Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Writer's Tool Kit


Sioux Bradshaw has been providing the bookshop with our go-to stocking fillers for years, her little zines (including those in the Christmas series '364 uses for a Santa Suit' and 'How Santa Gets the Satsumas to Put into the Difficult Toe Area of the Stocking') are perfect £3 solutions for the desperate and tired shopper on the last legs of their trendy East London gift spree. They are snappy, funny and immediately likeable gems.

But now Sioux has taken her one-woman production line to a new level with the Writer's Tool Kit. It contains everything the budding novelist requires to kickstart their literary stardom. I won't give it all away, as part of the joy is the surprise when you delve within, but rest assured it will not disappoint with it's array of booklets, objects, games and, of course, paper to write your novel on. It is utterly charming, hilarious and made with the kind of infectious glee that Sioux Bradshaw has an irrepressible knack for. This is the perfect christmas present for the undiscovered Dickens near you. 

The Writer's Tool Kit by Sioux Bradshaw costs £14 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now. It is lovingly handmade and therefore strictly limited in supply so no dawdling!

- Jon Lander

Friday, 22 November 2013

Small Houses


We have recently restocked our collection of Coracle books, so I have been poring over them the past couple of days. I am growing especially fond of the work of Erica Van Horn.
Reading books is often mistaken as a solitary activity, but the best books make deep connections with people, and in this way are greatly social things. I have come to realise that the books I am most moved by are the ones that are About People. With a capital A and a capital P. Many of Erica Van Horn's books are About People.
My favourite one is a book called Small Houses, and it contains photographs of miniature homemade houses, but it is really about Tom Browne. Tom Browne is a neighbour, and a retired builder. He can't work on a real building site anymore so he makes his own scaled-down models out of real building materials - they are plastered, thatched and installed with real glass windows. 
Although we see no photographs of Tom Browne, in the few words and images given, we come to know him: his honest philosophy of living day to day, working with his hands, his effortless warmth and neighbourliness. The book is a human chain linking me invisibly to Tom Browne, with Erica Van Horn in the middle. I have never met either of them, and may never do so (it is possible Tom Browne is no longer with us as the book was published in 2007 and it ends poignantly with the news that Tom is in hospital) and yet they feel like the closest of friends. 

Small House by Erica Van Horn and published by Coracle costs £10. We have dozens of titles by Coracle available in the shop, all worthy of equal attention.


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Books of Vincent Larkin



The artist Vincent Larkin has a restlessly questioning mind. His books blend text and illustration in ways that deliberately defy cliche or pastiche. He seamlessly embroiders fact with fiction, creating universes of semi-reality. 
We are currently exhibiting several of his works for the next two weeks, and i suspect it will take me a lot longer than that to understand them. They need to be read and re-read, mulled over, looked at from every angle. That is not to say that they do not have an immediate impact - they clobber you from the outset with their dramatic scribbly drawings. They are explosive books that fold out exponentially as you open them, or use all three-dimensions of the book by cutting away sections to reveal multiple pages of text and image all at once. 
He explores themes of language, time, and location, often linking disparate people together through historical sequence. If you thought there was nothing meaningful that brought together the two human beings Elvis Presley and Colonel Gaddafi, think again...

Vincent Larkin's books and prints will be on display and for sale until the end of October. Invest in some truly one-off books ranging from £40 to £250, or if that's more than your budget will allow, pick up an A3 print for as little as £5!

- Jon Lander

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Gerard and Pomplemoose


Some days working in the bookshop can be dull. Some days it is drizzly outside and the door remains stubbornly shut as people walk past, hunched over, arms folded. But these days can be instantly transformed to joy, when someone comes through the door bearing new and wonderful artist's books.

This happened recently when I was introduced to the books of Hamish Jackson. He wins an (unofficial no-cash prize) Bookartbookshop award for being the author of the first publication that we have felt compelled to attach a safety warning to. Why? because the book, entitled Gerard (see picture), partly comprises of a real mouse trap!

