The Studio in 2015

A property is found and in January we start packing, official documents are being worked upon. All of a sudden the other party in this transaction changes their mind, and they do not want to sell their house any longer. Since we have already terminated the lease for our rented flat, we need to improvise. I open up all packed boxes again and pack them differently. They will all go in a container for storage at the haulage company, for an indeterminate period of time.

Deutsches Literaturmuseum, Marbach am Neckar

I manage to fit in last visits to Deutsches Literaturmuseum in Marbach am Neckar and Spendhaus in Reutlingen. This is the region where HAP Grieshaber used to live. THE Spendhaus is the place for everything to do with woodcuts. Right now, woodcuts by Rudolph Wilhelm are on show. The Literaturmuseum has an exhibition on the theme of the „Original“. An ongoing issue that the printmaker artist has to deal with.

Museum Spendhaus, Reutlingen

We clear the rented flat end by the end of April and I move in with my husband in his small rented attic flat, some 500 kilometres from my workplace, leaving all the presses and metal type behind. On 13 May I begin my „Relocation Journal”, reporting on the progress of relocating. The journal follows what actually happens and how things develop. The last post covers the opening of the studio at the new location in spring 2017.

Every time I want to print or make books I need to pack my suitcase and begin the six-hour car journey back to southern Germany. There will be two working visits in the course of this year, one in July und one in October.

I am currently working on the artist‘s book „away“. A book about away-ness. The year 2015 is the year the term migration is making headlines. Many people leave the place they used to call home, and go away. The reasons for them doing so is as different as the people themselves. But then I realise: isn‘t this also the current theme of my own life? Either I am away from my husband, or I am away from my studio. In my case this separation is supposed to be temporary, nevertheless being away, being separated is what is real for me right now. The artist‘s book „away“ tries to fathom the various meanings of the term „away“. All the texts are taken from English dictionaries. Photographs of things that have gone missing, have run away, have been lost accompany the text. The book is a coptic binding.

The glassine sheets which protect the surface of the photographs are sewn in with a sewing machine. The whole book exudes the sense of separation and of being away. Work has to be planned even more meticulously than usual. All work requiring larger tools must be completed in the studio: working with metal type, printing and cutting all paper and boards to size. Back in the small attic flat all I can do is the sewing, on our dining table.

Oxford Fine Press Bookfair

At the very end of October I have for the first time a table at the Fine Press Bookfair in Oxford. This city has the air of knowledge and wisdom floating around the warm-yellow walls of its many heritage listed buildings with their numerous gargoyles. Once the fair is over we still have time for a long visit at Blackwell‘s bookshops in Broad Street, before my husband and I will be heading back to the ferry.

In late November I head for the city of Weimar. For the first time I can exhibit at the Biennial of Book Arts there. This event is held at Congress Centre right in the city centre. Weimar is a city that, similar to Oxford, has a long tradition of being home to the literally and philosophically educated, reaching back to the greats of German literature like Goethe, Schiller and Herder, to name just a few.


Briefly noted:

Exhibiting at Whittington Day at Whittington Press, Cotswolds (UK)

Exhibiting at Oxford Fine Press Book Fair (UK)

Exhibiting at 5th Biennale Buchkunst Weimar

Part of group exhibitions of al-Mutanabbi-Street-Projects in San Francisco und Dearborn/Detroit (USA)

Published in 2015:

away“ artist’s book with photographs, coptic binding, 12 one-offs

Relocation Journal (English)


Whittington Day at Whittington Press, Cotswolds (UK)

Oxford Fine Press Book Fair, Oxford (UK)

Biennale Buchkunst Weimar: Atelier G – Gudrun Illert

Spendhaus in Reutlingen

Deutsches Literaturmuseum in Marbach am Neckar


To be continued 23 May 2024


  1. Hello Annette. Yet another great blog posting. How I would’ve loved to have visited Weimar, but sadly this was not to be.

    1. Thanks Marianne. Weimar is such a lovely place to be. I am really looking forward to be there in December for the Biennale Buchkunst.

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