’ Fair, MMU, UK; Nov 2010
‘Biographical Depredations’ (2010) & Extracts & Analects (2010) for Regenerator II, on permanent display from Sept 2010 in Bower Ashton Library, Special Collection UWE, Bristol School of Creative Arts (http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/regen10/archive.htm)
‘Fast Pages’(2010), ‘M/Em’ (& ‘Em/M’) with Dr Emma Powell (2010), exhibited at artworks-mk, Milton Keynes, UK; Aug – Sept; The Gallery corridor & foyer, Avenue Campus, The University of Northampton, UK, Oct – Nov 2010
‘Rage and...’ (2010), ‘(e)motive Catalogue’ (2010) & ‘(e)motive sketchbooks’ (2010) with Dr Emma Powell exhibited at Artworks MK, Milton Keynes, UK; Aug – Sept; The Gallery corridor & foyer, Avenue Campus, The University of Northampton, UK, Oct - Nov and at 5th Manchester Artist’s Book’ Fair, MMU, UK; Nov 2010

2009
Volume 7, Number 4, June 2009 (Spring 2009 issue), Bound & Lettered, USA.
Contributed to article about re: exhibition. Featured on pages 28-33.
Altered Artist’s Books: A Long Walk in Wintertime Chapter 1
(the beginning), A Long Walk in Wintertime
Chapter 2 (the middle), A Long Walk in Wintertime Chapter 3 (the end), 2009 exhibited at
“Book this Space: Altered Books”, High Wycombe Library, 3 – 29 March, curated by Sparks Artists.
Artist’s Books shown at 4th Manchester Artist’s Book’ Fair, MMU;
mel spines

2008   
Artist’s Books: ‘Remembrancer iii & iv ’ 2008 from series of 4; ‘Map, Pink & Fish sketchbooks’
sketchbks.1
Re: Catalogue 2008 with Emma Powell at 3rd Manchester Artist’s Book’ Fair, UK; 8th November
Artist’s Books: ‘Remembrancer ’ 2008 from series of 4; ‘Re: Catalogue’ 2008
with Emma Powell at 3rd Manchester Artist’s Book’ Fair, UK; 8th November
Artist’s Books: ‘Remembrancer i ’ 2008 from series of 4; ‘Revive Japan i’ 2007
‘Re: Catalogue’ 2008 with Emma Powell for ‘Re:’ as part of selected work from
‘Re:’ exhibition (exhibition co - curator) at The University of Portsmouth, UK;
3rd - 14th November
remem1.1
Artist’s Books: ‘An ABC of Childhood Memories’ 2007,
‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ 2007 and ‘Composition: A Book about Books’  2008  
at ‘ Back to Basics: Connected in Context’ exhibition, Noosa Regional Art Gallery,
Queensland, Australia; 17th October - 16th November
Artist’s Book :‘Remembrancer ii’ 2008 from series of 4; exhibited at The Sheffield
Artists’ Book Exhibition at Bank St Arts, Sheffield, UK as part of the “On the Shelf Festival”;
16 Oct - 9 Nov
‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ 2007 exhibited at The Fourth Annual Bookopolis,
Bookworks, Asheville, N.Carolina, USA; 15th - 19th September
‘An ABC of Childhood Memories’ 2007, ‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ 2007,  
‘Once’ 2005, ‘Meeting in the Middle Catalogue’ 2005 with Emma Powell & Louise McDonald
shown at  ‘Unfolding’  The Art Shop & Gallery, Abergavenny, Wales; 18th July - 23rd August.
‘Remembrancer i & iv’ 2008 from series of 4; ‘Recycle’ 2008; ‘Revive Japan i-iv'
2007; ‘Reuse’ 2007; ‘Re: Catalogue’ 2008 with Emma Powell for ‘Re:’ (exhibition co - curator)
at artworks-mk, Milton Keynes, UK; 12 July - 23 August
‘Remembrancer i & iv’ 2008 from series of 4; ‘Recycle’ 2008;
‘Revive Japan i-iv' 2007; ‘Reuse’ 2007; ‘Re: Catalogue’ 2008 with Emma Powell for
‘Re:’ (exhibition co - curator) The University of Northampton Gallery, Northampton, UK; 9 - 29 May
‘Revive Japan i’ 2007, ‘An ABC of Childhood Memories’ 2007,
‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ 2007, shown at The Society of Bookbinders 4th
Biennial Training Seminar, at Loughborough University, UK; 11&12 April
‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ 2007 and  ‘Composition: A Book about Books’  2008  
exhibited in ‘From Book to Book’ at Leeds Art Gallery, UK; 6 March–20 April
Artist’s Book :‘Remembrancer ii’ 2008 from series of 4; exhibited by Bank St Arts,
at 12th International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair, The University of Leeds 6-7 March 2008
'Binga Urtext' in collaboration with John M. Bennett (USA)
‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ 2007  x 3 bought by Bertram Rota Books, London
and sold to private collectors


