367 by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (2017). Click image to see preview of content.
367 – a POD artist's book of skies.

On July 25th 2015 I began taking photos of the sky every day. My plan was to do this for one year and my rule was that it had to be done between 12:00-14:00 and I never missed a day, though occasionally life got in the way.

Strangely, that first day was not only my 42nd birthday, but also that of both my grandmothers.
That I share my birthday with my grandmothers, who I never knew, has also made the day a special one full of reflections on life and what connects us across the years.

That my days are filled with the care of my own mother, who has Alzheimer’s, intensifies these feelings. This new book from Ambeck Design shows the skies I saw every day; beautiful, moody, drab and exciting – and all emotions between.

The physical book was launched at BABE (Bristol Artist's Book Event) at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, 1-2 April, 2017.

Printed and bound on demand by Blurb.co.uk

Hardcover with ImageWrap, 128 pages

Binding: Durable library binding

Stock: ProLine Uncoated, Mohawk Superfine uncoated photo paper, 148gsm and ProLine light grey endpapers

Cover size: 21 x 26cm

Language: English

Edition: unlimited
ISBN 9781366236906

Published March 12th, 2017
In the public collection of Winchester School of Art Library: Special Collections & Wellcome Collection.

There is now a 2nd edition as minor corrections were made on April 25th, 2017.
ISBN: 9781366039859
Published April 25th, 2017
In the public collection of Manchester Metropolitan University Library All Saints.

367 (2017)


A new Nordic project I'm taken part in this year – more to come after September 1st, 2017.

Letterpress Printed Envelopes from Nordic Countries
Organisers: Imi Maufe (Norway) and Lina Nordenström (Sweden)

Learn more here: www.codexpolaris.com/nordic-letterpress.html


Bookishness – World Book Night 2017

World Book Night, April 23rd 2017.

Again this year Ambeck Design took part in the World Book Night project organised by Sarah Bodman of the University of West England's Centre for Fine Print Research, Bristol.

The project this year was not a specific book title but the theme of the Loch Ness Monster, as an expedition were going to Fort Augustus, Scotland in search for the real thing.

Not able to join the expedition team, I contributed from afar. Below Nessie silliNess created early March 2017.
48 artists contributed to Bookishness the publication, limited edition only compiled and written by Sarah Bodman, 2017.

Bookishness, page 14, a sighting by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck.

Bookishness, page 25, book cover.
Book cover design by Ambeck Design, March 2017 (robots are back). Kismet – a reference to the MIT Kismet.
The project in full: http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/events/bookishnesswbn2017.html


Is the sky the limit?

Work in progress.
From July 25th 2015 to July 25th 2016 – between 12:00-14:00pm – I have photographed the sky above me.

In the near future the photographs will be collected in book form, so watch this space...

18.03.2016, 13:23:20 – Hovsør, Denmark (Sony DSC-W350)

24.04.2016, 12:44:04 – Halifax Train station, UK (Sony DSC-W350)

Serena Joy – World Book Night 2016

23rd Mayday Society Symposium 2016
On April 23rd 2016 – the day of World Book Night – I found myself at the White Swan hotel in Halifax, UK under the alias Miss Issippi-Mudpie. My partner in crime accompanied me under the guise of Commander Twinkie.
Both of us came equipped with our own handmade rubber stamps, based on The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
MAYDAY – rubber stamp by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck, 2016
We were part of a group of 16 attending artists at the "symposium" ready to stamp, fold and assemble a joint work by a total of 40 artists. Sarah Bodman of the University of West England's Centre for Fine Print Research had organized the event and devised the format onto which we were working. She brought along a large selection of card stock for us to print onto, and had designed and printed the sumptuous golden boxes to hold the completed collections.
Below: the result of a day's work and a fun weekend with pals.

