Textual transformations: mark-making, emotion and identity in modified books.

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Keynote presentation.
Artists’ books are art objects that enable channels of intimate communication through a multi-sensory experience (Ricci & Taichman 2023). Combining text, visuals, found materials, and mark-making, they disrupt narrative expectations and linear processes as ideas flow in unexpected directions and at an unpredictable pace. They function as ‘resistant transmitters’, going beyond the confines of definition, or the single artwork (Milne 2019). Artists’ books are hybrid forms that ache to be touched, held, and engaged with. When taking the form of a modified book – transformation of the printed page becomes fraught with emotion and complexity, as the authority of the author is challenged and interrupted as meaning and agency shifts into new creative contexts (Pfahl 2015).

This presentation examines how modified books operate as haptic art objects that blur the boundaries of experimentation, outcome, and reflexive practice. With close reference to examples of her recent creative work, Gilligan will examine how she adopts auto-theory as feminist practice (Fournier 2021), by combining mark-making, creative and reflective writing to attempt to process, understand and theorise the personal and autobiographical and their connections with identity, theory, and wider cultural contexts. She will argue that sharing such creative practice in and beyond academia simultaneously presents a range of challenges, whilst enabling unique opportunities and spaces for the exploration of complex emotions and human experiences.

Period25 Apr 2024
Event titleSense and Sensitivity. 2024 MRes Symposium
Event typeConference