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Photobooks as art and performance
Every book's binding should be complementary to its content but I am also interested in engaging the reader in a more active sense than simply turning the pages. Where appropriate I make the book into a performance or a puzzle.
Commercially produced books have to work within the limitations of the mechanical printing and binding processes available, but I produce hand-made photobooks in limited quantities in my bindery. This gives me a greater range of materials and techniques to play with and explore the book as a means of self-expression.
12 black & white images of Korean dancers moving to the beat of their drums. Opening the book is best done with a spiral action and, like any dance, requires a bit of practice.
100mm square, 9mm thick. Gloss inkjet paper.
The Ring of Brodgar in Orkney, Scotland, originally had sixty standing stones, hence the title of this book, Original(ly) Six(ty). Today there is only visual evidence for 36 stones, the number of images included in this book. Although impressive in any light, the Ring takes on a mysterious character at dusk or by moonlight and it is this dual character I wanted to elicit in this book: the individual pictures were taken in colour and in daylight but the book is designed to be viewed either in direct sunlight or in the dark by the light of a single candle or bulb. The light casts shadows of the stones outwards onto the floor from the ring of images.
100mm x 110mm x 12mm closed, approx. 1.2m diameter when opened. Transluscent polypropylene case, inkjet film pages.
Memory is a fickle thing at the best of times but as we get older it becomes even less reliable. In this book I tell the story of the decline in memory and other faculties of my (fictional) Aunt Bunty. I use visual metaphors in the photographs and, in the letters, an amalgam of comments I have received from elderly relatives about growing old, two of which are in declining handwriting while the third and final letter is transcribed from the almost illegible original. The title not only refers to Aunt Bunty's declining memory but to the way society treats the elderly and mentally incapacitated.
185W x 235H x 10mm
This is a concertina book with a difference: the images are hinged in such a way that the viewer needs to perform a small dance with their hands to open it. A spiral action is best and needs a little practice, but then, don't most dances?
The images of this book are printed on film and are designed to project onto the floor from a point source of light. The top image is by sunlight, the bottom shows the ring by torchlight. The images become animated when a candle or bare torch bulb is used in the hand or mounted on a spring.
Metaphor and fictional story-telling are used to relate the declining physical and metal abilities that often accompany old age. 2 paper types and sizes are used: a smaller, flimsy 60g paper for the letters and a full-size 170g matt inkjet paper for the images. The cover is in burgundy leather-grained paper and grey buckram for an old-fashioned look. The end papers imply measurement but of time rather than distance. The pictures are from a remote area of the Scottish highlands, including an abandoned cottage where the ghosts of the dead seem to persist.
Bespoke and limited-edition photobooks
A book gives a photographer a different voice compared with the single image. The sequence and juxtaposition of images, the appearance of the binding, the feel of the paper and even its smell contribute to both the physical, emotional and intellectual experience that is a well-designed book.
All of the binding techniques I use result in a lay-flat book.
To purchase any of these books please contact me.
35 black & white images of mexicans going about their daily business. Although digitally originated, the book is styled as if it were a strip of film, with images the size of roll film contact prints. An accordion-style book with wrap-around board covers printed single-sided. Archival printing and construction. Unlimited edition: £25+postage
The unique shape of every distillery's stills helps give each Scotch whisky its distinctive flavour. This is a single-signature sewn book with card cover and reinforcing cloth on the spine. Title page and 19 black & white images of different stills.
Archival printing and construction. 150 x 210mm. Unlimited edition: £15+postage
Port Royal in Nova Scotia, Canada, is one of the oldest European settlements in North America and has been reconstructed from a copy of the original plans. The book has a debossed cover image, an introduction and 23 black & white images. The binding is a quarter-joint design with board covers finished with black bookcloth over cover and spine.
Archival printing and construction. 210 x 210mm. Limited edition of 25: £45+postage
The oldest yew trees in Kingley Vale have acquired a brooding sombre character that is captured in the 10 black & white panoramic images in this book. The prints are on heavy-weight matt art paper and the covers are heavy hand-made rag paper. The construction is entirely sewn with the thread very visible and penetrating the images so that the book and pictures become as one.
Archival printing and construction. 210 x 165mm. Limited edition of 25: £95+postage.