Serena Joy, 2016 – A box of rubber stamp printed cards by 40 artists. I also had the pleasure of printing the egg cup by Corinne Welch – a 3 colour job.
Items from the event: The complete Serena Joy box collection, my own printed post card, badge and envelope with eye – printed by John Bently – containing a comb and paper for the artists to provide a musical accompaniment to his live performance on the day.
MAYDAY being printed.
All at work in The Grand Ballroom at the White Swan, Halifax, 2016.

Follow these links to read further details about the event and the individual artists www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/events/wbn2016.html
John Bently and the Eyes‘Sermon’

Everyone involved was later very gratified to find that the author herself (Margaret Atwood) approved of the event and a set of the collected cards was sent her way. 


Hav & Himmel – Sea & Sky

Exhibition poster: 'Sea & Sky' by Ambeck Design (2015).
– Joint exhibition between Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck & Linda Newington at Doverodde Købmandsgård, Hurup Thy, Denmark – May 19th-June 28th, 2015.

As a result of Linda Newington’s residency at Doverodde Købmandsgård in May of 2014, she returned in May 2015 to exhibit a series of watercolours.
Drawings from her many walks along the North West coast and over 40 watercolour samples painted during the residency was the source for new paintings of light, skies, horizons and the dramatic sunsets seen at Agger beach and Tange.

'Watercolour samples I' – Inspired by sunsets at Agger, spring 2014 by Linda Newington.
Blue sketchbook and watercolours from Doverodde residency by Linda Newington (2014-15).
'Starting points' (sketchbooks) and framed pieces by Linda Newington (2013-15).
'Starting points' (sketchbooks in front) and framed watercolours on wall:'Postcards from Doverodde' by Linda Newington (2013-15). Behind in showcase Eshaness coast, Shetland – oil on board & oil on canvas also by Newington. On floor 'Sun' by M-S. Ambeck (2015).

Meanwhile my work in the show derived from my fascination with the fossilised sea urchins that are commonly found in the area of North Jutland in which I live and work, and which I have collected since I was a child. These are the subject of many myths which reflect the Norse legends.
As well as a series of six large photographic prints incorporating text there were three new book works especially created for this event:

On the floor: 'Sun'. On the wall from the left: 'Five pointed star''A drop of milk''Good luck starman' and 'Thor's fireball' – photographs on canvas by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (May 2015).

9 of the 12 pop-ups which were bound after the exhibition into one unique book: 'Pop-pindsvin/Pop-urchin'.

'Pop-pindsvin / Pop-urchin' playing with words. Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (2015).

A unique 'pop-up' book expressing the Danish names given to sea urchins and the storage English translations of same (i.e "Petrified lake stick swine" or a "prude trollop"). The title of the book was going to be: 'Pop-pindsvin / Pop-urchin' and was going to be bound after the show ended on June 28th – but new thoughts are in progress.

'Pop-urchin' page: Paradisko/Paradise cow by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (2015).

'Stonedrops' by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (2015).
A second book work that comprises two pamphlet sections shaped like the urchins carrying the myths connected to them (that they fell from the sky) and which are hung as mobiles within the gallery space. The title of the installation is: 'Rain' while the individual books are 'Stonedrops'.

'Rain' by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (2015).

'Rain' and further back in the room: 9 pages from 'Pop-pindsvin / Pop-urchin' by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (May 2015).

'Rain' by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck and wall behind watercolours by Linda Newington.
The third book work was a joint print-on-demand artist’s book: ‘Hav & Himmel – Sea & sky’ which Linda and I launched at the opening on May 19th.
The book combines both our work – watercolours and b/w photography.

'Hav & Himmel – Sea & Sky' hanging off the wall next to photo on canvas: 'Fallen from the sky' by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck May, 2015.
Printed and perfect bound on demand by Blurb.co.uk
Softcover, 20 pages.
Stock: Mohawk Superfine Eggshell Ultrawhite, 148gsm.
Cover size: 16.8 x 17 cm
Edition: unlimited

ISBN 978-87-991309-4-8

In the public collection of Winchester School of Art.

