Saturday, March 24, 2007
Randwick Woods and Other Pieces
by Leonard Green
Not yet ready for distribution but here's a first glance at the little booklet I've made out of the paper I found the other day. It became obvious to me, when I stopped to think about it, that the colouring of the paper and the slightly old-fashioned feel that it would have, made a perfect cover for three little pieces by a Uranian writer called Leonard Green who wrote a little book called Dream Comrades in the middle of World War One in which he melded his love of youth, his love of is native Gloucestershire and his horror at the loss of so many young lives on Flanders' fields. One of the lovely things about working in the way I do with computer, a box of tools and some space on the living-room floor is that I can do things quickly and spontaneously. So, needing a break from some other (and more important work) late last night I sat down with cutting mat, paper, computer, text (already typed some time ago) and played until this appeared.
Still some tweaking and proofing to do and because of the limited amount of material there will only ever be 12 of these. I always put 'privately printed' on the colophon of my books but that is not entirely true since, apart from the lack of an ISBN number they are now all pretty much 'published' in the same way that any other book is and distributed publically. The 'privately printed' is a hang over from days when this was almost entirely a hobby but I keep it now as a nod to the fact that I still don't feel like a 'professional' printer/publisher. This project, however, being so small in number, may indeed be much more truely a 'private' publication as I imagine that it may be distributed in a quieter way. We'll see...
Friday, March 23, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
A major retrospective of work by Keith Vaughan, a member of the Neo-Romantic movement and one of Britain’s greatest artists of the post-war era opens soon at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Victoria Art Gallery. The exhibition runs from Saturday, 3 February, 2007 to Sunday, 25 March and features some of Vaughan’s most important works of art, which express his feelings about the male body seen in relation to the landscape. The Gallery is delighted to display over 60 oil paintings, gouaches, sketchbooks and journals. It is Vaughan’s first museum exhibition for 26 years, and this show coincides with the 30th anniversary of hs death. The exhibits, generously lent by private collectors in Britain and France, include many of his most influential figure compositions, among them two of his nine Assembly paintings as well as The Return of the Prodigal Son and Reclining Nude 1950. Jon Benington, Manager of the Victoria Art Gallery, said: “Vaughan's paintings depicted "Man," often naked and usually too indistinct to be regarded as portraits, in relation to his environment. Implicit in much of his work was a sense of man as a homosexual in opposition to a hostile world.
“Like many gay men of his generation and class, Vaughan was troubled by insecurities about his sexuality. Much of what is known about his private life comes from his journals, which he began writing in August 1939 and continued until the morning of his death thirty-eight years later.” He added: “Two of Vaughan’s journals have also been borrowed for the show."
Russell phones this evening to say that they will also be going to look in on an exhibition of work by Robin Tanner! So, to make up a little for missing out I'm having my own small Keith Vaughan exhibition here. As far as I know most of these images below should be new to the Internet which, as I have mused on before, I rather enjoy as it means that eventually Google's spider programs will find them and bring the many who type in Vaughan's name to look at the unique offering here.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
For those not familiar with the genre, here probably isn't the place to give a history of this little phenomenon of early photography. Suffice it to say that before the advent of affordable photography for the masses, a trip to the local photographic studio (pretty much one in every commercial road) wasmuch more common than it is today. The photos that this brief episode in photographic history produced are now collected and for multiple reasons. I know people who collect photos taken by photographers from a particular place (a kind of local history I guess), others collect them for the chronicle they provide of the fashions of the day, some people collect them by subject matter, dogs being a strange but common example, or toys or perhaps those which show real contemporary interiors.
The backs of these cards, however, are almost as interesting as the fronts. They are mainly used by collectors to help in dating the photograph. Early CDVs and Cabinet Cards have very simple backstamps, sometimes literally stamped on with a rubber stamp. As time goes on the backs of the cards became more and more elaborate with fancy designs and gilt printing and so on. It was also de rigeur to add any Royal Warrants (of course) but also to make note of prizes won at that other great phenomenon of the age: exhibitions. All of this helps to provide rough dating material for the photograph. But they are perhaps not as much appreciated as they should be for their sheer exuberance of design.
In the small selection below there are clear examples of aesthetic movement taste, the influence of the classical, high Victorian and, of course, nice examples where influences from all the design and cultural movements of the time can be seen mashed up together.
The picture really DO need to be clicked and enlarged to appreciate them.
PS. Thank you to all who have posted comments here in the last little while. I do read them and appreciate them (and the emails generated directly to me from items posted here).
Sunday, March 11, 2007
nazzle: A child who has been guilty of deceptive practices is termed a 'little nazzle'. Never applied to the male sex.
froonce: To go about in an active, bustling manner.
gaberlunzie: A mendicant; a poor guest who cannot pay for his entertainment.
quanked: Overpowered by fatigue.
snoutfair: A person with a handsome countenance.
conskite: To befoul with ordure, as when one's bowels are loosed with fear.
ostentiferous: That which brings monsters or strange sights.
knevel: The moustache. The hair on the upper lip was worn for ages before the modern, and now the only, name for the thing was borrowed from the Spanish. The word is now entirely obsolete, but pure English.
mastigophorer: A fellow worthy to be whipped.
parnel: A priest's mistress. A punk, a slut; the dimintive of [Italian] petronella.
dwang: To oppress with too much labour.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
The pictures below are the unbound pages from the first mock-up of the book. It is going to be in the same format at the one-off I did (and botched) a little while ago. I am going to use a patterned paper, blue on blue, with a feather motif that I designed and posted here some time ago. I haven't yet decided whether to offer a small part of the edition in hardcover and then a 'booklet' state as well or whether to simply work on and off for quite a while producing the whole edition casebound. The illustrations are printed straight from blocks created by the artist.
I'm hoping in the next week or so to have a revamp of 'Callum James Books' my little publishing company. The website is looking a little scrappy at the moment I fear and needs updating and tidying up. I've also created a 'list of titles' in a small 8 page loosely folded booklet which I'm going to send to all previous customers. One doesn't like to impose what many people might consider 'junk mail' but I have not done it before and don't intend to do it often so I would hope that most people who receive it wouldn't mind. I'm also going to make it available as a *pdf file to send to enquirers. The font on the front is my new favourite of the moment called 'Felix Tilting' - very stone-carving feel to it
I was turned on recently to the fantastic designs on the Penguin Poets series of the 50s and 60s by a wonderful set of posts at the equally wonderful typographical blog, Ace Jet 170. There's much more detailed and sensible stuff about the series there and the whole blog is worth saving to favourites.
These are just a few of the series that I have found so far.