Alongside Bry we’ve got regular contributor Jez Burrows looking back on the last 12 months.
Jez’s image from 2009, “I went to Krakow at the start of March. It was unfathomably cold and beautiful, and there were two very specific moments which kept me inspired all year. The first was standing in the epic Wawel Hill courtyard in the pouring rain, and the second (pictured) was walking around the Jagiellonian University, which is where Copernicus studied, among others. I can’t begin to describe how incredible it was.”
Mark out of 9 for 2009?
I’d give it a high 7 to a low 8. Found some studio space, moved to a lovely new flat, bewilderingly managed to stay in work, and had plenty of small amazing moments in between (finally publishing We Are The Friction, the End Of The Road festival, and a handful of incredible shows seen with old friends at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe).
Best new discovery?
Tim Key, he’s a poet and comedian – you might know him from Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe – and is quite fantastic. We saw his solo show and a play named Party that he was a part of – both were outstanding. He also just put out a very handsome book with the Invisible Dot with an enormous title which I recommend heartily.
Two words: long johns. Showing winter weather what’s what.
What were you doing this time last year?
Getting fairly tired of working at home, working in my pyjamas until late-afternoon. Not a good look. Luckily I found studio space early this year and all is well.
What broke? How did you fix it?
It wasn’t ‘broke’ strictly, but when I went back to South Devon for the weekend a couple months ago, I helped a lamb out of a fence it was stuck in. I am not joking. It was immediately more rewarding than most other things that happened this year. Also the most ridiculously quaint.
What piece of work really stood out for you?
A toss-up between two things, both quite recent. Firstly, Stefan Nadelman’s Ramona Falls video for I Say Fever totally blew me away, in as much as I now find it totally inseparable from an already incredible song. I can’t hear the chorus without seeing that gun-toting eagle with the mean strut. Secondly, everything that Luke Pearson is doing. He’s a final year illustrator at Loughborough University and he’s just doing some fantastic work. Check out his entry for this year’s Guardian short story competition here.
Book: I’ve had no time to read anything published this year – they just go to the bottom of my pile of books to be read. I’m excited to eventually get into Joe Meno’s The Great Perhaps and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, but my favourite book read this year is one I’ve been meaning to read for an age – Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I maybe prefer The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, but this was still super addictive. Album: Definitely can’t do just one – maybe top three at a stretch. In no order: DM Stith’s Heavy Ghost, Ramona Falls’ Intuit, and David Bazan’s Curse Your Branches. Film: Too many choices! Milk was very moving, O’Horten was totally unexpected and beautifully scored, In The Loop and An Education were both fantastic written and cast (though only the former capitalised on some truly inspired swearing). Oh, and Moon! And The Brothers Bloom! And Away We Go! Sorry, I’m pretty bad at this.
Did you get Swine Flu?
Yes! The night before Christmas Eve. I’m only just recovering.
What are you going to miss about 2009 and what are you looking forward to in 2010?
Can’t think of anything year-specific I’ll miss. Looking forward to plenty though! The new Spoon record, Transference; some exciting new work prospects; the Pavement-curated ATP in May; a couple new Sing Statistics projects to follow up We Are The Friction… oh, and the final season of Lost. Because I am weak and easily led.