Whilst being incredibly unique in it's construction, the book's content is more conventional than you might expect - being essentially a whodunnit. The opening pages, ask in bold letterpress type Who...Killed...Gerard? Accompanied by grisly screen-printed images of trapped mice (well and truly, this is not suitable bed-time reading for children). One comes to understand rather quickly that Gerard is a mouse, or rather is an ex-mouse. Want to know who killed Gerard? Come to the book shop to find out...

We have two copies of Gerard by Hamish Jackson, which was produced in an edition of 6 and costs £250. We also have in stock an entertaining and beautiful little storybook by Hamish called Pomplemoose for £45.

- Jon Lander

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

House of Dreams




In our window display we are currently exhibiting the work of Stephen Wright. Stephen Wright is the owner and creator of The House of Dreams Museum located in Dulwich. A life project that has now been running for 15 years, in which he transforms his home into a dream-world filled with all things colourful, kitsch and garish. Eerie dolls, plastic toys and charity shop bric-a-brac are transformed into a vivid and eccentric universe hidden amongst the banal and unassuming streets of Outer South London. This bold display is softened by candid diary entries to Stephen's life painted on the walls of the house, dealing with issues such as the death of his partner two years into the project. 
The house has several open days a year and is currently available to view by appointment, but soon it will be bequeathed to the nation; it is becoming a National Trust property. 
Here at the shop we are selling his book documenting the project. A walk-through photographic tour of the house a picture of the front door adorned with the wry caution "Please note - I decided to go for the minimal look"

Stephen's book, The House of Dreams is available in the Bookartbookshop now for £14. We are also selling his greetings cards, as well as large framed photographic prints and original artworks. 

- Jon Lander

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Photocopium

The book holds an exquisite dark magic.

Swirls of glinting blue smoke on a black cover invite you to delve inside, like the frisson one feels when walking into a cave's inky black entrance. Designed using a photocopier - a once cutting edge piece of technology, that now feels almost archaic - through a process of intervention, moving the page around as it scans, bizarre things begin to happen. 


Inspired by Thomas De Quincy's Confession of an English Opium Eater, the book is like a visual translation of his writing. Time and space is bent and twisted, strange visions jump out of the page, waxing and waning, looming and skulking. It is atmospheric and spell-binding. 

Marin le Maignan's Photocopium is screen-printed on bible paper, hand-stitched and in an edition of 10 copies. It costs £80 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now. Come and invest in a copy before we close for August.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Peter and Jane

 'It is my go, says Peter. It is my go to hide.'
'You cannot hide from the truth, says Jane.'

Have you ever read the children's learn-to-read series of books Peter and Jane? I have sometimes found the text of such books oddly unsettling. Of course, they are completely laudable, important tools to kickstart what will hopefully be a life-time of reading. But it is the unnatural, formal, and repetitive turns of phrase - that although are obviously engineered to help children read - make them, well, a little strange. 

It is this strangeness that artist Otto has exploited to full effect in his new series of concertina books in which the Peter and Jane characters (with a note of thanks to the good people of Ladybird Books)  are thrown into a new and sinister 'Ottoverse'. 
Jane and Peter find themselves in borgesian labyrinths, exploring the innards of a wooden horse, a narrow boat and a folding bike. With the cheerful bright colours of regular children's book fare replaced with sombre hues of black, grey and red, and backgrounds of gnarled leafless trees, grey tower blocks, and ominous crashing waves, we are left with a bleak impression of the supposedly fun activities Jane and Peter indulge in.

Each book concludes with a subversive and existential clanger from Jane (see quote at the top of the review). Perhaps uncovered from the lost draft of a children's book writer exasperated with presenting a positive and simplistic view of humanity?

Otto's Peter and Jane series of books are hand screen printed, in a limited edition of 45 and cost £30 each. They are available in the Bookartbookshop now.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Every Day it's the Same

Sophie Herxheimer's Cardboard Paintings

Our window display is currently bedecked in a glorious sunshine yellow in recognition of the long hot summer ahead of us. Artist and poet Sophie Herxheimer has installed a collection of black, white and yellow paintings constructed out of corrugated cardboard shapes. Some of them are vessels for her poems, whilst others speak just with images. They have a fairy tale quality, menacing and comforting in the same breath. Giant crows, wolves and witches loom alongside tea pots, flowers and loyal dogs. 
The paintings continue in the tradition of her book Hurricane Butter that we reviewed a few months back. We have restocked this book as well as launching her new mini-publication Ghost Hotel, an elegy to three of Herxheimer's poetical heroes Anna Akhmatova, Elizabeth Bishop, and Rosemary Tonks.

