Exhibitions

Man Booker Prize

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Every year six DB Fellows each bind one of the six titles shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Designed and completed in 4-5 weeks, these bindings are presented to the authors on the night of the Man Booker award ceremony.

  • by George Saunders (winning author)

    bound by Mark Cockram

    240 x 174 x 40mm

    Materials.Parchment, goat skin, English and Japanese silk thread, hand coloured papers, mixed media.

    A 'Double Board-Double Hollow' Bradel style binding. Leather jointed endpapers with edge to edge doublers. Hand sewn "Exposed Core' endbands. Full edge decoration. Art work/ collage images from The Illustrated London News 1862. Housed in a two tray drop back box with art work to the spine..

    My intention is to highlight three of the characters who form part of the kaleidoscopic narrative in Lincoln in the Bardo: roger bevins iii, the reverend everly thomas and mrs elizabeth crawford.

    The various colours used also hint at flaming red hair and a yellow swimming costume. The parchment, waxy and blanched white, like lifeless skin at first glance, however, on closer inspection small creases, cuts and blemishes corrupt the surface. The edge decoration, end papers and doublers are layered, floating washes that let us glimpse partial views and memories.
    by George Saunders (winning author)

    bound by Mark Cockram

    240 x 174 x 40mm

    Materials.Parchment, goat skin, English and Japanese silk thread, hand coloured papers, mixed media.

    A 'Double Board-Double Hollow' Bradel style binding. Leather jointed endpapers with edge to edge doublers. Hand sewn "Exposed Core' endbands. Full edge decoration. Art work/ collage images from The Illustrated London News 1862. Housed in a two tray drop back box with art work to the spine..

    My intention is to highlight three of the characters who form part of the kaleidoscopic narrative in Lincoln in the Bardo: roger bevins iii, the reverend everly thomas and mrs elizabeth crawford.

    The various colours used also hint at flaming red hair and a yellow swimming costume. The parchment, waxy and blanched white, like lifeless skin at first glance, however, on closer inspection small creases, cuts and blemishes corrupt the surface. The edge decoration, end papers and doublers are layered, floating washes that let us glimpse partial views and memories.
  • by Fiona Mozley

    bound by Stephen Conway

    215 x 136mm

    • Book hand sewn, leather endbands and all edges hand decorated.
    • Quarter leather binding with double hollow construction.
    • Outer hollows covered with stained parchment deeds and lettered in black. Leather for-edge strip.
    • Separate boards covered in hand made paste paper and transparent vellum. Hand tooled upper and lower boards with luminescent foil.
    • Leather jointed endpapers with hand made paste paper and leather inlay doublure.
    • Contained in a cloth drop back box, felt lined lettered in black on the spine with parchment panels.
    • Signed and dated : S.P. Conway 2017

    The design for this binding was inspired by images of the Yorkshire Moors, the bleak landscape, the isolated dwellings and small villages of the region. Not a literal translation of the text, but rather, an attempt to capture the mood of the area in which the story takes place. During the winter months, snow blown across open fields and gathering in the corners is a regular feature of this landscape. Looking at any ordnance survey of the area shows the remoteness of the farms and houses.
    by Fiona Mozley

    bound by Stephen Conway

    215 x 136mm

    • Book hand sewn, leather endbands and all edges hand decorated.
    • Quarter leather binding with double hollow construction.
    • Outer hollows covered with stained parchment deeds and lettered in black. Leather for-edge strip.
    • Separate boards covered in hand made paste paper and transparent vellum. Hand tooled upper and lower boards with luminescent foil.
    • Leather jointed endpapers with hand made paste paper and leather inlay doublure.
    • Contained in a cloth drop back box, felt lined lettered in black on the spine with parchment panels.
    • Signed and dated : S.P. Conway 2017

    The design for this binding was inspired by images of the Yorkshire Moors, the bleak landscape, the isolated dwellings and small villages of the region. Not a literal translation of the text, but rather, an attempt to capture the mood of the area in which the story takes place. During the winter months, snow blown across open fields and gathering in the corners is a regular feature of this landscape. Looking at any ordnance survey of the area shows the remoteness of the farms and houses.
  • by Emily Fridlund

    bound by Sue Doggett

    In this novel by Emily Fridlund there is an overwhelming sense of place, particularly the woods surrounding the lakes and the two houses on the lakeside. There is a melancholic beauty in the colours of the woods; in the frozen winter and the verdant summer. There is also poignancy in the leftovers of what was once industry and family dwellings; a broken down, patchwork of tarpaulin and what's left of buildings that have been used for firewood in the coldest months. Linda's mother sits in semi-darkness, sewing. The dogs brood outside as the sun goes down. On the other side of the lake a little boy builds a city where no one lives, whilst his mother cooks and worries. There are paths that wind around the landscape and the narrative, and paths that reach into each of the houses, touching and linking people and events that unfold or have already been revealed. The winding progress of the storyline and the fractured lives of the characters emerge through sewn fragments and threads.

    Resist-dyed goatskin with dyed cotton and silk appliqué, hand and machine embroidery.
    by Emily Fridlund

    bound by Sue Doggett

    In this novel by Emily Fridlund there is an overwhelming sense of place, particularly the woods surrounding the lakes and the two houses on the lakeside. There is a melancholic beauty in the colours of the woods; in the frozen winter and the verdant summer. There is also poignancy in the leftovers of what was once industry and family dwellings; a broken down, patchwork of tarpaulin and what's left of buildings that have been used for firewood in the coldest months. Linda's mother sits in semi-darkness, sewing. The dogs brood outside as the sun goes down. On the other side of the lake a little boy builds a city where no one lives, whilst his mother cooks and worries. There are paths that wind around the landscape and the narrative, and paths that reach into each of the houses, touching and linking people and events that unfold or have already been revealed. The winding progress of the storyline and the fractured lives of the characters emerge through sewn fragments and threads.