2007
October 2007 -
co-written illustrated article 'Meeting in the Middle - a book arts collaboration'
with Emma Powell, published in UK book arts journal 'The Blue Notebook' Volume 2, No. 1
October 2007 – ‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ (2007) bought by Bertram Rota Books, London
September 2007 – ‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ (2007) bought by The Collection:
Bower Ashton School of Creative Arts, Bristol, UK
September 2007 - exhibited ‘An ABC of Childhood Memories’ (2007), ‘Abecedarium for
Bibliopoesy’ (2007), 'Revive: Japan 1937-2007 (2007), ‘ABC Catalogue’ (2007) with
Emma Powell & Louise Bird at 2nd Manchester Artist’s Books Fair.
*Mel revive SHUT1 *Mel Revive shut
Summer 2007 - exhibited 'Exhibits Unseen' at ‘Books 07: Works of Imagination, the search for the
impossible', in Noosa Regional Gallery, Queensland, Australia.
Co-author of Random Journey/Full Circle catalogue in UWE bookarts archive.
Summer 2007 - exhibited at and co-curated ABC exhibition, The University of Northampton
(toured to Herefordshire College of Art & Design August/September 2007).
‘Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy’ (2007) open edition; 77 x169mm,
digital print, recycled dictionary page, hand sewn
‘An ABC of Childhood Memories’ limited edition of 2;
220 x 298 mm, digital print, recycled book pages, Japanese stab stitch
‘Exhibits Unseen’ one off, concertina and  flag folds, digital
prints, cut out figures, collaged box.
‘ABC un/wrap book’ with Janet Caldwell & ‘ABC un/wrap book’ with Louise Mcdonald
‘ABC un/wrap book’ with Emma Powell & ‘ABC un/wrap book’ with John Holt
‘ABC un/wrap book’ un/wrap book limited edition of 12; each book one off, 105 x 142 mm,
digital print, recycled book pages, rubber stamps, crayon, ink, recycled plastic, pen & ink, graphite,
rub downs for ‘A (is for Add), B (is for Book), C (is for Collaborate)’(exhibition co - curator)
The University of Northampton Gallery, Northampton,UK; 14 - 31 May 2007
Also on show at  ‘A (is for Add), B (is for Book), C (is for Collaborate)’
Japanese Book 2006
Music Book 2006
‘Myriorama’ 2006
'[Unwrapping [My Year] 2000 ]' 2001
‘Full Circle/Random Journey Catalogue’ (2006) with Emma Powell & Louise McDonald.
‘Meeting in the Middle Catalogue’ (2005) with Emma Powell & Louise McDonald.
Altered Book ‘Ex Design’ 2006/07 one off , for Regenerator project, Centre for Fine Print Research,
University of West England, Bristol, UK shown  at  Off-Centre gallery, Bristol, 25 April to 11 May 2007

2006  
Summer 2006 - exhibited work in Noosa Regional Gallery, Queensland, Australia.
Autumn 2006 - work published in USA bookarts journal 'Bound and Lettered'.
September 2006 - exhibited at First Manchester Book Arts Fair.
May 2006 – Co-curator and exhibiting artist: “Full Circle/Random Journey” at The Gallery, The
University of Northampton, UK.
myrior livret
‘Myriorama’ (ltd edition of 2) & ‘Livret 141649’ (ltd edition of 1).

2005    
November 2005 – Exhibited at LAB '05 (London Artist's Book Fair) at the ICA, London, UK.
Summer 2005 – 'Meeting in the Middle’ catalogue with Emma Powell & Louise McDonald
'Wrap Book’  (limited edition of 36).
‘Waterfall’ . Therapeutic Artists Book  
(limited edition of 2)
May 2005 – Co-curator and exhibiting artist: ‘Meeting in the Middle’ at The Gallery, University College
Northampton, UK
'Journal'
‘I think’ with Sarah Colwell
‘Fairy Tale’ with Sarah Colwell

2004    
‘Is Mail Art Dead?’ at The Gallery, University College
Northampton, UK. Baby Postcard 1 & Baby Postcard 2

2003     
June 2003 – Group exhibition: ‘6 - Research work in progress’  
at The Gallery, University College Northampton, UK
Wraps : 'Evryday Baby', 'Parcel Game', 'became yet other stories'

2002   
“Unwrapping Adoption Stories” Article and images published in Adoption Today, Issue 102, Feb 2
sw01
Work produced collaboratively in workshop with social and family workers, Hereford, UK.

2001    
MA Visual Communication exhibition: Birmingham Institute of Art & Design, The University of
Central England, UK (BIAD, UCE)

The following photos are of a selection of Melanie's books.
M/Em 2010

M/Em 2010

1.rage and... 2010

1.rage and... 2010

2.rage and... 2010

2.rage and... 2010

fast pages 2010

fast pages 2010

silk paper 07

silk paper 07

silk paper 06

silk paper 06

silk paper 05

silk paper 05

silk paper 04

silk paper 04

silk paper 01

silk paper 01

silk paper 03

silk paper 03

silk paper 02

silk paper 02

Manchester Artists

Manchester Artists' Book Fair 2010

Extracts & Analects 1 2011

Extracts & Analects 1 2011

Extracts & Analects 2 2011

Extracts & Analects 2 2011

Seed/grow/harvest 2011

Seed/grow/harvest 2011

Melanie Bush & Emma Powell (e)motive

Melanie Bush & Emma Powell (e)motive

Melanie Bush & Emma Powell (e)motive

Melanie Bush & Emma Powell (e)motive

Melanie Bush & Emma Powell (e)motive

Melanie Bush & Emma Powell (e)motive

ABC of Childhood and Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy 2007

ABC of Childhood and Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy 2007

ABC of Childhood  2007

ABC of Childhood 2007

ABC of Childhood  2007

ABC of Childhood 2007

Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy 2007

Abecedarium for Bibliopoesy 2007

curators

curators' cubes a-z

Melanie Bush

Melanie Bush

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 2

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 2

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 2

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 2

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 2

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 2

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 2

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 2

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 2

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 2

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 3

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 3

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 3

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 3

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 3

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 3

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 3

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 3

Ex

Ex

Ex

Ex

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 3

A Long Walk in Wintertime, Chapter 3

Finis

Finis

Lineolate Vittae

Lineolate Vittae

Lineolate Vittae

Lineolate Vittae

Melanie & Emma

Melanie & Emma

Grow detail

Grow detail