Popovic's display

Please pay us a visit before the show closes on the 27th June and whilst you're here take a look at the 'little sister' exhibition, Lara Popovic's cabinet of curiosities - fellow Artist/Poet Popovic has taken over our glass display cabinet and filled it with a cornucopia of detritus. Little wooden boxes, wallets and even a shell have all become the homes to poems and drawings on the subject of love.

Everything on display is available to own. As well as the cardboard paintings, we have some original drawings on paper by Herxheimer at £120 each. Ghost Hotel is a risograph concertina in an edition of 50 and costs £5.


Monday, 10 June 2013

Future Fantasteek!


'I'm so busy busy busy busy busy busy busy doing so much pointless shite'

This Zine imprint by Jackie Batey of Damp Flat books has been around since the beginning of the Credit Crunch. Issues are published twice a year and reflect the news of the moment and the anxieties of modern life.
They appear at first glance to be simple doodles scanned in from a note book, but on closer inspection are much more nuanced.  Future Fantasteek follows in the comedic tradition of Monty Python or the Simpsons, in the way it appropriates the ubiquitous language of advertising, and in the process sends humanities absurd foibles up in flames.
Drawing and text mingle deliciously, and bold colour gives it an extra punch. Goats, ants, devils, chickens, dogs, bears, cats, aliens, henry VIII as well as the occasional 'regular' person are all the vehicle for the stupid things we humans say think and do. The text is made expressive by the use of frenetic hand-drawn typography.
The last issue to be released was Future Fantasteek no. 14 back in February 2013 when the horse meat scandal was raging, hence the pantomime horse on the cover. I am eagerly anticipating issue no. 15 to find out where Jackie Batey will next direct her fine-toothed comb over society and drag out some more hideous 'nits' of truth.

Future Fantasteek issues 2, 4, 5, 7,  8 , 12, 13, 14 are currently available in the Bookartbookshop and cost £6 each.

- Jon Lander


Thursday, 30 May 2013

With the Worms


John Dilnot's bright and breezy illustrated Artists books celebrate English nature in all its glory. With the Worms, now in its second edition, is a colourful cabinet of creepy crawlies such as you might find in the Natural History Museum's hidden vaults - beetles, ants, millipedes, slugs and worms adorn its pages. Alongside these are more unexpected coins, bones, broken plates; the little relics of recent history that litter our gardens, forest paths or our fields. There is a modern 20p piece but also an old farthing, and a Victorian-looking key. Are these little treasures the real pursuit, or a happy accident? Whether amateur archaeology, or entomology the theme is a child-like curiosity, a willingness to get down and dirty to see what you mind find, and not be bothered by the odd looks in the park...

With the Worms costs £50 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now. We also have other titles from John Dilnot such as Birds, and Bad Apples at £8.50.

- Jon Lander



Friday, 24 May 2013

Folded Light and Tide Lines

Folded Light

Tide Lines
Poised between a sculpture and a book, 'Folded Light' by Les Bicknell is a mesmerising multi-dimensional spectacle. It is composed entirely of blank pages, disrupted by circular holes cut into the paper. The magic lies in these little gateways, which reveal hidden depths of space; paper caves that catch and dissipate a soft light, diminishing to a gentle darkness in the book's heart. Viewed from above, glimmers of gold leaf become visible in between the intricately folded pages. This is a book which holds secrets.

Bicknell's Tide Lines is a concertina book that also deploys the signature cut-holes. A single panoramic photograph of a stony beach is united by a coil of blue string that ducks and dives through the holes in the pages. The string acquires a monumental stature, feeling more like the rigging of a ship strewn on to the beach after a storm, or the swelling waves of the sea itself.


