Rosie Sherwood is an artist, independent publisher and scholar. She has developed an interdisciplinary practice incorporating book arts, photography, the comic book, sculpture, text, and art theory. This approach allows for the unlikely meeting of materials and processes, and the incorporation of each discipline’s unique language and structure. Sherwood’s intention is to make art that tells stories: emotionally, conceptually and physically. Her creative research is currently focused to theories of time, identity and emotional mapping. She is working with photography, sculpture and the narrative and structural language of the comic book to explore these themes.
Academic research, conferences, writing and teaching have long formed part of Sherwood’s artistic practice. She delivered seminars and conference papers on subjects such as sequential narrative, fantasy photography and the comic book as book arts. Most recently Sherwood wrote a paper for the Arts Libraries journal entitled New Readings: The Comic as Artists’ Book. She has taught both B.A. and M.A. students at Universities across the country.
Sherwood’s work can be found in multiple bookshops including Foyles and the bookartbookshop as well as collections such as the Tate Library and Archive, The National Gallery of Scotland and the State Libraries of Victoria and Queensland, Australia.
A New Story Book: The Comic as Artists’ Book
Books and storytelling go hand in hand. It doesn’t matter what type of book or what type of story, they belong together. Both the artist's book and the comic book have rich histories as narrative mediums, but what might happen if they were brought a little closer together?
Artists’ books consider every aspect of the book in the creation of meaning. Comic books have a unique language dependent upon visual structure and built around the book. Much of what is considered key in defining book arts can be easily applied to the comic yet very little work exists that is considered both a comic book and a piece of book art. In recent years this has started to shift and a new reading has emerged: the comic as artists’ book. This new perspective paves the way to bridging the gap between comic book and artists’ book and offers a wealth of new possibilities.
- How might reading the comic book through the lens of the book extend the possibilities of the form?
- Can considering the books form change the way creators and readers approach the comic?
- Might a new perspective on creating and reading the comic benefit book art?
- Could a middle ground be found that expands and experiments with how both mediums use the book to tell stories?
This paper considers these questions, exploring the fertile space between the two forms. Examining my own work and key books by comic creators and book artists’ alike I will demonstrate how book arts and comic books might fit together and how the language of both forms might be used to construct narrative.