"Winter kept us warm", from Unreal City
Dear <<First Name>>
It's been a long time since my last confessio ... I mean communication — 6 months, to be precise!
It seems ages ago that GDPR was consuming all my energy. I know quite well what a tedious time that was, being bombarded by so many emails from all directions, so I would like to thank you for being so kind as to sign up for more news of my mildly exciting adventures. As a thank you (and as promised in my last newsletter) I would like to offer you a FREE calendar for next year; details are below.
So much has happened since May and there is much to report. The big news is that I've made significant progress with Unreal City, my new photobook project on London, inspired by the most important poem of the 20th century: The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot. I am launching the crowdfunding campaign today to get the book printed, so you can be one of the first to see it go live and to bag your future copy, if you so wish. The picture above (from the project) was shortlisted for the ArtGemini International Art Competition, while two others from the project are through to the second round of the Aesthetica Art Prize.
In my last newsletter I mentioned that I would have a Spring studio clearance sale for newsletter subscribers only. Given the all-consuming nature of my Unreal City project, the "Spring" sale has turned into a Winter sale, so now might be a good time to get a really cool Christmas present for yourself or a special someone at a reduced price. When they're gone they're gone!
So ... onwards!
Unreal City: crowdfunding campaign
As I mentioned last time, Unreal City is a photographic conversation with The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot’s modernist poetic masterpiece, which many people consider to be the most important poem of the 20th century. Unreal City comprises around 85 black and white photographs which present London as if it were the waste land.
In Eliot’s poem, London is the “Unreal City” which forms the main environment in which many of the characters in the poem have their entrances and exits. The book reflects many of the themes of the poem: a feeling of alienation between individuals and their environment; people’s inability to connect to each other in meaningful ways; the cruel demands of the City; the failure of religion to provide comfort in this broken world; and the apparently unbridgeable divide between rich and poor.
The project has already attracted high profile endorsements in the form of Bernard O’Donoghue and Laura Noble. Bernard is Emeritus Professor of Medieval English and Modern Irish Poetry at Oxford University and an award winning Faber poet himself. Laura is a highly respected London gallerist, art collector and organiser of the FIX Photo Festival. Bernard and Laura have both written essays for the book. I myself have written an Introduction to the book as well as notes to most of the pictures. The book is being designed by a talented young designer called Claire Parsons Brown, and it will be launched at Bonhams in London (the international fine art auction house) in 2019. (In my last newsletter I'd said that the book would be launched today, but this date has obviously now shifted into next year, probably to November 2019.)
The captions of the pictures are taken from the poem, and I am extremely grateful to Faber and Faber and the Estate of T.S. Eliot for allowing me to use the text in this way.
I'm very pleased to say that 5% of the net profits of the project will be donated to Centrepoint, the charity for homeless young people in London.
I am launching the crowdfunding campaign today (you are one of the first to know!), and you can view my crowdfunding page (complete with funky video) at this link: https://www.gofundme.com/unreal-city-photobook.
"Looking into the heart of light, the silence"
Winter studio clearance sale
As promised I am offering newsletter subscribers an exclusive opportunity to purchase a selection of artwork at a 20% discount (compared to normal exhibition prices).
With all the exhibitions that have taken place over the last few years, I need to clear some space in my studio, so if you were looking to buy a piece of art for yourself or someone special then this might be a good time! (And in time for Christmas, too ...)
You can view the selection here; there are 19 to choose from, including the one below. As I said above, when they're gone, they're gone!
"Red canoe, Aberffraw Bay"
If you would like a FREE calendar for next year then please email me with your postal address and I'll get one in the mail to you.
The calendar is a 13 page mini calendar which is good for fitting in smaller spaces/corners while still being jolly useful (it shows the current month at the top and the month before and month ahead below). The pictures all feature coastal scenes in England and Wales, including the one of the red canoe shown above.
The final word this time goes to Vincent van Gogh: "The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore."
Until next time ...