Thursday, 23 January 2014


Exmouth from the train at Starcross

I got an early train to Plymouth University on Tuesday to take part in a letterpress printing induction in the Faculty of Arts Scott Building, with writers Anthony Caleshu, Angela Szczepaniak and Jamie Popowich. The three-hour workshop was run by Paul Collier -- a printer, technician and teacher who is in charge of the outstanding type collection located in Plymouth. There is a large range of lead and wood types which are no longer manufactured commercially. I understand that the collection is of national importance, there is certainly no other collection like it in the region. So it was a privilege to have a demonstration of how type is composed and how some of the different kinds of printing machinery work. We set our names and some lines of type and they were combined into a column that we each got to print on good quality paper. It came out OK for a first try, the feel of the impression on inked paper does it for me, beautiful. My first books were pulp novels printed letterpress by NEL in the early 1970s and I saw each one first in a heap of galleys with I think three pages on each long sheet, very different from the current digital print.
    I'm hoping to get some new work made in letterpress over the next few weeks.
The printshop at Plymouth University

Wednesday, 8 January 2014


Still on show at Bury Art Museum (5th October 2013 to 1 February 2014) is the exhibition Time for Light which comprises works by Grazia Toderi, Brass Art and Tony Lopez.
Grazia Toderi's video installation Atlante Rosso (2012), a huge disc of revolving lights accompanied by machine-like sounds, seems to be based on night time illuminated cityscapes seen from the air. Brass Art's new installation of The Air That Held Them is three large fabric heads that slowly inflate and individually collapse, filling up the main gallery and creating a strange spooky atmosphere. My neon Are We Not All Palestinian?, manufactured in Manchester in 2012, is shown for the first time in a gallery with Trespass a neon piece in a suitcase by Brass Art.