Archives for the month of: April, 2013

Photo montage of the bar at the Blue Note, Hoxton Square in the late ’90’s and starburst fold print of an enlarged, digiatlly printed 120 contact photo of the bar on a  Sunday afternoon.

susan mortimer, b/w montage photographsusan Mortimer B/W photograph star burst



susan mortimer, photography

This 120 medium format contact print shot back in 1998 and forms one of a series of b/w photographs I took documenting street dancers and DJ s from several London clubs.

The portrait is of C.J. who along with Stevie C were the DJ s of the Sunday Soul Affair held upstairs at the Blue Note Hoxton Square, London, while DJ’s Snowboy and Phil Levene held the HiHat jazz session downstairs. (Goldie’s Metalheads session followed Snowboy’s HiHat on a Sunday.)

I photographed C.J. outside of the Blue Note one Sunday afternoon as he arrived for the session. This small image holds a poignancy as C.J. had only recently lost his wife to a very aggressive form of cancer.

The negative was professionally developed at a lab in Soho, London as at that time I did not have a universal enlarger.

The photo was taken with a 1950’s Delmonta 120 camera which was erratic but which took some intriguing images.

A few years ago I made several concertina books as part of a project focusing on a local piece of common ground which is with in walking distance from where I live in Durham City.

susan mortimer artist's book susan mortimer artist's book

The photos for the concertina books were printed on a standard desk top printer directly on to a medium weight Japanese paper which had been cut in strips and which were then joined with paste to make the long concertina format books.

A couple of weeks ago I came across Albelli Photo Books and gave their 17 x 11.5 cms 22 pocket photo book a go which has a concertina format.

I emailed the project (part of the series of photographs taken of Belmont parish, Durham) on Monday to Albelli and have just received the photo book in today’s post, a fast turn around!

The quality of printing of the photos was excellent and for the cost (just under £10 including p&p) it seems nit picking to mind the lack of choice of cover colour and the placing of the Albelli logo on the inner spine.

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It’s a nice, fun product which has made me realise just how many decisions go in to making an artist’s book and that maybe it isn’t a process that I’m happy to out source after all. Or at least not without being able to do a lot more research with the products on offer.

On Friday 14 & Saturday 15 June 2013, 10:00-18:00pm I will be showing a range of my artist’s books, chap books and zines at the BALTIC Artist’s Book Fair at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art , Gateshead, organized by artist Theresa Easton.

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Earlier this week I visited the Ed Ruscha: Artist Rooms on tour show at the Hatton Gallery Newcastle.

The exhibition consisted of Ruscha’s paintings, photographs and prints

Included were some of the photographs from the 1966 Sunset Strip series where Ruscha scratched into the original 5×4 negatives with implements such as razor blades.

Ed Ruscha Sunset Strip

It was fascinating to see examples of Ruscha’s photography as I had been reading about it in Charlotte Cotton’s The Photograph As Contemporary Art (Thames and Hudson 2012). Cotton writes that:

‘His approach remains alive in contemporary photographic thinking, often in tandem with major advancements in technology, because of the directness with which his books take us to the heart of the artist’s vision of his own work.’ (P.237)

Several of Ruscha’s photographic 1968-1997 Pool series were also on show. I found them compelling and mesmerizing.  A show really worth visiting.

Ed Ruscha pool #5


This morning I am going to break with my longstanding weblog practice and post something more personal, which is that I have just been recently diagnosed with ME/CFS.

I mention this because it is a condition that impacts on my practice as a visual artist and due to the severe fatigue and pain it brings means that I am often limited in the projects I can undertake or complete.

If  any one would like to find out more about ME/CFS please click here:

Action For ME website

Having posted this information about having  ME I would like to stress that I  intend to keep up my out put as a visual artist. Though you may notice a change in areas of my practice for example from self printing artist’s books to commercially created artists books.

I will also aim to mention in this blog any impact the ME is having on my work and any work arounds I may come up with when facing the challenge ME/CFS brings when being a creative practitioner.


Collages and prints  taken from a series of collages and small prints dating from 2012.

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