    Resist-dyed goatskin with dyed cotton and silk appliqué, hand and machine embroidery.
  • The 2017 Man Booker Bindings
    click images for details

  • by Mohsin Hamid

    bound by Kate Holland

    Bound in two volumes, joined by hinged boards, to form four panels which can be read in the round or by opening and shutting as a book. Full blackgoatskin with inset alum tawed goatskin panels, with reverse offset dyedimagery, hand dying and collaged images. Edges, doublures, endpapers are Stuart Semple's Black 2.0, the mattest, blackest, flattest pigment on the planet.

    The book tells the story of two lovers, Nadia and Saeed, escaping war-torn Lahore through mysterious black portals which are appearing around the world. They travel through one of these portals to Mykonos and then, following a path well-trodden by migrants seeking a better life, on to London and San Francisco before returning for a final visit to Lahore.

    I wanted the book to be interactive and sculptural so that the reader can physically pass through the black portals as well as mentally. The front cover depicts a street cricket game in Lahore watched by a patiently queueing line ofmigrants, then passes through the black to Mykonos where a boat of migrants is arriving and a vast pile of lifejackets lies on the beach. Onward through to Palace Gardens Terrace in London and a line of women migrants are still queueing with their washing hung from the wedding cake street frontage. Through another portal and here is a shanty town of corrugated iron housing on the Marin Heights overlooking the Gold Gate bridge in the San Francisco fog, but look on the bridge, another queue of migrants disappearing into the distance. Finally we come full circle to Lahore where the cricket game is still proceeding and the migrants arepatiently queueing. They've got nowhere. Certainly not to a better life.
    by Mohsin Hamid

    bound by Kate Holland

    Bound in two volumes, joined by hinged boards, to form four panels which can be read in the round or by opening and shutting as a book. Full blackgoatskin with inset alum tawed goatskin panels, with reverse offset dyedimagery, hand dying and collaged images. Edges, doublures, endpapers are Stuart Semple's Black 2.0, the mattest, blackest, flattest pigment on the planet.

    The book tells the story of two lovers, Nadia and Saeed, escaping war-torn Lahore through mysterious black portals which are appearing around the world. They travel through one of these portals to Mykonos and then, following a path well-trodden by migrants seeking a better life, on to London and San Francisco before returning for a final visit to Lahore.

    I wanted the book to be interactive and sculptural so that the reader can physically pass through the black portals as well as mentally. The front cover depicts a street cricket game in Lahore watched by a patiently queueing line ofmigrants, then passes through the black to Mykonos where a boat of migrants is arriving and a vast pile of lifejackets lies on the beach. Onward through to Palace Gardens Terrace in London and a line of women migrants are still queueing with their washing hung from the wedding cake street frontage. Through another portal and here is a shanty town of corrugated iron housing on the Marin Heights overlooking the Gold Gate bridge in the San Francisco fog, but look on the bridge, another queue of migrants disappearing into the distance. Finally we come full circle to Lahore where the cricket game is still proceeding and the migrants arepatiently queueing. They've got nowhere. Certainly not to a better life.
  • by Paul Auster

    bound by Derek Hood

    The binding is covered in powder-blue goatskin with inlaid and recessed-onlayed decoration.

    The four angular planes on each board represent the four versions of the protagonist Archie Ferguson. Each story evokes key imagery, some of which is reverse transfer printed in black and white. These snapshots are also used to echo the photographs taken by Rose Adler, Archie's mother.

    The colour palette used mirrors the academic colours of Columbia University. Both Fergusson and Auster attended Columbia in 1968 during the civil rights protests and violent student occupation.
    by Paul Auster

    bound by Derek Hood

    The binding is covered in powder-blue goatskin with inlaid and recessed-onlayed decoration.

    The four angular planes on each board represent the four versions of the protagonist Archie Ferguson. Each story evokes key imagery, some of which is reverse transfer printed in black and white. These snapshots are also used to echo the photographs taken by Rose Adler, Archie's mother.

    The colour palette used mirrors the academic colours of Columbia University. Both Fergusson and Auster attended Columbia in 1968 during the civil rights protests and violent student occupation.
  • by Ali Smith

    bound by Tom McEwan

    Covering goatskin and doublures are hand-dyed using printed and hand-applied resists over a craquele background. Further design elements are constructed from inlays taken from leathers worked with dyes, gold leaf and gold foil - giving a texture feel and appearance. Finally, the design is brought together with gold and blind-tooled line work. All edges are decorated with inks over a transfer printed background.
    by Ali Smith

    bound by Tom McEwan

    Covering goatskin and doublures are hand-dyed using printed and hand-applied resists over a craquele background. Further design elements are constructed from inlays taken from leathers worked with dyes, gold leaf and gold foil - giving a texture feel and appearance. Finally, the design is brought together with gold and blind-tooled line work. All edges are decorated with inks over a transfer printed background.
 

In the short period between shortlist announcement and the award ceremony, the binders must read, design and produce a hand bound fine binding, together with a protective container, for presentation to each of the authors. A process which might normally take three to four months or more has to be telescoped into as many weeks, but it is this which makes the commission such an interesting one for those taking part.

There are at least twenty-five stages in the hand binding of a book - from the decoration of the edges of the pages to the final lettering - and the binder will have spent about one hundred and fifty hours on the work by the time of completion. For those involved in this collaboration, the work is most rewarding; an opportunity to read and interpret some of the finest novels of our time, and, of course, it is hoped that the authors will derive as much pleasure from being presented with the finished results.

 

   
Designer Bookbinders