AMBruno Artists: Cally Trench

AMBruno HomeAMBruno artistsAMBruno Projects

Cally Trench


My relationship with books is physical and private, and I like to make books that are sculptural and handmade. Some refer to aspects of old-fashioned books (slipcases, marbled end papers); some refer to types of books (photograph albums, concertina books of souvenir photographs, pop-up books, spotter's guides, school exercise books). They are all intended to be handled as well as read.

Short films

Timelapse films convey movement through a succession of still images - as indeed do all motion pictures. The magic of creating movement from stillness never fails to please me.

Cally Trench

Cally Trench is an artist whose work focuses on mapping and different viewpoints. Her work includes board games, timelapse films, books, and peephole boxes, as well as paintings and drawings in which she maps places or people. She gained an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London in 2007.

Eleven Views of Fiona's Washing Line by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Eleven Views of Fiona's Washing Line (2008)
Handmade book. Edition of 10.
Watercolour paper, ribbon and
digital prints.

A zigzag book, showing a series of
photographs taken at different
times of the year of a laden
washing line.

International Day by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Cally Trench and Philip Lee, International Day (2017)
Edition of 25. Inkjet printed.
Hand-sewn pamphlet.

Sphinx Skeleton by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Sphinx Skeleton (2013)
Linocut on watercolour paper with hand-
painted gold eye.

International Day is part of AMBruno's [sic] collection. At Cally’s English primary school, in the early 1960s, there was an annual ‘International Day’, when children dressed up in a mish-mash of national costumes. Cally and Philip have re-created International Day, and readers are invited to identify the eight European countries they depict, so becoming complicit in the stereotypes.

Sphinx Skeleton is part of AMBruno's I'm telling you stories. Trust me collection of limited edition prints. It shows the skeleton of a mythical creature, whose bones are laid out as if discovered during an archeological excavation. This print is not an anatomical reconstruction; it is the endpoint of a narrative. We read stories about creatures that, if they existed in reality, would die as well as live.

Twenty-five Wrought Iron Front Gates by Cally Trench

Cally Trench
Twenty-five Wrought Iron Front Gates (2013)
Edition of 15. Inkjet with hand-painted
gold emblem on bamboo paper.

16 Dada Heads by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Cally Trench and Philip Lee
16 Dada Heads (2013)
Digital prints on watercolour paper with
collage and drawing. First edition of 16.

Twenty-five Wrought Iron Front Gates, which is part of AMBruno's Lines collection, is a spotter's guide to a dying species; front gates are disappearing from our streets as front gardens are converted into parking spaces. Made of wrought iron, with curly and straight lines translated into metal, these gates are symbolic portals rather than solid defences.

16 Dada Heads is part of AMBruno's 16 collection. To celebrate the start of Dada in 1916, it is based on, inspired by, or completely tangential to Dada. Sixteen Dada Heads, a performance based on the book, was performed by Cally and Philip at the Eagle Gallery on 13th July 2013.

Start and End Paper, by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Start and End Paper (2012)
Digital prints.

Blue Home Grown by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Cally Trench and Philip Lee, Blue Home Grown (2011)
Digital prints with original pages from Home Grown.

Start and End Paper is part of AMBruno's One Fold Book collection. It shows 'marbling', actually drawn by hand on a computer, on both sides, in recollection of the marbled end papers in some old books.

Blue Home Grown, which is part of AMBruno's Blue collection, is a friendly homage to Roy Hay's Home Grown, a gardening hit of 1956, based on a BBC programme. The V&A bought a copy of every book in the Blue collection, including Blue Home Grown.

Face by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Face (2010)
Timelapse film. 101 seconds.

Chess Wars by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Chess Wars (2010)
Timelapse film. 101 seconds.

Shown in AMBruno's Project 101 Video Works in New York in 2011, Face focuses on one man's face. He starts by blinking and smiling, like a simple computer animation, but his choreographed expressions become more and more extravagant and extraordinary, before reverting back to blinking and smiling. With the face of Philip Lee.

Shown in AMBruno's Project 101 Video Works, Chess Wars shows a playground for chess gymnastics and a battle ground between chess and draughts pieces.

Remarkable Bookshelf by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Remarkable Bookshelf (2011)
Handmade zigzag book.
Watercolour paper and digital photographs.

Feel Good Miniature Scrolls by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Feel Good Miniature Scrolls
(2011) Handmade scrolls in envelopes.
Printed paper and thread.

For Remarkable Bookshelf, Cally Trench asked the Remarkable and Curious Conversations artists in June 2010 what they were reading, and she made a zigzag book from photographs of one hundred of the book spines. Remarkable Bookshelf was bought by the Tate.

The Feel Good Miniature Scrolls were presented as a lucky dip at Artsmart 2011.

Teatime by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Teatime (2009)

Letter from Gran by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Letter from Gran (2009)
Embroidered cotton.

Teatime is a handmade pop-up book with four scenes, showing an encounter at teatime.

Letter from Gran is an enlarged embroidered copy of a letter written by Cally Trench's grandmother in 1963. It was shown in AMBruno's Wrapped and Encased, 2008.

Sideways On by Cally Trench

Cally Trench, Sideways On (2009)
Handmade book. Edition of 3. Paper, card, acrylic paint,
silk cord and digital prints.

An Emotional Atlas of Friars Square by Cally Trench

Cally Trench
An Emotional Atlas of Friars Square
(2008) Handmade book, with a slip
case. Edition of 5. Watercolour paper,
acrylic paint and digital prints.

Sideways On is a handmade version of a 1960s family photograph album, which presents 24 pairs of profile photographs of friends, family, statues and a dog, back to back with themselves.The album itself was made by hand.

An Emotional Atlas of Friars Square is based on an emotional mapping project in Friars Square Shopping Centre, Aylesbury, undertaken by my organisation the Institute for Ground Level Mapping & Exploration.

AMBruno HomeAMBruno artistsAMBruno Projects