Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Brighton: ARTISTS BOOK FAIR at the Phoenix Gallery

This is part of the PRESS and RELEASE exhibition currently on at the Phoenix, and takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday 24th May. Peter and I will have separate stands and have both been working hard to come up with something new in time; a lot of my stuff seems to be out and about at the moment and big new stuff still unfinished. I apparently have 'My Mackerel Lover' exhibited in Marseilles at the moment; pity I couldn't manage the PV.
I'll put up some pics of the new smalls when I finish them ( probably friday!) - I've been tidying up and got down to several archaeological layers of prints on my big press, and found lots of bits of prints from 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' that I have had fun re-assembling into little theatrical booklets with overlapping pages; as the big book was so popular ( but expensive and limited in edition )
I hope these will be a cheaper alternative for those who liked that book.
The show in Brighton is great fun as it has been very cleverly and excitingly arranged, so I am looking forward to a day in Brighton in Festival Time and seeing other exhibitors and their work.

Meanwhile, the day symposium at the V&A was a lovely experience - great to meet lots of heads of Arts Libraries ( especially in the pub afterwards on a glorious summer evening before it got cold again ).
The Blood on Paper show has some fantastic work in it, wonderful Kiefer, Tapies, and Chinese exploding books. Don't miss the Certain Trees exhibition upstairs - tucked away and badly advertised, in room 74 - concrete poetry and Ian hamilton Finlay and others - lots to look at there; and I also loved the Collaborations exhibiton full of stage designs and mini sets, lots of ideas there too.

The USA prints from Hopper to Pollack in the prints and drawings room at the British Museum is also a fabulous exhibition; masses of good stuff, good labels with printmaking details and further explanations in the excellent catalogue. Over the last few years there have been some really stunning shows here - and they're free so you can keep going and going. I'm delighted to see the show is coming to Brighton next spring, so I can keep on going for some time.
Enjoyed the 1968 prints at the Hayward too.

Reading-wise - I've enjoyed the new biography of O G S Crawford immensely - absolutely fascinating; it's called Bloody Old Britain and by Kitty Hauser, whom we met a couple of years ago when she was writing it and wanted to talk to Peter about aerial photography. We went to the launch in the Colony Room which was interesting - sadly due to relocate apparently - will never be the same. I fantasized as to whether Peggy Angus might have met OGS on a boat to Russia in 32/3 and what they might have said to each other; Kitty's research would have been really useful context when I was writng Art for Life.
I went to a show in South Heighton - part of the outer Brighton festival trail -
and went in to see Ursula Mommens, now 99, and had a wonderful chat, and came away feeling very nostalgic; the sense of time arrested and the pictures on the walls in Grange Farm, and the smell of the first cow parsley - that I always associate with going down to Furlongs in the spring ( the close contact with weeds and nettles on the way to the Elsan bucket, the incredible lushness after the dryness of London streets )and the extraordinary conversations one has with people who have lived such a long time, have such amazing memories and stories, and have moved into an almost beatific limbo-land where near is far and far near, was very special. It also made me angry - that old people are often not appreciated in current society and that their lives are often so difficult, despite all our 'progress'; and leading on from that , how family unfriendly everything is as well, women and children and working life and fathers........will it ever get sorted - but that's another story; all the big issues in the news seem to be asking the wrong questions which will have the wrong answers.

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