Sunday, 6 August 2017

Prestigious Benefactors



I am thrilled to mention that The British Library and Wellcome Library have both recently acquired the entire series of 'bio auto graphic' to date.

Ian Cooke and Debbie Cox were very welcoming at the BL.

At The Wellcome I enjoyed meetings with Loesja Vigour and Nicola Cook after an intro by Melanie Grant.

There is a link to a piece I wrote for the BL English and Drama blog here

Monday, 24 July 2017

WHO news 2 - RIP Deborah Watling: 1948 - 2017





Classic Companion and my favourite Doctor. A wonderful, wistful scene from 1967 here









WHO News 1









Absolutely brilliant news.
A fine actor.
The reason why this little show of 54 years and counting is very special.

Jodie Whittaker is The Doctor.

Nemesis of pernicious alien life-forms and small minds alike.



Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Mark My Words!

An enjoyable London Artists' Book Fair at Granary Square on Sunday.
I resurrected the 'bio auto graphic' bookmarks set in honour of the occasion. . .



Friday, 30 June 2017

BOOK FAIR ALERT! SUNDAY JULY 9th – 






































Next weekend sees the revived/regenerated/resuscitated London Artists' Book Fair - allied to the mighty House of Illustration and offering many visual and textual riches at Granary Square in the similarly revived Kings Cross area.

I will be exhibiting my own work and the gorgeous creations of my partner in crime, Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck.

The event is for one day only and will be an excellent antidote to the dreary last-ditch power plays of Westminster, and the droning of Andy Murray from the television.
It'd be a tonic to see you!


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Heroes



A JPEG of a screensnap of a Retweet.




And true, too.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Borough Market - A Week Later: Sunday 11th June





The bells of Southwark Cathedral ringing, the heartache of another parting, the tidal surges of change and shift and all that they might bring.
A full stop ends a sentence but how we shape the words before that always offers hope.

I had to ask a heavily armed policeman advice on the best way back to London Bridge, where young Muslim women were handing out red roses to add to the latest impromptu memorial to events.





Sunday, 4 June 2017

We Are London? - Saturday 3rd / Sunday 4th June 2017





A morning to reflect and savour - dismiss death cults for what they are; the weakness of cowards who fear life.
The long-playing album 'The Liberty of Norton Folgate' by the band Madness to be played, loud.

My brother Andrew and I walked down to the Thames at Wapping the other week, looked down at the churning, brown, unlovely waters. Took a pint between Eastern and Western horizons.

A hangman's noose drifted in the breeze and it was a little cold.





++++++++ 


"We Are London"

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na

From Regent's Park mosque on to Baker Street
Down to the Cross where all the pipesmoke neat
To Somerstown where somethings never stop
The Roundhouse, The Marathon Bar and Camden Lock

You can make it your own hell or heaven
Live as you please
Can we make it if we all live together
As one big family?

Down to Chinatown for duck and rice
Along Old Compton Street, the boys are nice
On Carnaby you still can get the threads
If you wanna be a mod, a punk, a ted or a suedehead

You can make it your own hell or heaven
Live as you please
Can we make it if we all live together
As one big family?

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, we are London
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, London's talking
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, we are London
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, London walking

In all the nightclubs, strip joints and the bars
From it's poorest paid to it's highest stars
The poets, plumbers, painters, spreads and sparks
From it's inner city to it's furthest parts

You can make it your own hell or heaven
Live as you please
Can we make it if we all live together
As one big family?

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, we are London
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, London's talking
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, we are London
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, London walking
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na

                                               



by Cathal Smyth

Thursday, 27 April 2017

RIP Leo Baxendale




The bell has rung and school is out and the flags of Bash Street are flying at half-mast.
The master has left the Staff Room.






Saturday, 22 April 2017

Happy 80th Birthday, Mister Nicholson




Waitress: 
"You want me to hold the chicken, huh?"

Jack Nicholson: 
"I want you to hold it between your knees."




Wednesday, 29 March 2017

50?




Meanwhile. . .

An article of clothing falls from the Emperor's shoulders.

And on the BBC 'the people' lodge their current thoughts: Happy - worried - confused?

With emoji paddles.





"I choose to believe in Britain and that our best days lie ahead."