Finally I also created a floor installation using sea urchins belonging to Doverodde Købmandsgård. The installation was called: 'Sun'.
'Sun' installation created with found sea urchins. Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (2015).
Floor: 'Sun'. Wall from the left: 'Thor's fireball' and 'Cart wheel or pentagram man?' – photographs on canvas by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (May 2015).
Floor: 'Sun'. Wall from the left: 'Good luck starman', 'Thor's fireball' and 'Cart wheel or pentagram man?' – photographs on canvas by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (May 2015). Right wall: 'Blue Days series' and 'Shetland Walks' by Linda Newington.

Foreground: 'Sun' by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (2015). Wall: 'Blue Days series' and 'Shetland Walks' by Linda Newington.
Wall: watercolours by Linda Newington (2014). Floor: 'Sun' by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (2015). 'Good luck starman' – photographs on canvas by Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (May 2015).
The exhibition was reviewed by the local newspaper: Thisted Dagblad on May 20th.
The cover of Thisted Dagblad May 20th, 2015. Photo by Peter Mørk.

"Sea and Sky-landscape and sound" Thisted Dagblad p.6-7, May 20th, 2015.
More images by Thisted Dagblad and Peter Mørk can be found here.


Pushing the Envelope

–by pigeon delivery Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck (March 2015).

– a touring exhibition of over 150 decorated envelopes celebrating 175 years of the first UK postage stamp – The Penny Black (May 6th 1840). Curated by Neil Hadfield, course leader for illustration at Hereford College of Arts.

I was kindly invited to take part in this show as I have previously taken part in the SHED show in 2005-06 curated by Andrew Baker. 
Above my humble contribution – the pigeon collage is made using the inside of envelopes.

Exhibition dates 2015
Hereford College of Arts – April 17-May 1
House of Illustration – May 6-16
Hay Literary Festival – May 21-31


Images of all the envelopes can be seen on flickr set up by Neil Hadfield: www.flickr.com/photos/133993230@N04/sets/72157654801536202
Envelope sold to private collector September 2015.
Pigeon has arrived to the House of Illustration, London. Photo by Mike Nicholson May 6th 2015.


The Enemy Map

Screenshot from the original website charliehigson.co.uk (January 2015).
In September of 2012 I worked with British illustrator Mike Nicholson – as digital colourist for the official illustrated London map to accompany the acclaimed series of young adult horror novels 'The Enemy' by British author Charlie Higson.

In December 2014 the map finally became available from charliehigson.co.uk
A fun project to work on – and a nice break from cutting.


Boligslangen: on/off (The Housing Serpent)

3 copies of Boligslangen: on/off (2014). Image M-S D A
A 2014 adventure: Print On Demand
On February 23rd I uploaded my first POD book: Boligslangen: on/off (The Housing Serpent).
Slightly tweaked on March 23rd due to an ISBN error!
This may seem like a departure from my previous work, but there is a close relation to this new piece and the 2010 laser engraved piece: Day Return both in image choice and subject matter.

Boligslangen: on/off – an artist's book created using a 70-minute digital video recording of the Danish building complex Boligslangen (The Housing Serpent) located in Ørestad North on Amager island in Copenhagen, Denmark – adjacent to where I temporarily lived.
The book are stills from the video made every minute while lights go on and off in the building on a Sunday evening in April 2008.
The book works as a flick book, reading first from the front cover but also with the option to be flipped over and read from the back to the front.
It is partly inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' (1954).
ISBN 978-87-991309-3-1

The physical book was launched at the artist's book fair: 17th International Contemporary Artist Book Fair at The Tetley, Leeds, UK – March 7-9th, 2014.

Boligslangen: on/off (2014). Image M-S D A

Printed and perfect bound on demand by Blurb.com
Softcover, 142 pages.
Stock: Mohawk Superfine Eggshell Ultrawhite, 148gsm.
Cover size: 16.8 x 17 cm
Edition: unlimited

In the public collection of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Library
the Artists’ Books Collection Winchester School of Art Library, Smith College – Mortimer Rare Book Room, MA, USA and Leeds College of Art Library, UK.

