EU4ART Short Term Workshop of Graphic Art “Introduction to Artists’ Books and Artists’ Publications”

From 1 to 12 November 2021, short-term workshops took place at HfBK Dresden as part of the EU4ART project. Students from the EU4ART university alliance, consisting of the art academies in Budapest, Dresden, Riga and Rome had the opportunity to participate in workshops on graphics, painting and sculpture. The courses were accompanied by a theoretical portion led by art historian Susanne Altmann.

This graphic workshop included several successive parts that were intended to sharpen the understanding of paper as an independent medium and, in this context, to give an insight into the professional papermaking craft as well as into the artistic work with paper and fibre material for producing, among other things, artists’ books.

On the first day, a thematic introduction with illustrative materials on paper art and book art was given by the head of the Workshop for Artistic Publishing, Dorothée Billard, the head of the Workshop for Hand Binding, Luise Fiedler, and artist Fides Linien. Course participants were able to present and discuss their individual artistic projects.

In the first part of the workshop, Fides Linien gave a theoretical and practical introduction to manual papermaking. For this purpose, plant material was prepared as well as various semi-finished products for the production of three different pulps, i.e. different masses / fibres, which could also be combined with each other. Fides supported students in their artistic projects and experiments. A decisive factor here was the involvement of the head of the Workshop for Hand Binding, Luise Fiedler, regarding the final product that was to be created in the second part of the workshop. Here, too, there were no limits to the joy of experimentation – the concept of the artist’s book, which was still narrowly defined at the beginning, was continuously expanded during the workshop and its limits were explored. In this way, boxes and slipcases were created for storage and presentation, as well as notebooks, books, and fanfolds.

In addition to practical work, the focus was on regular exchange about techniques and materials. Awareness of the value of paper in relation to our handling of the environment and resources is an important and essential aspect that arose through the implementation of papermaking. In general, it can be said that the workshop provided incentives for course participants in this regard. Many creative processes took place towards the end of the workshop after students became more familiar with the materials and techniques. A sense of achievement also motivated further experimentation – an intellectual exchange of ideas and thoughts took place.