Derek Finch lives in Totnes, Devon where he works full-time as the Projects Manager of a housing association for the disabled. His first foundation course was in Art Therapy at Hertfordshire College of Art and Design (1987-8), followed by Visual Studies at Oxford Polytechnic.  His degree was in Art and Social Context at Dartington College of Arts in 1993.

As an artist, he works with old, redundant antiquarian books and re-invents and recycles them, to create a new form: "giving them a new creative life.  When I make an 'art book' or a 'Speaking Volume' (his commercial name for his work), I let all the aspects of that book influence me: the age, cover title, physical texture, sze and structure as well as the book's literary content, to create another layer of meaning. Each book is re-assembled, sculpted, painted and transformed to unfold a new story."

He visits Cornwall frequently both as a holiday visitor, a working artist and an exhibitor.  He has exhibited in bookshops, galleries and museums primarily in the south west of Britain, but also in Switzerland, Germany and Oxford. In Cornwall this includes NAG (1998), Beside the Wave, Falmouth (1999), The Book Gallery, St Ives (1999), The Island Gallery, St Ives (2005) and the Penzance Arts Club (2006). In 2010 he exhibited his work at the Penzance Literary Festival at Trevelyan House, as organised by the HYPATIA TRUST.


Collagist, mixed media

works and access

Access to work: Hypatia Trust: 'Charles Alexander Johns, author of Flowers of the Field' (Trevelyan House permanent collection)

Specialist catalogue, Reed Books, London (5 Speaking Volumes)


Mansion Gallery, Totnes (1991-2000)

Out of the Blue, Marazion (1998)

SW Academy of Fine & Applied Arts Open (2000)

Brighton Open Studios (2008) among numerous others

Penzance Literary Festival (2010) Trevelyan House, Penzance


misc further info

CV to 2008 in file


Hardie (2009) Exhibition notes & display of Charles Alexander Johns (Speaking Volume): Chelsea Physic Garden lecture series (London) for Darwin celebratory year