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Machin, Liz

Working class botanists.

[Manchester] : Liz Machin, 2010.
Physical Description:
1 folded sheet ([8] panels) : illustrations ; 21 x 29 cm, folded to 11 x 8 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
N7433.4.M324 W64 2010
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Artist's book, by Liz Machin. Single sheet cut and folded into a booklet. Each side bears eight panels, one side with printed text, the other with repeated instances of a plant illustration.
Published in a 6 (?) versions or editions with the same text but different plant illustrations.
"'The Working Class Botanists' was as a result of research at the Herbarium at Manchester Museum, which houses thousands of plant specimens, including some of Darwin's. To my surprise I learned that there were some botanists from the working classes. I began to research about this and found connections between the Huguenot weavers and silk makers, who had escaped religious persecution in France and settled here bringing their weaving and plant growing skills with them; the 19th century UK silk and cotton weavers, working from home, growing plants and learning their Latin names to the rhythm of the shuttle, and ordinary working class people wandering the countryside on their only day off from the factories etc., gathering plant specimens and some of them becoming an authority in these areas, but were still vilified for working on a Sunday - the Sabbath, the Lord's Day, the Day of Rest. As a member of 'made' a collective of artists and researchers here at MMU [Manchester Metropolitan University], 'Surplus to Requirements' - the parent project that brought about my book, was for each of us to produce a unique piece of artwork to be in housed in 20 museum specimen boxes. Originally 'The Working Class Botanists' was to be in the boxes, 20 versions all with the same text but 20 different patterns, making each one unique, made from my own plant collecting. However, I decided to sell the WCB on the stand [at LAB Fair?] and to make other work for the boxes." -- Information provided by the artist.
BAC: British Art Center copy includes three versions, each in a limited edition of 5 copies. They comprise: Purple Vetch positive (no. 1) -- Cow Parsley positive (no. 2), and Cow Parsley negative (no. 4). Signed, dated and numbered by the artist in graphite. Accompanied by a photograph, inscribed on the reverse: "Cow Parsley negative print (darkroom processed), a contact print of the original positive print for the W.C.B. book."
Subject Terms:
Artists' books -- Great Britain.
Botanical illustrations -- Great Britain.
Botanists -- Great Britain.
Women in natural history.
Artists' books.
Botanical illustrations.
Accordion fold format (Binding)

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