Jim Butler, “A.M.D.G.”
Artist: Jim Butler (Cambridge, UK)
Title: A.M.D.G. (2013)
Medium/technique(s): etching and screenprinting
Edition size: 10
Number of pages: 50
Dimensions, open: 20 x 28.5 x 5 cm
Dimensions, closed: N/A
A.M.D.G. is a book which takes the idea that the reader’s tactile experience can become central to the development of a narrative. This is explored by using etching and screenprinting to play with the surface qualities of the page.
The book distinguishes itself from other sequential forms most obviously in the way the viewer/ reader progresses through the sequence – by turning the page, a tactile act which simultaneously covers and reveals. Handling is always a consideration for the book artist, determining the scale and binding of a bookwork. For the printmaker in particular, directly engaged with the materiality of the printed surface, this hand-contact allows the embossed surface of intaglio printing to be contrasted with other means of printing and exploited in the creation of meaning.
Thematically the book deals with the evolution of a childhood friendship. This relationship is explored over 26 spreads where the tactile possibilities of combining intaglio and screenprinting printmaking not only influences, but becomes integral to the design of the book. The imagery in the book is initially contained with etched blackboards, but with the passage of a line emerges and as do torn etched shapes. The marks move from pencil to pen. Later in the book the etched elements move to the borders of the page, eventually making way for flat, screenprinted images of memory and blank pages as the intensity of childhood friendship fades.