– T. May 29 / 3 / 17





Thursday, 16 March 2017

Go West! Bristol Artists Book Event @ Arnolfini: April 1st and 2nd

As if Leeds wasn't excitement enough.
Lordie.






More information here


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

1 city, 2 days, 3 letters, 3 editions, 10 pounds





The newly-collected 'A, B, C' Set from Ensixteen Editions (collating recent numbers 27, 28 and 29 in the 'bio auto graphic' series) will be available at the Leeds event at a mouth-watering £10.

I dare you not to.


Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Answer!

The letter 'C' is also – conveniently – for 'contemporary'.
As in. . .




This weekend I will be pleased to visit the swinging hub of Northern hipster-ishnesses that is The Tetley, Leeds.
I'll be setting up my stall at the 20th International Contemporary Artists' Book Fair therein, ready to exhibit, fraternise and flog my wares from my Ensixteeen Editions Back Catalogue.

Glad that – despite the absence of my esteemed partner in crime and book arts Mette Ambeck, with whom I have attended many similar events organised by the marvellous Chris Taylor and John McDowall over the years – I can fly the flag once more for such a significant milestone event.

Check out the site (link above) and please do recommend that any local chums drop by to release their wallet moths!

Have at it!

PS - 
There's also a comprehensive exhibit of my series of 'bio auto graphic' books included in the current
'Future Legacies: Collections, Collecting and Artist's Books' at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, University Library, University of Leeds – until June 10th.
Here's a slightly grainy flavour of it, courtesy Mister Taylor:




The Question:


As I asked in my most recent issue of 'bio auto graphic' – what is the letter 'C' for?




Saturday, 25 February 2017

Weirdology - Bookishnessie. . ?




Here's a contribution I've made to an upcoming publication that will chart the still, sinister waters of Loch Ness – towards which a book artists expedition mounted by Sarah Bodman, Stephen Fowler, Nancy Campbell and other chums is soon heading. . .

Click on the image for full splendour thereof.

The tome will feature a variety of works inspired by the Loch's most famous dweller and the project's part of the annual Centre for Fine Print Research activities circling World Book Day later this Spring.
Och aye.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

RIP Alan Simpson




A joke will go without a punchline, given the passing of this gentleman.

Together with Ray Galton (above right) he created so many characters, lines and scenes fundamental to the evolution of British comedy.


"It may be just a smear to you, mate – but it's life and death to some poor wretch."



The laughter is the life.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

BBC Fake News





They can't fool me.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Moon Half




One beginning of 2017. . .

After the festive bloating, a following of familiar frost-crusted paths.
Across crunch-grass fields, through gates and up towards the modest heights of School Knott.
The tarn waters hard from the day, barely touched by sun.
Windermere below, the north western fells beyond.
The day's first cloud oncoming, even as it passes the baton to the falling night.

Home.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Happy New Endeavours




Just a pop cultural note to say how pleasurable it is to see the new series of 'Endeavour' awaiting us all on Sunday evenings, ITV at 8pm.

Once again, the first episode delivered the goods in terms of layered, nuanced performance driven by a thoughtful and evocative script from Russell Lewis.

My childhood was the 1960s and the series captures a version of our society at that time that rings true, re-created with care and compassion; the tightly bound codes of human activity that separated lives in public and private, in the battered country beyond the last world war.
Beyond the fashions and styles of 1967, the synthetic fabrics and colourful hoardings, there's a darkness away from the greens and waterways of Oxford, where the vestiges of old power still taint the optimism of a cultural revolution happening in Swinging London.
The eloquent silences within the fractured home of Fred and Win Thursday (the superb Roger Allam and Caroline O'Neill) – as he and his wife mourn the loss of their still absent daughter – were beautifully done.
Though all about the past the series remains a strangely fresh concoction, shot with a delicacy that allows the viewer to see close textures and scenes within scenes within the larger composition.

Shaun Evans once again plays Detective Constable Endeavour Morse with conviction and quirk – one of those actors that is essentially watchable – in a foreshadowing of his older, bleaker self in the series with John Thaw.

It is fascinating to see modern sensibilities and filming techniques applied to an 'older' version of such a well-loved fictional world – especially in what is the 30th anniversary year of the original show.
No sign of Morse creator Colin Dexter in a cameo - or did I miss him?

Three more to go.