In case preview isn't working, see the book here.


Al-Mutanabbi Street – a vicious circle

London Art Book Fair Twitter account by Whitechapel Gallery, London 13.09.2013. Image by Whitechapel Gallery.
I'm excited to announce that 'Al-Mutanabbi Street – a vicious circle' on Friday September 13, 2013 was awarded the Birgit Skiöld Memorial Trust Award of Excellence at the London Art Book Fair 2013 at Whitechapel Gallery in London, UK. One copy is now held at the National Art Collection, Word & Image Department at Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
I'm honoured to receive this prize for the second time in my career. Thank you to the selection panel of the Birgit Skiöld Memorial Trust.

Al-Mutanabbi Street – a vicious circle (2013)
In September 2010 I accepted the call to the project: 'An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street' initiated by Beau Beausoleil (USA) in July 2010 and co-curated by Sarah Bodman (UK).

The purpose of the project is to “reassemble” some of the “inventory” of the reading material that was lost in the 5th of March 2007 car bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad, Iraq – a street known for its booksellers – the literary and intellectual heart and soul for the community of Baghdad. On this day 30 people were killed and more than 100 wounded.

The international project will be raising funds for Médecins Sans Frontières while also honouring Al-Mutanabbi Street by creating work that holds both "memory and future" of what was lost that day.

Each artist has had a year to complete the work and has donated 3 copies to the project. One will be donated to the Iraq National Library in Baghdad. The other two copies are touring for the next few years in conjunction with shows of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Broadside Project as well as in shows of their own.

See a list of artists and exhibitions and further details of the project:

Article The Guardian by Ellie Violet Bramley, January 2014 www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/21/literary-project-baghdad-bookselling-district
Al-Mutanabbi Street – a vicious circle (2013)
Al-Mutanabbi Street – a vicious circle
Baghdad was once founded and built in a circular way and its name at the time was: Madinat al-Salaam or ‘City of Peace’. This has a sad irony now - and, being a child of the early 1970’s, I only associated Baghdad with death and war - rather than peace - from watching so many television news reports.

From the outside the conflict feels never-ending – with no resolution in sight – a tragic vicious circle. This book represents that but is also a tribute to Al Mutanabbi Street – a street where thoughts and ideas were – and are – exchanged in book form.

Al-Mutanabbi Street – a vicious circle (2013)
Laser engraved covers onto grey boards (by Tom Sowden, UWE Bristol), inkjet printed text and hand-cut and burnt illustrations by the artist. Papers: Fabriano Accademia, white 200 gsm & 160 gsm. Binding: pamphlet stitched.
Size: 20 x 20 cm
Edition of 10 – of which 3 copies have been donated to the project.
Completed in February 2013 – 1 year, 5 month and 7 days late!

In the public collection of Manchester Metropolitan University Library All Saints, Tate Collection, William Allan Neilson Library at Smith College Mass. USA, the National Art Collections, Word & Image Department at Victoria & Albert Museum, San Francisco Center for the Book, CA, USA and the Artists’ Books Collection Winchester School of Art Library, Winchester, UK. Also held by international private collectors. The edition is sold out.

The book was launched at the Bristol Artists Book Event (BABE) at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, UK – April 20-21, 2013

The first group show for it to be part of was:
The John Rylands Library, Manchester, UK – February 6 - July 29, 2013
Center for Book Arts, New York City, in collaboration with Poets House, New York City –  July 10 - September 14, 2013

The book was submitted for the Minnisota Center for Book Arts Prize 2013 – further details of the book can be seen: http://mcbaprize.org/ambeck/

The book was also on display at The Sheffield International Artist's Book Prize 2013 exhibition at Bank Street Arts, UK.

Al-Mutanabbi Street – a vicious circle (2013)