Lancashire Zine Show

Lancashire Artists Book, zine and multiples fair –

By: Kate Eggleston-Wirtz

University of Central Lancashire, Preston
Friday, January 29th and Saturday, January 30th

I attended the first Lancashire Zine & Artists Book Fair organised by Café Royal Books. There were over thirty stalls booked for the event that was held within The Atrium at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) in Preston. Painter Colin Binns attended the event with me.

The majority of the vendors were enthusiastic creative young people (the under 30s) selling their work and innovative ideas. I found this to be inspirational and refreshing. There was an age and experience exception however in David Barton, who has published his drawings and paintings for well over 30 years. It was apparent that he had discovered early in his career that publishing was an excellent networking method to connect with others and enhance his practice by reaching a significantly wider audience to buy his work. This is what I believe the book fair to be about: getting the work out into the wider universe to be seen and for artists to make a wage of some description.

The books for sale were of varied sizes and diverse subject matter ranging from edgy political, whimsical, and ornamental to sketches from life. Also on offer were a wide variety of other products including: silk-screened eco friendly bags, buttons, cards and posters. One artist even had sketches of a cowboy being sold with a colourful plastic toy – interesting. I came away from the experience with a bagful of books and new buttons for my hat. My favourites included Craig Atkinson’s Reward, We Are Party Animals by Little Dark Eyes, Small Drawings by American compatriot Mary Lundquist and the work by the group Camp Yellow.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the fair and hope to visit again next year. Maybe I’ll even book and have my own stall. Who knows what I might sell.