Folded Light and Tide Lines are both one-off creations that can be bought for you to own (and no one else!) for £50 and £35 respectively. We also have a whole range of other works by Bicknell that range from as little as £1.


- Jon Lander

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Deaf Messenger Notebooks

Snow drifts past the window behind me. The phone rings and I pick it up. A screen on the wall beside me signals my performance; I'm being monitored.

My days are the ordered pages of a book. So regular, completely linear. One chapter follows another. Regimented and numbered.

I catch sight of the snow as I release a call. It seems so free. It flurries steadily, silently, changing direction here and there. Walking over to the window the street outside is white – covered in a thin, translucent layer.

In the shop, spray-painted book covers catch my eye. They are notebooks, seemingly full of found papers; pages relocated from one place to another. They feel organic; leaves that have drifted together. Bound one-by-one to become ordered.

I know we can’t escape the system that governs our lives. But there is space for difference and for freedom within our constraints. And maybe we need to push at those limits, or allow ourselves to drift a little.

-----------

This is an extract from Chris Gibson's text-based installation 'Between the Actual and the Possible' that was installed in the shop from the 19th April to the 3rd May
Www.betweentheactualandpossible.blogspot.co.uk


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Hey! Modern Art and Pop Culture

Hey! Is for the true image addict. This Bilingual import from our French neighbours is an unbeatable source of off-the-wall outsider art and illustration. It is a quarterly magazine and we have issues going all the way back to the first edition published back in 2010. There are now 13 of them, each one as packed with gloriously lavish and surreal imagery as the next.

The luscious print quality and generous page size shows off the featured artists well, and these images are supported by in depth interviews that provide a decent glimpse into the personalities of everyone involved. It is a magazine that truly celebrates the creative individual.

Founded by Anne and Julien, they started the magazine with the philosophy of further breaking down the boundaries between 'high' art and 'low' art, showing work that is as equally influenced by the culture and history of tattoos, graffiti and comics as it is of painting. Their wilful manifesto gives the magazine a strong backbone, bringing a thrillingly diverse range of international artists together in one place.

Through their collaboration with the Halle St. Pierre Museum in Paris they have also curated two exhibitions, the exhibition catalogues for these are also available in the shop, bound in extravagantly gilded hardback covers designed by tattoo artist Easy Sacha.

The magazine are priced at £18.99. The catalogues Art Show Part I and Art Show Part II are priced at £30 and £40.

- Jon Lander


Moby-Dick: A Pop-Up Book

We recently restocked this pop-up book classic by Sam Ita. Not considering it suffice to be a mere pop-up book it is also a graphic novel. An adaptation of Herman Melville's weighty tome, it dispenses with the cerebral prose, and revels in a more sensory spectacle.

Each double page spread has a centre piece pop-up with additional gadgets at the side. As you turn from one page to the next you can feel the book creak with loaded intent, poised and ready to spring into life. The sheer mechanics are unfathomable: hidden within this book we have ships kitted out in all their rigging, an entire church congregation, a telescope with an actual working viewfinder, and my personal favourite a three-dimensional interactive Captain Ahab banging his head on a map as an expression of his frustration at the elusive search for the White Whale.

It's not suitable for very young children, given its intricate construction, but for those aged 6 and up. But why would you waste such wonderful artistry on children anyway?

It costs £23 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now.

- Jon Lander



Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Badges of Mark Pawson

Book Artist and Creator/Collector of Ephemera Mark Pawson has been making badges from his East London home since 1985. They are a fitting expression of his unique philosophy in art, life and commerce. A believer in the artistic value of everyday design, and producing work in cheap multiples, accessible and affordable for everyone, he has made books about Kinder Eggs, Die-cut Plug Wiring Diagrams and his collection of Scandinavian viking figurines he has christened Noggins.

Over the decades Pawson the One-Man-Production-Line has released badges about books, computers, the weather, the 1990s, Japan, John Cage, Mexican wrestling masks and, naturally, badges about badges themselves.

