Friday, 23 December 2011


a day of cutting – the printing on vinyl is back from the printers and is now in piles ready to be bound into the books for firstsite but that will have to wait till after christmas.
meanwhile some images taken on my trip to Coventry and an aerial view to give you an idea of what it used to look like and a link to a very informative web site about the GEC factory at Copsewood which was were the photographs were taken.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

current CV

I've been sorting out my filing and rethinking my cv so thought that I would post it along with some wonderful christmas parking to add to my collection

CV - Les Bicknell

Education work

Current Education posts

Course Tutor at University of the Arts London Camberwell on the MA in Book Art
Senior Lecturer on the Textiles BA at Norwich University College of the Arts.

Teaching Experience

Lincolnshire College of Art. G.A.D. Graphic Design. 1990 – 92
Suffolk College, Foundation. G.A.D and B.A. Graphic Design. 1992 – 94
Camberwell College of Art. B.A. Graphic Design & Joint Hons. 1993 – 99
M.A. Book Art. 1996 –
Norwich Institute of Art and Design. B.A. Textiles. 1999 – 04
Visiting Lecturer
Brighton University, B.A. Fine Art.
Coventry University B.A. Art & Craft Studies.
Hertfordshire University. B.A. Fine Art.
Humberside College of Art. B.A. Fine Art Sculpture.
Kent Institute of Art and Design. B.A. Communication Media.
Loughborough College of Art and Design. B.A. Fine Art.
Middlesex University. B.A. M.A. Fine Art, Printmaking.
Manchester Met University. B.A. Visual Communication Media.
Norwich Institute of Art and Design. H.N.D. Surface Pattern, Crafts, Foundation, B.A. Visual Studies, Textiles, Fine Art, Contextual Studies.
Suffolk College. B.A. Visual Studies.

Schools Residencies – over 20 years experience of ‘rising fives’ to 6th forms including inset training with Humberside County Council, Suffolk County Council and Norfolk County Council Education Authorities.

Residencies include

1989 Household Waste Disposal Site, Lincoln

1991 Kesteven House Assesment Center

1993 Stowmarket Library

1994 Becon Hill Special School, Ipswich

1995 Camden Arts Centre

Morton Hall Prison Lincolnshire

1996 Suffolk College

Scunthorpe Library

1998 Norfolk CC P&T Yota

1999 Engage, Encompass Project UEA
Alnwick Festival

2001 Sibton Parish Council
2001 Physical Poetry, YOTA, NCC

2007 St James Centre for Creativity, Valletta

Commissions since 2000

Queen’s Suffolk Book.
Creating an editioned book, a one off bookwork and web site for Suffolk County Council in celebration of the Queen’s jubilee visit to Suffolk.

Louth Millennium sculpture project.
A number of interventions around Louth with the sculptor Lawrence Edwards including 3 life-sized bronze figures and floor text panels. The work also involved working with local media to generate text, alongside workshops in schools and the generation of a one-off book and exhibition for the library.

Multi-functional street furniture in the Quayside area and at St Crispin’s Urinal in Norwich.
Developed with Norwich Planning Department a large text fence and ‘functional’ text feature that explored the history of the developed space.

Writing instructions / reading words – a site-specific text based work at the Poetry Society and an artist book Here are my instructions.
Curated, produced and edited by Redell Olsen and Susan Johanknecht with support from an Awards for All grant.

Temporary installation - based on ideas around Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
Large-scale installation for St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in Valletta. The piece explored concepts around the science of seeing and the myth of believing.

What is important? – Working on a housing estate in Great Cornard within the Housing Department of Babergh District Council.
This became a 4-year project working to develop a permanent creative shared space. The work included working closely with the residents and all stakeholders to development a shared language with which to develop concepts and drawings. These became final inclusive pieces, including paths, which realigned the estate.

Diss stones
The creation of a work with Diss Town Council and Cittislow sited at a Morrison’s store. The work celebrates the history of the site while providing a talking point for the residents of the town. The piece
takes the form of 4 large granite pieces in the shape of buildings formally located on the site with text/equations generated from community involvement sandblasted into it.

