London: Parvenu Press, 2018. Limited Edition. Hardcover. "These books I am printing are trying to combine being painted and printed; I always print like a painter anyway – the blocks are just another way of getting colour and image onto the paper – and each book, of a very small edition will be slightly different.
I want it to be quite rough and immediate, not pretty at all – I am not sure my skills stretch to tragedy so rough and raw will have to do….
The text flickers between current events and concerns, structured around the medieval story of Perceval, The Holy Fool, and yes – The Ruin. I am trying to mirror the metaphors of the writing with the way I print – shreds of allusions and references in the imagery, cut shapes. Fragmented printing styles. The covers, if I ever get them dry in time, are trying to gather up and meld some of the whirling detritus of the world, both natural and man made – and compact it into a surface; I did this once for a unique volume, The Artists Book, done for a Millennium exhibition in 2000, which is now in the USA and I never took a photo of the cover, so it is an idea revisited from memory nearly two decades on.
‘Current events and concerns’ are the perennial ones – man’s inhumanity to man and the continual degradation of the planet. The first image is of an unspecified bombed building, in the Middle East maybe; later bodies hang like meat from the trees, the woodcuts try to flicker like TV screens, dead birds are strung up, trees look blasted. But art ultimately makes things look aesthetic, cosy: I try to be raw but pages inevitably become cooked – our conscience and consciousness makes things acceptable so that we can carry on. I hope this is an angry book all the same." [artist statement]. Fine. Tight, bright, and unmarred. Black leather spine, textured cloth boards, black endpages. fo. np. Illus. (colored and handcolored plates). Item #9578