If you would like to be added on to the waiting list, please register below. Those on the waiting list will also be the first to be informed of any future events with John Blakemore.

A weekend workshop with John Blakemore, one of the finest photographers and printers in the UK, on editing, sequencing, and making handmade books.

John Blakemore's 60 years working in photography represent one of the richest and most expressive of British photographic careers. Beginning in documentary, portrait and commercial practice, he turned to landscape and garden photography, producing extensive journals and notebooks that has led to his more recent concentration on handmade books.

On making books, John says "I deplore the boxes or packets of unconsidered, unresolved prints which inexorably accrue. To make these images into books demands thought: editing, sequencing, the relationships of affinities between content or form or colour ... The book allows me freedoms of juxtaposition of cutting, of reassembly, the creation of fictional spaces."

Over this two day course, photographers are invited to bring their prints and work with John to learn how to sort, sequence and create your own handmade book. 

Course outline

Day 1 Why make books? 
Saturday 28th March 10.00 - 16.45 To make a book is in itself a pleasurable activity, necessitating decisions on book form materials, methods and so forth, but beyond this the creation of a  book requires an intense engagement with the images through the activities of editing, sorting and sequencing. Together with John, participants will explore these problems through the examination of a variety of hand made books. Participants will be encouraged to browse and question the books to gain a better understanding of the process. There will then be a consideration of the tools and materials required to create a book, and John will demonstrate the making of two simple book types. There will then be a chance to discuss your work, to work out the sequencing, and most appropriate book type for your prints. 

Day 2 Creating your book
Sunday 29th March 10.00-16.00 On the second day, John will work with participant’s on the final consideration of work to be included in the book. John will then guide participants to produce a handmade book with the opportunity to review the work at the end of the day.  

Who is this workshop for?
This workshop is strongly recommended for anyone who has piles of prints or digital images that they are not quite sure what to do with. You will end up with your hand-produced book, with the ability to continue the practice at home. Numbers are strictly limited to ten people to allow everyone enough time for participant’s to explore work with John.
An equipment list will be distributed to participants before the workshop.

About John Blakemore 
"An artistic genius. Watching and listening to him was an emotional experience for me. He’d show three iterations of an idea that he’d developed and each would take your breath away. And you’d think you’d seen perfection. Then he would show another two where he’d used a brown paper bag, or a piece of cork floor tile to add texture and make the most beautiful images I’d ever seen. So dramatic, so emotionally draining and a wonderful experience." (Gary Rowlands)

Jane Fetcher writes: "[Blakemore's fictions are] like a novelist who draws on personal experience in order to imagine a whole new world that, nevertheless, tells a truth about life. And, as we turn the pages of his handmade books ... a story unfolds that reveals the manner in which the photographer views, and thinks about, the world. That alchemical process of transformation does not render the past any less significant or authentic. It justly gives it a different kind of substance: another, a newly discovered, element."

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL

£140 Full Price/ £115 Redeye Members

To buy a Redeye member ticket, please first log in to this website as a paid Redeye member. To book a ticket, please click the Book Ticket button below. Ticket sales close at 17:00 on 27 March 2015. Please check our terms and conditions before booking.

Numbers are strictly limited to ten people to allow everyone enough time to explore their work with John. Concessionary rates are available for those on low income or unemployed. Please get in touch via for concessionary tickets. 

Image above by John Blakemore

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