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BOOK and other Writings...



SHIBUSA - EXTRACTING BEAUTY (a Leverhulme Trust Residency at the University of Huddersfield with research in Japan 2010-2011)



From Sensory Art & Design, edited by Ian Heywood, published by Routledge, London, 2017



SHIBUSA - Extracting Beauty

Edited by Monty Adkins and Pip Dickens


About the book


Shibusa – Extracting Beauty celebrates a number of artistic endeavours: music, painting and the skill of making in general with particular reflection upon Japanese aesthetics.

Composer, Monty Adkins and visual artist, Pip Dickens (through a Leverhulme Trust Award Artist in Residence collaboration) investigate commonality and difference between the visual arts and music exploring aspects of rhythm, pattern, colour and vibration as well as outlining processes utilised to evolve new works within these practices.


The hand-cut paper Katagami stencil: a beautiful utilitarian object once used to apply decoration on to Japanese kimonos, is used as a poignant symbol – the ‘hand-made machine’ - by Adkins and Dickens both within the production of paintings and sound compositions and as a thematic link throughout the book.


The book reviews a number of contemporary artists (Bridget Riley, Estelle Thompson, Paddy Hartley, Liz Rideal and Fuyuko Matsui) and craftspeople (Yunosuke Kawabe, Makoto Mori and Taro Matsumara) and their individual approaches to ‘making things well’. It explores, in particular, the balance between hand skills and technology within a work’s production with particular reference to Richard Sennett’s review of material culture in The Craftsmen.

Shibusa – Extracting Beauty includes contributing essays by arts writer, Roy Exley, who examines convergence and crossover within the arts and an in-depth history, and review, of the kimono making industry by Kyoto designer, Makoto Mori.

Book launched March 2012:
Shibusa - Extracting Beauty
Edited by Monty Adkins and Pip Dickens
ISBN-13: 978-1-86218-101-4
Size: 280 x 210mm
Pages: 144
Number of images: 97
Images in colour: 89
published by University Huddersfield Press
Email enquiries to:

You can purchase the book from most retailers

or direct from the University of Huddersfield 

A downloadable eprint is available here



A Choreography of the Senses - The Painter's Studio by Pip Dickens

From Sensory Art & Design, edited by Ian Heywood, published by Routledge, London, 2017

This chapter reflects on the painter's studio as an environment organized to control and adjust the senses. Every artist has their own unique space, method of working and creative thought processes. The chapter attempts to provide glimpses, albeit through the veiled window of the studio, of what the senses contribute, how they are being organized and deployed, and if this process is directed consciously or subconsciously. It starts from an assumption that a painter's studio is a space dedicated to the use of sight in order to make a visual image. In making paintings, however, it is the interplay between visual and haptic modes of awareness that is core. Also, the supposedly lower-ranking senses of smell and hearing may play larger parts than is commonly assumed.

Out of the Shadows: L. Ward’s Wordless Graphic Novels

By Pip Dickens


A Wordpress contribution to ReOPeN Graphic Futures is based at Lancaster University’s Institute for Social Futures, and co-directed by Dr Nataša Lacković (Educational Research) and Dr Andrew Tate (English and Creative Writing). It is an award-winning interdisciplinary and international research-pedagogy-engagement project. 

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