Championing print and the unrivalled hand-touched beauty of the medium, the Sarabande Foundation, which was set up by the late designer Lee Alexander McQueen - and of which SHOWstudio director Nick Knight is an ambassador - have released their latest publication Bound. A rather fitting name for a limited-edition book that collates artworks by over 30 of the 130 artists the foundation has supported over the years.
Not fitting the constraints of an ordinary book, Bound has not been designed to sit on a shelf, never to be opened again. It is a work of art in itself, in both content and presentation. This is a publication to be opened, to be poured over. Bound questions the notions of what an 'art book' should look and feel like. Inside its pages, paper has been heavily tended to in many ways: sculpted, embossed, perforated, hand-painted, embroidered and dyed. The limited-edition publication also includes various foldouts, cutouts, collages and even transparent 'windows'; the one and only Fleur Cowles' enviable Flair (1950-51) springs to mind, where the paper was also sculpted from dreams and made into a reality for others to obsess over. Adding to the book's striking beauty while consecrating the very essence of craftsmanship by doing everything it says on the tin, and so much more, the publication itself has been hand-bound and will be presented wrapped in hand-embroidered linen.
Adding yet another personal touch, 20 of the artists included – from fashion designers and jewellers to painters and graphic artists - have each created artworks which will be scattered throughout the 100 copies. Each special edition also includes two original works, making each and every copy a truly unique one. Talents that have contributed range from a variety of the industry's new-found greats, all of which the foundation has supported over the years, ranging from digital fashion designers Auroborus to menswear designer John Alexander Skelton, jeweller Castro Smith, to photographer Sam Rock, as well as artists Michaela Yearwood-Dan and SHOWstudio contributor Stephen Doherty.