Welcome to December, the month with the over-arching theme of presents. And we’ve got loads! We are now fully set up for sliding around the house listening to Jeff Bridges’ Sleeping Tapes whilst wearing a pair of Hato Press and Nous Vous socks; testing out mince pies on crockery from Motherland and Jamie Julien Brown and reading stacks of books in between sugar highs. Bring on the mulled wine.
Alessandro Furchino’s Dicembre is a photo-diary of a winter spent in south Italy. With an introduction of “between what has been and what will be”, the photographs depict empty amphitheatres, ruffled sheets and abandoned lunches amongst seascapes and wind-swept fauna.
Antony Gustard sent us this array of printed matter all the way from Mexico. It makes for a great introduction to his work, with a linocut mini-zine, build-your-own skeletons, stickers and postcards galore. He has clearly been influenced by his new home, picking up on the colours, line work and imagery that defines the country’s visual culture.
As the book’s back cover decrees, Self Publish, Be Happy “is a call-to-arms – a rallying cry to take part, to act, and to share in an economic and cultural revolution”. An organisation dedicated to self-published photobooks, SPBH has been key to the dissemination of self-published books over the last five years and here 50 of those great photobooks are featured alongside tips, testimonials and critical essays.
Tomi Ungerer’s Elephants, Kangaroos & Whales is a set of three illustrated books telling strange and wonderful stories of the possible interactions between people and wildlife. There’s mechanical and painted elephants, corseted and overcrowded kangaroos and whale blowholes being used as showers. The simplicity of the line-work allows the absurdity of the scenes to play out with ample room, for bounding, flapping and spouting water.
Jeff Bridges is the best. If you needed proof, here he is lounging like a casual silver fox whilst promoting Sleeping Tapes , his album of dreamy tunes to send you into a sweet slumber. As he describes: “The world is filled with too many restless people in need of rest – that’s why I filled my sleeping tapes with intriguing sounds, noises and other things to help you get a good night’s rest.” Thanks Jeff!
Italian-born photographer Paolo Zerbini went on a month-long trip through Louisiana recording its “desolated flat lands and humid sticky air”, and the crossovers between the state and his home-town in northern Italy. Paolo went to the US in an effort to escape his rural upbringing, photographing life in the towns and suburbs of Louisiana and the people who make them.
The Exposed is a magazine with a focus on documentary photography. In its first issue there are features on Iranian homosexual refugees in Turkey, the search for historical roots amidst the Israel-Palestine conflict and a cycling journey along the Great Wall of China. It’s a dual media publication with audio commentary for each of the photo stories, making great use of the potentials of print and digital publishing.
Silica Burn is a compendium of three comics on the theme of dystopian futures, arcades, phantom limbs and self improvement. The comics by Liam Cobb, Tom Kemp and Will Tempest are strung together by their themes and black and white printing, which makes space for each of their drawing styles to flourish and the vivid cover and endpapers not to overwhelm.
The How It Is… socks were produced by Nicolas Burrows with Hato Press to accompany his new children’s book, a sequence of block shapes and playful language that reinterprets the world around us. The socks are the first in Hato Press’ offering of lifestyle items to accompany their publishing and are a great, wearable addition to their output.
Motherland Store has collaborated with London-based artist Jamie Julien Brown on a series of three plates that illustrate fish and chips, meat and two veg and a cooked breakfast through abstract shapes and patterns inspired by the visual tropes of postmodernism. The colours are great, particularly the slightly intimidating purple and red zebra-print piece of fish.
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