For the more sophisticated badge-wearer, Mark has also trademarked his own technique for making fabric covered ones, which come in large or small, and a myriad of designs to match your outfit, collected from second-hand fabrics and shirts.

Taking his values of recycling, collecting and appreciating the most unlikely of stuff to its most extreme logical extension, Mark has even produced a limited run of hand bound books constructed entirely out of the used perforated sheets from which the badge designs have been punched out. The book is titled OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, as this is how the cover composed of perforated Os reads. Of course! Mark's work is an example of the best sort of madness: the one that makes perfect sense.

Badges, Books and postcards by Mark Pawson are all available in the Bookartbookshop.
The badges range in price from £3 to £7.50.

- Jon Lander

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Clod

Yesterday, through driving snow and toe-biting cold, a noble representative of Clod appeared unperturbed at our shop's door, carrying with him 5 copies of the latest issue of this humble gazette.

The unassuming citadel of Luton's answer to, well, everything else that exists in our damp, grey, offensively un-Spring-like universe.

This is issue number twenty four. When he told me, upon my asking, that the zine has been running for 25 years, I naturally assumed it was an annual thing 'Yes - well no, we had a 10 year break.' he replied.

To give you a flavour of the contents - which at their most topical provide a Clodian take on the Horse meat scandal (only one month since it arose, as close as the book shop will ever get to being a source of breaking news!) - we have the Clodian take on Country versus Town living, keeping the mystery alive in a long-term relationship, and the next instalment in an ongoing list of 100 things to do before you die which includes moving a wardrobe upstairs and eating a dessert spoon full of salt.

Just as Willow's The Flood is the archetype artist's book, Clod is the archetype Zine. Lo-fi, cut and pasted, cheaply printed, cheaply sold and packing a counter-cultural wallop. It is also defiantly unpretentious and made me laugh out loud at least a half a dozen times.

Look out for their upcoming silver anniversary edition with a highly unusual cover that as Artist's Books Correspondent only I and perhaps their next of kin are privy too. Sorry, Scout's Honour.

Clod Issue 24 costs one guinea or £1.05 whichever you have to hand, and is available in the Bookartbookshop now.

- Jon Lander

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Flood

What is an artist's book? It's a question that is often asked in our shop, and not an easy one to answer. I usually say it is where the whole book is a work of art.

The Flood by Elizabeth Willow is the perfect example for this particular definition of an Artist's book. Without the particulars of its construction the words within would lose so much of their meaning and depth and excitement. The booklet contains a single sentence spread across 12 little pages.

The water

began to

come in

under the door

and it came in

more and

more until

it reached

so high

there was

no more air




only water.

Printed on tracing paper, each beat of the sentence rises by increments as one turns the pages, a steady pool of blue ink rises with the words, and by virtue of the translucent paper, gets thicker and thicker with colour, until with the penultimate line 'no more air' we find the words struggling to breathe at the top of page with the flood of blue paper pushing up from below.

On the last page the words 'only water' have sunk to the bottom of a completely blue page.

In this very witty and tender artist's book even the thread that binds the booklet has been thought about: it is transparent like water.

The Flood costs a criminally cheap £6 and is available in the Bookartbookshop along with other equally fabulous titles by Willow such as the sister publication 'In the Event of Flooding', 'Making Time' and 'Sky Blue and Lightning'.

- Jon Lander



Monday, 11 March 2013

LR

Enigmatic. Fragile. Subtle. Frustrating. Sensual. Mundane. All these words describe the work of Yasushi Cho.

Yasushi Cho also goes under the publishing name Laughter, which I initially thought was the title of this book, perhaps latching onto something less abstract than the simple two lettered 'LR'. This is a mistake all the more because LR is a very abstract book.

It references the visual and tactile elements of everyday electronic appliances. it has real red white and black connectors that can click in and out of sockets all connected by the thinnest of black thread, these threads then connect and are in fact physically bound to tiny abstract glossy booklets that are slotted inside the outer black case.

DVD Players, Hi-definition televisions, Hi-fis, Speakers: Sleek black forms that slide in and out of each other at the touch of a velvety button. It could be any of these, but it is none and all of them. It is the modern home gadget distilled to its meaningless essence. It is the desirable perfect black glossy box, mystifying and magical.

