21 December, 2009

A Very Happy Christmas!

Snow finally fell last night and enabled me to post this 'card' to all of our friends at this festive time of the year. I do, however, promise to spare you any further snow photos. We have, I reckon, had many too many this year already!

17 December, 2009

Just a bit of fun! Be your own J*****n P*****k

23 November, 2009

Progress with "The Plague"

Martyn Grimmer, the master printer charged with the printing of Angela Lemaire's etched plates for the publication described earlier on this Blog - HERE, has just said that he is about halfway through the project and will finish in December. We have not yet been too specific about how we are going to republish this fascinating project so watch this space!

Martyn has also sent these enticing photographs of completed prints and one of the plates and I hasten to post them here. The plate in these photographs looks to me more like part of the Mask of Agamemnon than something to print from!

31 October, 2009

You know about the Partridge in a Pear Tree,

. . . well, here is a Pheasant in an Apple Tree!

And here is a less than perfectly successful attempt to capture his exit from the scene!

21 October, 2009

A change of scene

We decided to take ourselves away for a couple of days to try to rid ourselves of some accumulated end-of-summer-that-hardly-was glooms. Partially successful only, to be honest, but I was happy to return with some of the inevitable camera full of photographs . . . of which these are a proportion.

I somehow feel they are different from my usual (blowsy, romantic!) style and that they rather reflect my mood . . . or perhaps that is simply my take on things.

If you can spare the time, do click them bigger for they seem to want as much space as they can get, as do I!

They are not intended to provide memories of particular places but, for the record, we were in Lyme Regis, Portland and Cerne Abbas - all in the county of Dorset.

. . . and finally

a photograph of Frances reprising her end-of-the-pier triumph in the role of Winnie in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days!

08 October, 2009

It must be Autumn

First of all, an early morning spider's web taken just before we went to London for the shenanigans described below and when, if I am honest, I was having my usual 'missing you already' feelings about this place before leaving it even for a couple of days!

The remaining images, taken today, are by way of being a homage to those of my favourite neo-romantic painters who gave me such frissons as a youngster by putting seedheads in the foreground of their landscape paintings (eg Alan Reynolds). So often these echoed the hard angularity of the sculpture of that age and contrasted thrillingly with the softer shapes and textures of the spaces behind.

29 September, 2009

Fun and Games at The Whitechapel Gallery

The McDowalls stepped out of their hotel and were assailed by wafts of warm air bearing scents of exotic food preparation and the sounds of multifarious city life. Had they returned to Italy for another holiday? Sitting down for a pavement breakfast, Frances sips her coffee while I turn 90 degrees in my seat to snap the Duomo . . . or rather the Gherkin, almost as impressive in its way! It was pretty well our first visit to this part of London since it had become a centre d'animation in so many ways, and it happened to be a gloriously sunny and almost hot end of September.

NOT a holiday, in fact, but a pleasant prelude to a three-day stint in The Whitechapel Gallery where we were showing our wares at The London Art Book Fair.

This was a 'new' event although it was the development of a number of fairs that had happened in former years. The Fair was hectic throughout but in a good way. We were most pleased to have met (and often talked at length to) people we had not met before in any form. Especially happy to meet young designers and printmaking students who clearly liked the books we make when they could have been expected to look askance at objects so clearly NON-trendy.

This event marked the first public appearance of EQUUS (see major post below) and the book was much admired. It had been planned that, at the start of the Fair, there would be a small gathering of people who had been concerned, especially Clive Hicks-Jenkins, the artist, and Callum James whose chance remark to us had started this particular quadruped galloping!

This shows Clive (in the centre) with Peter Wakelin and, on the right of the photograph, the unmistakeable figure of Simon Callow.

Simon Callow has been a friend of Clive's for some years and he helped the artist during his work on the many images for the book with much thoughtful comment . . . especially while Callow was actually taking the part of Dr Dysart in the production last year that toured the country.

He had much of interest to say here as well and we were very grateful that he had found time to visit this newborn book . . . and to turn some heads in the Gallery!

25 August, 2009

EQUUS: here it is at last!

The play by Sir Peter Shaffer
Images by Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Equus was first produced on stage in 1973 and, in its first published form, Peter Shaffer wrote of the dangers of ‘flatly setting down on paper what was far from flat on the stage, and listing inexpressively details of the work which, in accumulation, became deeply expressive’. John Dexter directed that first production ‘powerfully through suggestion’, ‘. . . he charges the action of the play with electric life. He is a master of gesture and economy.’

More than thirty years later those words could be written about Clive Hicks-Jenkins' imagery which now accompanies the text. He wanted to create his own universe for this new expression of Shaffer’s story. ‘Meditations and inventions, rather than recollections of past productions’ were his aim.

This is a long, dramatic text of a dreadful event committed by a highly disturbed young man. The characters endeavour to explore the mental world in which such a deed could be comprehensible but the power of the play is in the extraordinary relationship of the young man and his psychiatrist. Understanding the overwhelming nature of Alan’s love of horses becomes the key and the imagery focuses on the struggle between horse and man and emergent sexuality.

124pp. 325x235mm. Bodoni type. Regency Klassica paper. Images by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, multiple ground drawings printed from photopolymer blocks. Text printed by J.W. Northend. Cased binding, executed by The Fine Bookbindery, with printed paper sides and chemise slipcase printed from wood.

ISBN-13 987-0-907664-83-3

Main Edition: 200 numbered copies signed by the artist
. £275

Special Edition: 12 copies (10 for sale) signed by the artist. £950
For the special edition,
the book (within its chemise) is as described above but it is housed in a drop-back box together with an articulated maquette such as the artist is wont to make for himself to provide a 'model' for painting or drawing. In addition to the one model that has been made up, there is another copy on two sheets, as designed, which could also be made up into a second maquette. The artist has also provided an original drawing for each copy (one of his studies for an image in the book) together with an original linocut which was made, especially for this edition, on an EQUUS theme. Both of these are signed by the artist.

Further photographs of the binding and text pages of the main edition are given below. Some images of the goodies included in the Special Edition will be posted at a later stage!