Joanna Robson Midlothian, United Kingdom
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My practice revolves around the creation of limited edition artists' books. I often use concertina books as a format for visual storytelling, a format that allows me to create three dimensional landscapes against which a narrative can be depicted. The books are illustrated by etching or laser cuttings, and can be displayed as large, panoramic paper structures.

I am a freelance illustrator and artist, with a special interest in artists’ books. I began making book art during my time studying for a masters at University College Falmouth. Since graduating I have continued to create artists’ books, as I find them one of the most versatile mediums in which to tell stories.

My work is driven by storytelling and relies heavily on working within a few carefully chosen limitations I've set myself over the years. Almost everything I've created has its roots in the idea of being able to tell a story within a single frame. This has developed into detailed etchings and lasercuts becoming fold-up leporello books that can be displayed as standalone paper sculptures.

I studied Modern History at the University of St Andrews before going on to complete a MA in Authorial Illustration at University College Falmouth. In 2016 I was awarded a grant by the Hope Scott Trust to complete A Knavish Lad. I currently live and work in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Artwork

The Resurrectionists, artists book, 2011

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Untitled, Artists book, 2017

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Dracula's Crossing, Artists booklet, 2013

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The Tempest, Artists book, 2012

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The Escapee , Artists book, 2020

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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Artists book, 2013

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The Ambassador's Ball, Artists book, 2018, £350

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Vasilisa and the Witch's Fire, Book art / cube, 2018

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Nylmah, Artists book , 2014

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A Knavish Lad, Artists book , 2016, £1950

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Fighting the Monster, Artists book, 2018, £380

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Projects and exhibitions

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Lockdown Home Show

18/03/2021 — 25/03/2021

A solo exhibition held in my front living room, which was filmed and shared on social media during the Covid-19 pandemic. It can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC7g8-R_syU

My Flat, Edinburgh Details

Digital Art and Illustration Print-It

27/01/2021 — ongoing

An exhibition of digital art and illustration form a selection of artists. This exhibition was meant to take place at Aire Place Studios in Leeds but was forced to go online after the second lockdown came in after Christmas 2020. A physical exhibition is scheduled to take place in October 2021.

Aire Place Studios, Leeds Details

Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition 2020

26/03/2020 — 28/05/2020

'Fighting the Monster' (pictured) was accepted for inclusion in 2020's Annual Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy. However due to the global pandemic, the exhibition was moved online and ran until the end May 2020.

Royal Scottish Academy / Online, Edinburgh Details

Northern Illustration Prize

01/06/2019 — 15/09/2020

Northern Illustration Prize exhibition at Hartlepool Art Gallery showcased all shortlisted artists and winners for 2019's Northern Illustration Festival. My illustration (pictured) was shortlisted and exhibited.

Hartlepool Art Gallery, Hartlepool Details

Frankenstein 2018

01/05/2018 — 28/02/2019

Frankenstein 2018 was a touring group show of book art responses to Mary Shelley's book Frankenstein. It was held to mark the bicentenary of the publication of the book and toured across four venues: the Hornby Room at Liverpool Central Library; Kirkby Gallery in Knowsley; Bower Ashton Library, UWE Bristol. I created the book 'Fighting the...

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The Hornby Room at Liverpool Central Library, plus others, Liverpool and others Details

Pushing the Bindings

01/04/2018 — 30/04/2018

An exhibition of selected works from the library’s collection of artists’ books. Curated by Elliott Jenkins.

Edinburgh Central Library, Edinburgh Details

Myths Legends and Fairytales

17/08/2017 — 09/09/2017

A group exhibition held at the Witham in Barnard Castle. This exhibition presented an insight into the work of artists from across the region whose work is inspired by local, national, and internationally celebrated myths, legends and fairytales.

The Witham, Barnard Castle Details

Out of the Frame

04/03/2017 — 25/03/2017

This exhibition presented a selection of works encompassing the diverse nature of printmaking practice as demonstrated by the artists at Edinburgh Printmakers. All works were unframed and are no larger than 30cm x 30cm.

Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh Details

Highlights Contemporary Craft Tour 2016: PaperScissorsBook

10/09/2016 — 07/01/2017

An exhibition showcasing the best of current paper-cut and artist's books. From exquisite hand-cut paper to the latest laser-cut techniques; ambitious sculptural paper works, installation and intimate book works. The exhibition showed work by British and international stars of paper-cut and artist’s books as well as exciting emerging...

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Various Locations, Various locations Details

A Knavish Lad: Shakespeare's Dream Illustrated by Joanna Robson

02/08/2016 — 30/09/2016

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was retold by as a wordless narrative using a combination of old and new technologies: intaglio printmaking and laser cutting. The result is a panoramic piece of book art that visually narrates the story and draws inspiration from the imagery of the text. 'A Knavish Lad' was over two years in the making and...

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McNaughtan's Bookshop and Gallery, Edinburgh Details

National Library of Scotland Winter 2015 exhibition: Plague!

11/12/2015 — 29/05/2016

I was commissioned by the National Library of Scotland to produce an etched print for their Winter 2015 exhibition, entitled 'Plague! A Cultural History of Contagious Diseases in Scotland'. It is an exhibition of historic cultural responses to epidemic diseases in Scotland, to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Plague. The etched...

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National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh Details

Tales of the City Exhibition and launch of Techne 4

01/10/2015 — 25/10/2015

A group show of work by selected artists and printmakers to mark the fourth edition of Techne published by Pittville Press.

The Wilson, Cheltenham Details

Rackspace

01/07/2015 — 02/07/2015

Rackspace was a site-specific exhibition that showcased two artists over four days during Print Festival Scotland. Used traditionally to store drying relief prints, the area was transformed into a space that provided a platform for artists mixing traditional and new print mediums, creating a visual narrative.

Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Details

St Margaret's House Summer Resident's Show

09/08/2014 — 07/09/2014

A group exhibition of work by the studio residents of St Margaret's House.

St Margaret's House, Edinburgh Details

4th Sheffield International Artist's Book Prize

05/10/2013 — 30/11/2013

A group show for all entrants to the prize; my book Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was shortlisted. More information available at http://bankstreetarts.co.uk/sheffield-international-artists-book-prize.

Bank Street Arts, Sheffield Details

Arts Complex Summer Tenants show

03/08/2013 — 31/08/2013

A group show by resident artists.

Arts Complex, St Margaret's House, Edinburgh Details

Kolektyv

16/11/2012 — 02/12/2012

The exhibition showed work by thirteen artists who have a connection to the city of Edinburgh. The show aimed to present the viewer with the very latest in contemporary art and design from across the globe and included works by artists whose origins are Scottish, Polish, Italian, French and Indonesian. This event will show new work from each...

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Arts Complex, St Margaret's House, Edinburgh Details

Hung, Drawn and Authored

21/03/2011 — 27/03/2011

A group show by students on the Authorial Illustration MA course at University College Falmouth.

The Poly, Falmouth, Cornwall Details
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Artist book fairArts vacancyCommissionCompetitionExhibitionResidency
Media
Artists’ booksDrawingIllustrationPrintmaking
Other keywords
FigurativeMemory