Monday, 29 October 2007

Isaac Rosenberg, Marseilles, Lausanne

Photo of me painting in my studio during the Phoenix Open in October 2007. Photo credit: David Flindall.

I'm currently working on a new artists book inspired by the poems of Isaac Rosenberg. I hope to have some details of this ready for the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair at Oxford Brooks University on Sat 3rd and Sun 4th November, and certainly by the London Artists Book Fair (LAB'07) at the ICA at the end of November. I'll have some speciment pages of text and images, and a specification, to look at.

I'll also be showing my existing artists books:

Kings Cross (2004)

Thames - The London River (2005)

Afghanistan - A Journey (2007)

and my smaller book about my Willows project (Willow/Wilg/Weide/Saule, 2007).

You can find out more about these books and projects elsewhere in my blog.


With Carolyn Trant (Parvenu Press), I recently travelled to Marseille for the annual book fair, which had a big artist books section organised by Atelier Vis-a-Vis, where we both had stands at the 'English Desk' showing our own artists books. Atelier Vis-a-Vis bought work from both of us, and in addition I sold a copy of my Afganistan-A Jouney book to a visitor to the fair. It was great to be able to visit Atelier Vis-a-Vis and hear of their incredibly ambitious plans for the future, including a new art school with 150 printing presses! What an amazing place for artists Marseille is! Why can't Britain be like this?

Marseille was wonderful - particularly the old part of the city on the Butte des Moulins, the Panier and Lenche districts, and of course the Bar de la Marine. The town museum by the Bourse was particularly good, with impressive displays, models and reconstructions of the history and archaeolgy of the city - Roman ships, amphorae filled with sardines and wine, a huge jar of grain, potteries, etc. Glorious sunshine most days, but a cold wind announcing the onset of autumn if not winter. Great restaurants here - particularly if you like fish. Travel by Eurostar and TGV as we did and (provided its daylight) you see a lot of the wonderful French countryside.

From Marseille we took the TGV to Geneva and changed for Lausanne, where we arrived in a freezing wind and stayed in the Backpacker Guesthouse with a wonderful 4th floor view of the historic railway station. In Lausanne we found, or were taken to, all the right places, including the Musee de l'Art Brut, the Romand restaurant, the Maharajah's Punjabi restaurant, and an Erotic Cabinet in a bookshop and art gallery. Our host in Lausanne was Stephane Fretz, of Art and Fiction publishers, and we were privileged to see the Art and Fiction office and studio and meet Stephane's colleagues there.

After this it was TGV back to Paris and a congested and claustrophobic Eurostar (with several non-working loos) to London. Now for the Oxford book fair! (and the LAB'07!).