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Bookshelf: Extraordinary set designer Anna Lomax shows us her top 5 reads

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Ever seen Anna Lomax’s creations? If you want to see some of the most exuberant, fun-infused set design you’ll maybe ever set your eyes on, you should check it out. Anna’s enthusiastic, colourful work has caught the attention of brands such as Topshop and Selfridges, and has made her the go-to girl for fantastically art directed music videos for the likes of Toddla T. So what’s on her bookshelf? Confetti? Ribbons? Sellotape? Probably, yes. But also some magnificent books…

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    Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane: The Folk Archive

Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane – The Folk Archive.

This is hands-down one of my most loved books. A celebration of all thing British made by ordinary folk; a mixture of traditions handed down from generation to generation to objects made in times of need or perhaps in response to a fleeting fashion or politically poignant moment.

I got this book while I was writing my dissertation for my MA. I was writing about collections and collectors creating a new sense of identity and, in turn, a personal culture thorough their collections. During this time I got sent on a road trip around the UK by Vauxhall cars to collect 2000 souvenirs from loads of holiday destinations. I made a point of trying to visit some of the weird and wonderful places and traditions written about in this book. It was around this time that all the ideas and themes behind my work really started to make sense to me.

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    Hockney Paints the Stage

Hockney Paints the Stage

Lauren Davies, who I used to run my old company Jiggery Pokery with, gave me this book. I love it so much and find myself looking at it a hell of a lot when I get stuck on a project. I love the scale the small illustrations get inflated to when they become stage sets. The sets are so playful and painterly. It feels as if none of the creativity and emotion is lost in the translation between the sketch into to the real-life set.

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    Calder’s Universe

 Calder’s Universe

My mum’s best friend gave me this book when I was about 11. I have lovingly looked at it so much that the cover’s fallen off! It’s a cracking book documenting Alexander Calder’s life and work. The bit I most loved, and still love, is about Calder’s Circus – a whole hand-made circus – each character is so beautifully made, all with their own individual personality and movement to match.
I love everything, from it’s content to it’s big scale and the way it used to literally fill my entire lap when I was little.

Here Calder performs his Circus  – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6jwnu8Izy0

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    Matisse: Chapelle du Rosaire

Matisse: Chapelle du Rosaire

This is one of my mum’s books, stolen when she wasn’t looking! It is a really tiny book about a chapel designed by Matisse in 1949-51 and was described by Matisse as his “masterpiece”. The most exciting pages in the book for me are those that document the robes he made for the priest, and the doors that were hand-carved into the most wonderful playful patterns. It’s really amazing to see Matisse’s work made into 3D.

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    Jean-Paul Goude

Jean-Paul Goude

Jean-Paul Goude is a constant source of inspiration for me. This is the only book I own about him but there are plenty more that I would like to add to the collection.  Known for his incredible pop culture photos of his muse and partner Grace Jones, I was first introduced to his work at uni by my friend Jess who told me of a guy who made all his own sets and costumes and then shot the work himself. Anyway, that’s where my obsession with his work started and God only knows if or when it will stop!

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    Anna Lomax’s Bookshelf

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Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She also runs our London listings site This At There, and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.