These devices we covet can also exasperate us. When they simply refuse to work, to bend to our will, to swoon to our caress. LR provides the ultimate archetype of this feeling: you can tinker and fiddle with it but never quite get it to 'work' or to 'do' what one thinks a book should. And whilst one plays with all these elements (very very carefully for this is an incredibly delicate construction) trying to doggedly discover its function as a book, the frustration turns to joy upon the realisation that it is all so pointless. There isn't really much difference between this 'pointless' artist' book and the new smart phone that I received yesterday in the post and have been all day tinkering and poking with carnal delight alongside Yasushi Cho's LR.

LR by Yasushi Cho is in a limited edition of 45 copies and costs £22. It is available in the Bookartbookshop now.

- Jon Lander

Monday, 4 March 2013

Sea & Sea

The very cool, current collective Calm & Collected have launched a very cool, current coveted publication entitled Sea & Sea. It is a hectic show case of graphic illustrative work by C&C plus guest artists, all tied together by a maritime theme.

Calm & Collected are a collection of anonymous artists who have banded together under the united banner to release art, books, prints, exhibitions and doubtless more besides.

Sea & Sea deploys a menagerie of lush printmaking techniques - letterpress, screen print and risograph. It is like a graffitied wall in the form of a book, with each artist riffing off each other and trying to out do the next. Nautical messages fill the pages in bold bubble writing. Boats, fish and salty sea dogs are generously depicted throughout.

This must be as high energy as an artists' book can come, rifling through its pages feels a little like turning up at a house party sober, its loud and bright and you can't hear yourself think - the only answer is to down some grog and let the current take you away...Is that a mixed metaphor? Lets say its a boat party.

Sea & Sea by Calm & Collected costs £30 and is in a limited edition of 35 copies. It is available in the Bookartbookshop now

www.wearecalmandcollected.com

- Jon Lander

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Bird Call

Created by Seekers of Lice, this is the definitive 'Aarr-aarr, aarr-aarr' to 'Zit-zit' of Artist's books. It is a compendium of written bird calls, one designated to each page.

It functions much like a flip book, except instead of the conventional animated image, it is the onomatopoeic words which flicker with life and mutate and morph surprisingly smoothly with each other, due to the alphabetical order of the calls. Twi-wi-wi-wee becomes twit-twit becomes twick-twick-twick.

This is a hugely satisfying, simple to understand, well made book object. It is greatly entertaining flicking through the cornucopia of eccentric calls that our planet's wing-ed beasts (apparently) make.

Like the best Artist's books, no excess-to-requirement information is given, the idea is given plenty of space to breathe. We are given the calls, but not the birds who own them. one is left to guess for one's self who called what, be it the common or the exotic, the Grey Pigeon or the Lilac Breasted Roller.

One can flick through at a sensible pedestrian pace, savouring each 'sooeep tseep' and 'kraaar' on the end of one's tongue, or one can race through the publication at breakneck speed creating a cacophonous aviary in one's mind as the calls spin and tumble from the pages.

It is suitable for bird-lovers, word-lovers, book-lovers and is priced at a very reasonable £8.

- Jon Lander


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

FRANTIC + ANTIC-HAM = FRANTICHAM

What happens if two book artists from opposite ends of the globe meet, fall in love, and then are forced apart again by the circumstance of where they live?

That's what happened in 2005 when Red Fox Press publisher Francis Van Maele (pseudonym Frantic) and Kim Hye Mee (pseudonym Antic-ham) met at a book fair in Seoul. A month of passion and discovery followed. But then Francis had a plane to catch, back to Achill, Ireland. 5000 miles away.
Of course they found ways to connect with each other, despite the distance. Like every other couple in a long distance relationship they chatted online, they posted love letters to each other, they met up for short periods. But it did not stop there. They were book artists so they expressed their love in the way they knew how; through books.

