Mandy Brannan – Book Artist – Paper Maker
Mandy Brannan is a London based book artist, papermaker, and workshop leader. She researches, observes and engages with patterns and images to create her visual arts language.
Mandy’s main influence, within her book arts practice explores her personal interaction with the architecture of London: both their visual details and their political economic aspects. She has always been intrigued by structural details of architecture and this influence reaches back to her jewellery that was designed and created during the late 70’s while attending Loughborough College of Art and Design.
Since the 90’s Mandy’s experimental papermaking practice has been developed by combining both Japanese and Western papermaking methods. By using traditional bast fibres (gampi and kozo) with leaf fibres (abaca and sisal) she creates complex patterns and layers that are influenced by her research. Recently this handmade paper has become a facilitator for her research regarding ‘windows’ and their structural and philosophical aspects. She has created artists’ books and large framed works that explore the understanding that a view through a window can have a transformative, life changing experience.
Mandy has also experimented with different printing processes – chine colle printing with her finer, thin papers; lino, dry point and screen printing. She continues to develop and create bespoke papers for printers, fine artists, book artists and commercial designers/companies.
Her plant papermaking practice stems from the gathering and processing of plant materials found or grown first in Brixton and more recently in Walthamstow. With these she has created a series of ‘Plant Manuals’ that are collections of plant paper samples, their recipes and anecdotes regarding the different plants.
Mandy’s teaching methodology has been honed over several years. By using her knowledge of historic and contemporary papermaking, her practical experience and her understanding of the skills necessary to make papers with all manner of materials; she is able to create a learning environment that can promote exploration and a discourse of new ideas by pushing the boundaries of traditional papermaking and papermaking for book arts.
Every student that attends the workshops brings their own histories, skills and design ideas – she offers a medium that can enable many transformative possibilities. Not just to make a plain sheet of paper or an empty book.
Highlights of 2017-2023
- Papermaking Masterclass – November 2022 and June 2023 – Institute of Making, UCL
- Taught workshop for the Tate Britain conservators – February 2022
- Taught 5 day workshop at City and Guilds London Art School – May, October 2021, September 2022
- Cut, Fold, Tuck – Book design. College of the Creative Arts, Farnham, March 2020
- London Craft Festival participant – May 2019
- Festival of Stuff – June 2019 Institute of Making – Papermaking Masterclass, UCL
- Developed a project for the V & A. ‘Paper Crafts’ published August 2018
- Inside Terrai Vague – Group gallery exhibition, Fashion Street, London
- Led three workshops for the Institute of Making, UCL
- Developed paper using a fusion of Japanese papermaking and textile recycling for the London College of Fashion, UAL
Art Work in Public Collections
Tate Britain: Artists’ Book Collection, London
Victoria & Albert museum, Artists’ Book collection
Camberwell College of the Arts, UAL, Library Collection
St Benedict College, Gallery Collection, Minnesota
University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art Library
Manchester Metropolitan University, Book Arts Collection
Leeds University: Brotherton Library Collection
Neil Crawford – Artists’ Book Collection
Maria White – Artists’ Book Collection
Robert Bolick – Artists’ Book Collection
2019: Wallpaper Magazine, March Edition
2018: Paper Crafts: A Makers Guide, Victoria & Albert Museum publication
2015: British Artists’ Book Makers, BCF Books