Friday, May 27, 2016


Marvellous get-together at high noon at bookartbookshop today (or rather yesterday) with George Szirtes and Clarissa Upchurch, Ian ( "Vincent" of Wayfarers's Notes) and Karleen Mulder, and another friend who had also travelled some distance to give me their blessings and appreciation. How fortunate I am - things like this re-charge the creative batteries which sometimes flicker and fade. Thank you all.

I take the liberty of copying  George's wonderful boost to me on his Facebook page:

Rising at 5:30 I get ready, have breakfast at 7 and am in a taxi three-quarter of an hour later. Having booked a specific train I have to stick to it. This means buying a new ticket from Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Parkway, letting a perfectly good train go and waiting another forty-five minutes on the platform for the booked train. It is sunny and cold at Parkway but warming up. Once on the train I begin to feel very sleepy and almost nod off once or twice on the way. At Paddington there is a delay on the tube because of a signalling problem but eventually one arrives and I go to Old Street via Moorgate and walk the quarter of a mile or so to Bookartbookshop in Pitfield Street for Natalie d'Arbeloff's exhibition. Unfortunately I arrive a little early while the shop is locked so have a cup of tea at the friendly Ned's Noodle Bar next door, but soon Natalie arrives, as do some of her friends, and Clarissa too and we look at Natalie's tiny exhibits in the tiny shop which is dedicated to book artists.
I would rather like to write a full article on Natalie's work, enough for now to say it is essentially narrative, autobiographical and philosophical, using words and deploying a variety of visual styles that tease, delight and move the viewer. Her work isn't very much like anyone else's but some of it is like a cross between a diary, a graphic novel, and sketches by Chagall.
Afterwards we have lunch at the nearest pizza place. There are six of us. It turns out not one of us was born in England. Our various birthplaces are Paris, China, Jamaica, Australia, South Africa and Hungary. We drink to that then discuss food, life elsewhere and the existence or otherwise of the soul. One of us, Simon, had been, among other things, a sports psychologist advising Crystal Palace football team, not recently but back in Dave Bassett days. We don't talk of that though I'd love to have asked him more.
Then we head off in our various directions. It's quite warm, almost hot now and we have dressed for something ten degrees cooler.
The train journeys are deeply drowsy affairs. Arriving home we drop into bed for an hour or two. We take longer to recover from things that we used to. My ankle is swollen from too much train sitting.
Below, a link to Natalie's website. Do explore it in detail. She is quite a treasure to find. Especially check out the marvellous artist's books.

My main website

Saturday, May 14, 2016


The opening of my show at bookartbookshop went very well, a good crowd packed the premises and many good words were said about the work.

 Herewith some pictures I took before people arrived. I tried to photograph the work displayed in the window (a unique bookwork titled NATSHEPSUT - you can read a description of it on the Artists' Books section of my website) but because of reflections, some strangely relevant, ghostly things came up. A couple of examples are among those below. The first shot is of Tanya Peixoto and Chiara Ambrosio talking in the bookshop doorway.

Sunday, May 01, 2016


The legendarily magnificent Tanya Peixoto who created, runs and animates the legendarily unique, small and perfectly formed bookartbookshop in Hoxton, London, invited me a while back to have a solo show of some of my autobiographical books, boxes etc. What's more, she felt that there should be a new edition, in colour like the original, of Augustine's True Confession, the handwritten journal published, with help from the Arts Council, in a b&w version in 1989 (out of print). 

Tanya offered to equally share the cost of printing, and so... drum roll....the brand new edition of ATC will be launched at the Private View on 12th May, a joint publication by bookartbookshop and NdA . If you can't be there in person (why not?) you can order the book ...£10...from bookartbookshop. 

Meanwhile here's the cover, along with a photo of the original journal sitting in the house I built for it. Included in the show.