A piece for the Hythe area of Colchester which celebrates the stories of the people who used to work, live and play in the area before its redevelopment. The two piece artwork sits either side of a path and the continuous text is derived from reminiscence work with past residents of the area and workers from the laundry. The shapes are derived from the distinctive laundry building roof that was on the site. Supported by Barratt’s and delivered by Colchester Borough Council

Wrapping the Corn Exchange with cornfields and sky
A temporary piece which celebrated the history of the space whilst generating a moment of calm within the town. The 75m x 10m printed piece wrapped Ipswich Corn exchange while it was being redeveloped.

bench for Leiston
Working with Suffolk Coastal District Council on the creation of an ‘art bench’ for the town of Leiston. The project involved working with all of year 8 pupils from Leiston Middle School, creating drawings at The Long shop Museum that were developed into designs which were then sandblasted into recycled stone blocks and sited in the main square.

Lead Artist roles since 2000

Artistic Director of the Millennium Gorleston Psalter Project.
A collaborative community art project that included building an art team, working with over 200 volunteers and a team of artists and designers to develop, design, and create a one off Psalter. I then worked in collaboration with musicians, both professional and amateur to enact the book in a performance in the church that was involved in the commissioning the initial Psalter.

Marriott’s Way, cycle path, Norfolk County Council Planning and Transport Department.
Working over 21 miles in liaison with 12 Parish Council, Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council on the development of an artistic vision for the path. The work over a 3-year period included numerous consultation situations, developing the signage, the creation of a number of sculptural text interventions, the interpretative material, working with the Poet Esther Morgan on a YOTA project and the design of a bridge.

‘Home Zone’, Suffolk County Council Environment and Planning Department.
Redesign of two new streets in Lowestoft within the context of the national 'homezone' design criteria with the residents of those streets, the business's, local and national services. This was a 3-year project and also included in the last year the generation of a creative team to build a new kind of manual for the residents to understand their new street which resulted in many digital interventions, a bookwork, CD ROM, web site and conference.

Earlier Commissions include

North Kesteven District Council, Alnwick Library. Sustrans.
Scunthorpe Borough Coucil, Essex University. Suffolk County Council
Lincolnshire County Council, Eastern Arts Board. Crafts space Touring
Manchester Metropolitan University, Birmingham City Council, Norfolk County Council.
National Museum of Scotland, Suffolk College, The Minories


Selected one person shows since 2000

the lesson - National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Jan 2000
reading landscapes - Focal Point Gallery, Southend, Jan – March 2000
rural but not isolated - Peasenhall and Sibton Youth club. June 2000
sibton - Peasenhall and Sibton Youth club. May 2001
folded space - IP Gallery, Colchester, April 2003
suppose it is true after all? - The Cut Arts Centre, Halesworth April 2005
threads: mapped - Gallery 1.1 Town Hall Gallery, Ipswich Sept 08 – Mar 09

Selected Group shows since 2000

Views across the Pond - Blickling Hall National Trust House 2000
Inside Cover - Touring inc Oxford Brookes, 2001
On Paper. New paper art. - Crafts Council, July – Aug 2001
Edges, Crossings, Thresholds. - Elizabeth Fry Building, UEA, July – Aug 2001
paper past/paper perfect - MoDA, Feb - March 2002
paperworks - Norfolk Creative East Tour, May – June 2002
Right here, right now - the Herbert, Coventry, Sept 2006
looking for - University of the arts, London March 2007
Action/interaction - Chicago Centre for Book and Paper May 2007
Picasso’s Laboratory - St James Cavalier, Centre for Creativity, Valletta Malta 2007
From Book to Book - Leeds Art Gallery, March – April 2008
The Last Book - National Library of Spain, May 2008
imprints - mediatheque La Durance, Cavaillon, France Jun – Aug 2009
we are the history of textiles - Dragon Hall, Norwich, March – April 2010
exhibitor - Royal Academy Summer Exhibition July – Aug 2010
Prospero's Library - Studio 75, London April 2011
Modified Expression - National Craft Gallery of Ireland, Kilkenny July – Sept 2011

Grants and Awards since 2000

YOTA - Arts Council 2000
Working for a year with my Parish Council exploring the role of the artist in society. The outcomes were rich and varied including abstract signage, lighting the church, exhibitions in the village hall and editioned artworks each month for every household.
Commission East – Awards for Artists 2001
To work with The Museum of East Anglia Life, the artist Sue Brinkhurst and poet Esther Morgan to work on mapping the collection project.
Commissions East/Eastenglandarts – Awards for Artists 2002
To develop concepts and new work around ‘idea’ a virtual artwork in collaboration with the writer Robin Brooks.
Commissions East/Eastenglandarts – Awards for Artists 2003
Purchase of digital equipment to extend and develop practice.

