Words and images : Olivia Wedderburn
Second year students taking part in the Zine Fair brief as part of Unit X attended a session this Monday with their tutors in order to gauge their progress and iron out some of the teething problems occurring.
After a discussion about their work with their tutor, many students then moved onto the practical side of things for the rest of the session, with several making their way down to the Bookbinding Studio to begin the Risograph printing progress. Students were also assisted in developing communication methods and marketing techniques in order to ensure the ultimate success of their self released publications.
Zines being made will be exhibited at FACT Gallery Liverpool on 16th May as part of Liverpool’s Light Night, during which galleries stay open late. Although there are plans to hold a sister event in Manchester, the excitement of exhibiting at FACT has resulted in some students creating science fiction zines in response to the sci-fi exhibition currently showing at the Liverpool gallery.
Around 16 students work on the zine brief and are encouraged to work interdisciplinarily in order to create the most interesting content. Students from Interactive Arts, Graphics, Fine Art, Textiles, Illustration and History of Art are all working towards this brief, and have so far been taught many valuable skills that they can integrate into their own practice at a later date. Amongst lectures about the history of zines and street literature, students have been engaging with the Risograph machine, learning how to make rubber stamps and attending InDesign workshops, all in order to make sure they are fully equipped when it comes to print day, which tutors are saying they should be the first week back after Easter. Students are encouraged to meet with each other outside of tutorial time, as much of their week is listed as self-directed study, and many opt to meet once a week whilst maintaining frequent contact through social media outlets.
Discussions are being held to find a possible venue for a Manchester based zine fair, but the research into this is also teaching students a little bit about event management which as one student put is a further “expansion on my skill set”. Students have been gaining inspiration from places such as Salford Zine Library, but the array of zines being produced are a result of an initial project they were requested to do upon joining their college. Students were asked to make a zine about themselves in some capacity, as a result of which some students found themselves taking an unconventional route in their zine of self discovery and have ended up translating these themes into the work they are producing right now. Collaboratively, they have been removed from the comfort zone of their classmates and thrust into new opportunities, with some very exciting work emerging as the result of differing tastes and styles, such is the nature of Unit X project work.