So many books. Intricate, complex and beautiful collaged books dashed off as if they were blown kisses. I found ten in the shop alone and there are more. All penned under the lovers new combined pseudonym: Franticham. They scrupulously, obsessively documented their time together. They reveal their correspondence in unguarded intimate detail. It is frantic, frenzied, torrid, crazed passion. It is almost literally publishing as an act of love-making.

These collectible books by Franticham, published variously in 2005 and 2006, are available to buy in our shop: Send Me a Pict, Rendezvous, Bus 23, Diary of Silent Fish, Daytripper, It's Your Quiet Heart It's Your Silence, Zine #4, The Routemaster, A Fond Farewell and Travelling Fish. They range in price from £3 to £75.

www.redfoxpress.com

- Jon Lander

P.S. Kim eventually moved to Ireland, and correct at going to press, they are still together and making books 8 years later.

P.P.S This post is a subtle reminder to you that Valentine's Day is approaching.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Hurricane Butter

Hurricane Butter by Sophie Herxheimer is a pamphlet of poems and ink drawings exploring themes of food, family, fertility, womanhood, motherhood...

Butteriness runs through every page. In the words, which describe yellow foods, yellow suns. In the design of the pages, laid out in multiple yellow hues.
The title speaks loudly for the poems within. Butter is slick, sickly, smothering, it is too much, it bowls you over and obliterates you like a hurricane.

Herxheimer writes about the characters of her childhood. The mothers, with their rich meals and ample bosoms. The fathers, with their moustaches, and hats, and booming laughs. Their simple conservative values, that see the world in uncomplicated shades of separation, where "Dogs are dogs and cats are cats".

She mourns the loss of her god-like mother. Out of her death, memories surge forth. She cooks in an attempt to become her, to revive her through some unknown magic held in the contents of a b├ęchamel sauce.

The drawings add an immediacy to the words. They drip with ink. Like the lines of her poems, the brush strokes are seeking something, they do not know where they may end up before they begin. This little book is an adventure into the heart of it's author.

Hurricane Butter costs £6 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now. You can visit her website at www.sophieherxheimer.com

- Jon Lander

Sunday, 13 January 2013

From the Upper Deck

Living in London, the proportion of one's life spent staring at people from the top of a double decker bus must be well above the world wide average. It is a unique sensation, as if looking down on people through a microscope, one feels a sense of remove from them, as if they were on television.
In 2005 the photographer Przemek Wajerowicz began a project in which he would build up a collection of photographs taken from the top deck of every double decker bus route in London.

162 routes, and 8 years later Wajerowicz has still got plenty more to do. But this bus spotter's wet dream is really the side show to the actual content of the photographs: they are quietly spectacular.
A teenage couple, snuck between two bins, sharing a secret joke, the girl pulling gently on the toggles of his hoodie; an elderly man tending to his garden with loving precision; a kid crossing the street on a bmx, reaper's scythe casually held in hand. It is the strange and the mundane, it is human life in a Petri dish.

From the Upper Deck is a postcard book assembling 16 of the very best photographs from the project. It costs just £5 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now.

- Jon Lander


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Mansion of Thought


How do we express knowledge? How do the thoughts in our head become something tangible, visible, tactile? This is the question Angela Lorenz asks in her latest book work Mansion of Thought. Bringing together 60 drawings and two short essays, Lorenz explores how, over the ages, cultures have expressed their fundamental beliefs and philosophies through the visual.

As with Curiosity filled the Cabinet, the format of the book is far from conventional, yet reflects the theme perfectly. Lorenz's thoughts are made three-dimensional, the folding work can be reconfigured into any manner of different shapes and arrangements. Exploring the work is like delving into pitch-black labyrinth with only torch light to aid you; new pages spring up as if from nowhere!

It is a book that demands your inquisitive side, to explore every word, drawing and page, and meditate upon their meaning. It is clear that Lorenz has put so much energy, and time into Mansion of Thought, all that remains is for the reader to open it up and add their own.

The Mansion of Thought costs £30 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now.
We also have two other fantastic new publications by Lorenz, My Elusive Cockney Family and More Dicky Birds, a 2-part series of illustrated books on Cockney rhyming slang. They are £15 each.

-Jon Lander