Published writing and articles

Artists Newsletter. Galleries magazine.
Artists Book Year Book. Catalogue statements as an artist and curator.
Engage 9 an
Norfolk CC P&T Website

Advisor/Board membership

Artist advisor for L.H.C.C.
Panel member for the distribution of individual grants to artists for L.A.B.
Member of the working party validating the M.A. in Book Arts and writing the student
Course handbook at Camberwell College of Art.
Validation panel member for proposed B.A. in Fiber Art/Textiles at Norwich School of Art.
Member of Eastern Arts Board’s Regional Artists Advisory Group, The Year of the Artist.
Board member Commissions East 2007 - 2010


Frankfurt Book Fair - 1993

Chelsea Craft Fair - 1994 - 97
Represented at Frankfurt Book Fair - 1994 - 97

London Book Art Fair 1994 - 97


The work has been acquired by numerous private and public collections nationally and internationally including – Blackburn Art Gallery, The Bodelian Library, Oxford, Chelsea Art College Library, Bibliotheque Nazionale, Florence, Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, Manchester Met University Library, Bibliotheque, Paris, L.C.P. London, The Rijksmuseum, Den Haag, The Victoria and Albert Museum, New York Public Library, H.R.C. Centre, Austin, M.O.M.A. New York, St Martins School of Art, London, Wimbledon School of Art, Yale Centre for British Art.

My Education

Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry, Foundation Course - 1982
London College of Printing, Graphic Design BA Hons - 1982 – 85
UAL - Post graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching - 2009/10

Current projects include

Journey to the podium – a commission for Essex County Council – to create a collaborative bookwork with an athlete for the 2012 Olympics.

The big book – a commission to create a bookwork for the learning programme at firstsite gallery.

Interactive print - working with Firstsite, Colchester museum service and Essex schools to develop print around the Berryfield mosaic.

Modified Expression – a touring exhibition developed by the Kilkenny Festival starting at the National Craft Gallery of Ireland in the Irish Crafts Councils head office.

smocking is evil? – research around the relationship between smocking and book binding.

“Between You and Me’ - collaboration with Jeonghee for an exhibition in Korea with the Samwon paper gallery.

rewind – collaboration with Caroline McNamara for the Kaunas/Texere bi-annual.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


a day of rethinking the work around folding and the repeat in the light of going home to visit the spaces where the houses and streets i grew up in and around used to be. the idea of repeat and repetition embedded in the soul is something i am considering at the moment.

Monday, 12 December 2011


spent Saturday in Warwick at the GB Olympic Boccia training – i was there to work with Dan and to show him the work i had done so far for journey to the podium – it was interesting to see people I have only seen on TV or through the web. Andrew Morgan, Zoe Robinson, David Smith and of course Nigel Murray – everybody was so friendly and helpful – I became really interested in Dan’s training and stretching regime – which may become another piece of work.

meanwhile I managed to add to my smoking architecture taxonomy – one that was burnt down!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


when i first came across the wonderful Langlands and Bell in the mid 80s two artists working together in collaboration as one was intriguing and went against everything I had read or been taught about art - the artist as heroic master, a genius of all they survey. the role and position of the artist has evolved since then and collaboration seems de rigour. ss somebody who makes books i understand the very notion of collaboration so it was with this background that i asked Langlands and Bell in the question and answer session after their presentation at UCS to talk about the suspicion they may have encountered during the course of their career. little had i underestimated the role of the 'general public' and local press in warping a discussion of this kind. Langlands and Bell have obviously undergone the hostile, tedious and uninformed what a waste of public money and the woeful is it art? barrage as my question was met with muted hostility and the look of fear. it was a shame as i went to listen to two very intelligent artists whose work i admire and all i learnt was that they have to endure this nonsense. on a lighter note i’m working on a seminar for students on the MA Textile Design at NUCA about context and practice and looking forward to discussing this whole at some length.

Monday, 5 December 2011


still deep into assessments at nuca – now into week three – some really interesting work – some not – onto the draft reports from year 3 - reflecting on what 400 hours of work looks like and if I had a less fragmented life what 400 hours of my work life would look like or maybe the fragmentation feeds each aspect of what i do. spent the day developing more complicated folding for the repeat show and my research in general. tonight off to see Langlands and Bell in Ipswich at UCS after a weekend of film - departures a truly beautiful life affirming film about death and of course life