Imi Maufe (b. 1974) is a visual artist originally from Norfolk (UK), based in Bergen since 2009. She is a central artist in the Bergen art book scene, not only through her own studio practice but also in curating and organising exhibitions.
After a 3400-mile bicycle trip through Iceland, Orkney, Shetland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Denmark, Imi decided to stop being a landscape architect and began her fine art education. At that time she referenced a wise quote from an Icelandic friend: “Everything is only a decision anyway”. Now she makes conceptual hand-printed artist's books that build on her childhood practice of making daily journals from family holidays. Her background as a landscape architect still plays a big role in her art. In her former education and practice, she meditated on how humans travel through landscapes and especially how the design of paths affects us. The use of books is for Imi a way to engage the public in art that can be handled, read and talked about. They are objects meant to be touched.
At the Beijing Book Art Fair, Imi will be showing a collection of “translating travel” books and a series of edible books. Physical journeys by foot, bus, bike, boat and swimming are documented in minimal ways using signs and texts to transfer an essence of the travelling experience to the reader.
In a recent book, “36 Tunnels and a Ferry”, she documents a 5-hour bus ride from Bergen to Røldal in West Norway. Ignoring the breathtaking scenery of the Norwegian fjords and mountains, she focuses purely on the frequency of road tunnels and their poetic names. “36 Tunnels and a Ferry” is printed on two sheets of paper; it is springy and kinetic when played with in the hands. When placed on the table, the structure of the book itself creates a tunnel.
Imi’s observations and curious concepts give a raw and exciting perspective on Nordic topography. Her playfulness is also present in her edible books, where she use a very Scandinavian food product (crispbread) artfully cut with words that invite the reader to consume the book.
Imi Maufe curates collaborative book-art and print projects in Norway, the UK and the Nordic countries. Recently, she was involved in making the exhibition “Smak av Bok” (Taste of Book) that toured Norway. Her work is included in collections in the UK and USA and she is currently working on a solo exhibition for Edinburgh Printmakers, Scotland. Imi studied printmaking at The University of the West of England, Bristol graduating with a MA in 2004. Since 2009 Imi Maufe has been been a member of the artist-run-studio Bergen Ateliergruppe.