High Light Bell

Artist's book project

‘High Light Bell’ artist’s book was made for the two person exhibition ‘Shake Me and High Light Bell’ with Victoria Browne at KALEID Editions in 2010. The book has since been awarded the Birgit Skiold Award for Excellence at the 2011 Whitchapel Artist’s Book Fair and has been included in the following collections: The Victoria & Albert Museum National Art Library, London, Swathmore College, PA, USA, Yale University Library, CT, USA and numerous private collections within the UK. The book is available through KALEID Editions



Flash Review by the Redchurch Idler for High Light Bell May 2010

When opened, the contents of Katherine Jones’ High Light Bell are extremely suggestive, its tentlike or bladder structure in lieu of the book block, a rudimentary organrather than a text to read. This detachable pop-up cunningly made from japanese tissue, archival mount boadr, thread and PVA has properties that render it oxymoronic: flimsey yet suffocating. When closedits angled edges evoke a Wardian case (employed by Victorians to keep indoor ferns) that has been flatpacked; Jones’ loose etched organic forms that spread via the lantern onto the endpapers, inscribing another green memorandum.


‘Shake Me and High Light Bell’ review on Fad by Claire Flannery 21st May 2010

I was very sorry to miss the premier of Victoria Browne’s video piece on the wall opposite Kaleid Editions on Redhcurch street. The projection must have looked spectacular shown in its scaled up splendour on the red brick wall. It is however available to view on Kaleid’s website and it’s not too pixelated on full screen.
The rapid, jerky and decisive camera dollying above the surface of her monochrome prints is reminiscent of 1930s, 40s artist films. According to the blurb ‘Browne’s labour intensive topography invokes string theorists’ description of the Multiverse as a mountainous spacetime divided into an infinity of valleys…’. This is a little technical for me, but it is nice to be introduced to scientific theories through the forgiving world of art. The pace and the dialogue between the camera focusing in and out on the overlaid shapes play witht the depth of field. This can be replicated to a lesser extent with our own eye as we let it ramble in and out and accross the original prints – included in the exhibition.

Victoria’s work co-exhibits with that of Katherine Jones. Katherine’s Lantern book is extremely delicate and tender, a popup book for sensitive adults, and her High Light Bell prints also aluring; architectural fantasies in rural and urban settings which seem to depict ghosts of buildings with an obvious nod towards Japanese prints.

Katherine’s delectable upside down paper city hangs suspended on a mobile, casting subtle shadows on each other as the breeze from the door gently answers their plea to be shaken. Its whiteness against the predominant white gallery space could allow you to ignore it, but it proves very seductive when paid the attention it deserves. I was struck by Saatchi fever the more I looked at the swaying paper buildings. You know you love a piece of art when you think ‘where could I hang it and how could I hang it…that is when I have a house to hang it in…’ Unlike many contemporary art galleries where the art is merely looked at by most of us and bought by a select few, at Kaleid you can actually buy. The democracy of Kaleid pervades – from the open, friendly atmosphere (there is a distinct lack of steal door and buzzer and mute phoney behind a pristine white desk) to the democratic price list. Victoria and Katherine’s work is equally accessible on different levels – from the sensual to the cerebral to the possessive.


‘Shake Me and High Light Bell’ review on Spoonfed

Georgia Anderson examines an exhibition of contrasting but complementary work by two artists at Kaleid Editions. Will they ever stop being amazing?

The line between book and artwork is thoroughly fudged, as you navigate your way around the various textures, forms and concertinaed ‘books’ that reach to the ceiling and offer a fantastic array of topics from fictitious boys’ schools to pinhole cameras.

Not only is the space a treasure trove of publishable wonder, but it is a functioning gallery too! And this time round it’s Shake me / High Light Bell featuring Victoria Browne (who runs Kaleid) and Katherine Jones, whose works simultaneously play off one another’s processes and aesthetics whilst remaining bounded to their own, rather different, subject matters.

Both artists work with printmaking, and while these line the walls, a big table in the middle displays two contrasting accompaniments to the work. Objects embodying elements of the artists’ practice, are realised as an interesting grapple between art object and ‘book’ (clue: don’t expect chapters and an index).

My first reaction to these objects masquerading as books is to consider the artists’ overarching preoccupations and try to examine how this might be part of their creative reasoning…sounds easy enough? Jones’s prints show hectic layering of branches, domestic structures and roots which simultaneously evoke notions of perpetual growth, groundedness and disarray, and her delicately made pop-up books toy with these themes.

Browne on the other hand plays with the results of her research at the Swiss-based CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research). Her prints, she tells me, are a manifestation of her research there, combining the geographical, scientific and humanitarian botherations (that’s my best summation for complicated scientific things) that have arisen from it. They look like murky, pointy, aggressive, out-of-focus bristles of fear, which I guess is apt for the socio-cultural problems that have arisen as a result of the split atom.

Conversely, her ‘objet livres’ take the form of Victorian curios, and are deliciously tactile light bulb type things. It’s as if the concept of a book has been detonated and these strange objects are what has been left behind.

Appetite whetted? As just one of many interesting things happening at Kaleid Editions, Shake Me/High Light Bell provides ample material to negotiate this new and fascinating arena.

Shake me / High Light Bell is at Kaleid Editions until 30th May 2010.