2014 was an early spring in the UK and the bluebell woods were alive with colour weeks before normal. This book follows the light on the woodland floor from pre-dawn to post-dusk from a single camera position. The 12 prints are on heavy-weight matt art paper and the covers are heavy hand-made rag paper. The construction is entirely sewn with the thread very visible and penetrating the images so that the book and pictures become as one.
Archival printing and construction. 210 x 150mm. Limited edition of 25: £95+postage.
The exuberance of tulips is celebrated in this large format book.
Archival printing and construction. 16 images 320mm square with torn edges on 3 sides. overall 380mm square. The case is yellow bookcloth over board with a linocut on front. Hand-made endpapers. Limited edition of 5: £450+postage.
This concertina book matches the raw street-photo style of the images, with the feel of a 35mm film just taken from the developing reel. Each image is the same size as a 6x6cm contact print.
This single-section card-covered book matches the no-nonsense subject of the images, with the feel of respect for the incidentally beautiful stills of the scotch whisky industry.
This book has a plain black bookcloth cover with a debossed image on the front. The front endpaper is a copy of a map from the time of the original French settlement dated 1613 and the rear endpaper shows a later map dated 1745. All images are archivally printed using Epson K3 ink set on Canson Rag 220g paper.
The old yews of Kingley Vale form a dark canopy year-round. Little grows in their shadow and their somber twisted nature is reflected in the low-key printing of the images in this book. All printing and binding uses archival materials and the stitches deliberately penetrate the photographs to make the images and binding intimately connected.
An English bluebell wood in spring is a magical place. This book follows the light in just such a woodland from pre-dawn to post-dusk. All printing and binding uses archival materials and the stitches deliberately penetrate the photographs to make the images and binding intimately connected.
The exuberance of tulips! 16 photographs on 220g paper. All materials are archival quality
organised by theme.
I am interested in the unregarded and discarded. I look for juxtapositions: these may be similar or clashing colours, echoing shapes or spaces-and-voids. I also look for metaphors to the human condition.Lone Cone, Colour
Port Royal was a small fur trading settlement on the Annapolis River, Nova Scotia, Canada. The original habitation was established in 1609 but the site was lost until the 1930s. The buildings were reconstructed between 1939 and 1941 following the discovery in France of a set of duplicate plans for the original settlement.History, Architecture, Black and White
This series derives from margarine and Philadelphia cheese, the materials used in the photographs. All the images are high-key and you will need a good monitor to see the subtle tones.Photography, Still-life, black and white
Roberto Burle-Marx was a Brazilian artist and designer whose designs are iconic and have influenced subsequent generations of garden designers. These images show some of his public and private commissions.Design, Gardens, Colour
These photographs concentrate on the work of Luis Barragán, but other gardens and designers are also included. This is not an exhaustive study of all the gardens of Mexico, but concentrates around Mexico City and areas a few hundred kilometers north of the city.Design, Gardens, Colour
These panoramic photographs are dark to reflect the gloom surrounding the oldest yew trees in Kingley Vale, West Sussex, UK.Landscape, Trees, Black & White
Proin gravida nibh vel velit auctor aliquet. Aenean sollicitudin, lorem quis bibendum auctor, nisi elit consequat ipsum, nec sagittis sem nibh id elit.Branding, Web Design
Proin gravida nibh vel velit auctor aliquet. Aenean sollicitudin, lorem quis bibendum auctor, nisi elit consequat ipsum, nec sagittis sem nibh id elit.Photography
Miscellaneous photographic information
I've archived information here that some photographers and book makers might be interested in.
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Malcolm's eye is constantly being drawn to ironic, dissonant or simply wacky juxtapositions. This vision together with a fascination for semi-abstract forms has resulted in several long-running projects as well as short, quick series of images. This makes Malcolm a truly original photographer whose work is fun, deft, often humorous and simultaneously thought-provoking in its layered depth-of-meaning.
He finds the single image rather restricting and prefers to develop a narrative using series of photographs that are assembled into hand-made unique or short-run books. Malcolm is interested in the book-as-performance, either by encouraging interaction by the reader or as a performance to an audience. He is also interested in going beyond the right-angle by making books in shapes other than 90°, and incorporating non-linearities in books that allow readers to take tangents to the main flow of the book.
Malcolm cites the writers Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett as his two biggest photographic influences, claiming that it is not where you look but the way you see that is important.