It is safe to say that Ami Evelyn Hughes’ choice of books reflect her interests, providing a glimpse into where inspiration is derived for Gut. The magazine explores “art, culture, history, eroticism and magic, with a European (and particularly German) focus” – all of which are touched on within her Bookshelf.
You can find extremely niche pornography, an ode to Paul McCarthy, and a book containing all you could ever need to know about witchcraft. One thing that is abundantly clear though is that Ami’s choices are not just props to look pretty on a bookshelf – and that’s not just because she doesn’t use one. These books are most definitely used, and enjoyed, with the wear and tear and sticky note annotations to show for it.
You don’t need to hear us try and explain them though, as she’s very kindly done that for you...
The Encyclopaedia of Witchcraft and Demonology
Magick books are so fascinating, and along with eroticism, have been one of the two main recurring themes within my work over the last decade – this means I obviously research and read up on it a lot. I have many books on specifically Scottish pagan traditions and witches. This book is very well written and a great book for anyone who’s new to paganism and witchcraft/demonology. I have highlighted a favourite image from inside the book, the painting of a pact being made to the Devil by Francisco Goya, 1799.
Paul McCarthy, revised and expanded edition
Anyone who knows anything about Gut/me (I am Gut) knows that Paul is my ultimate inspiration, and that I share many loves and themes within his and my own work. I love Christmas, I love fat hairy tummies, I love mayonnaise jars and elfs, large fake bulbous noses, dripping sploshing liquids and big fairytale shoes. I have many of his books, but this one is a really well made and brilliant summary of the artist and how he works from sketches to finalised large scale works. Gut 6 will be a large hardback book themed “Christmas and other stupid traditions.” Paul is in the current issue and we are in talks about doing something more collaborative together for the book. Watch this space.
Darkside 1: Photographic Desire and Sexuality Photographed
I found this book in Oxfam in west London and it was the best find ever. It’s full of nearly all my favourite artists and many I also hadn’t known before. I love erotic imagery within art – it’s usually dark, powerful and the rawness in photographers such as Boris Mikhailov and Peter Joel Witkin's works are the kind of work that have always inspired me the most. Real-life inspires me the most.
Forced Womanhood: Issue 42.
Niche porn magazines are my biggest inspiration, they are so beautifully laid out and put together. The copy is always so incredibly funny or heartwarming, and usually terribly colloquial to a tiny northern English town or something. I especially love 70s, 80s and 90s ones with pre-computer layouts – the old typography and layouts are just incredibly exciting to me. If you know of Gut and my artworks already then you know that analogue ways to do things and paper collages are two of my main loves and inspirations. This magazine is still going and the airbrushed works of the girls are so goddamn good, I keep meaning to contact the magazine to find out who does them and commission some for Gut.
Nest Magazine, Fall 2002
This is an interiors magazine made in the 90s. I have always had a big obsession with my room and old big houses and castles and hoarders homes. I loved strange interiors and as a kid, I collected World of Interiors magazine, which was the most avant-garde interiors publication I could access in the midlands. I found this gem at Claire De Rouen books, and I’m searching for other issues as I love the editing and design. It’s got a mix of strange handmade beds, super glamorous marble entrance hallways, tiny bunk beds belonging to marines on submarines and adult baby's houses fully equipped for this fetish.
About the Author
Charlie joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in December 2019. He has previously worked at Monocle 24, and The Times following an MA in International Journalism at City University. If you have any ideas for stories and work to be featured then get in touch.