Originally, Gut founders artists Ami Evelyn Hughes and Georgia Kemball tell It’s Nice That, the second issue of the magazine was meant to be published online – until founder of independent publisher Ditto, local hero Ben Freeman stepped in.
Now, issue two is “over double the size” at 144 pages, dwarfing issue one’s “small-zine like magazine”, which ran to a third of the pagination of its successor. “We had to sell it for too much as we had no backing,” Ami says of Gut’s first issue. “So this time it has been able to reach its potential thanks to Ben. It’s massive and really well printed and £10.”
The Gut logo is a (straight out the 15th Century) illustration of the Aztec filth goddess Tlazolteotl straddling her broomstick naked, so it’s fitting that the magazine’s second issue is all about magic. “This is reflected in every single aspect. The front cover is a wizard’s hat and the inside cover is a stanky ‘wizard’ man with a tarantula in his beard,” Ami says. Among the issue’s otherworldly features is "The Old Man and the Storr”, a story inspired by Scottish folklore and witchcraft, shot by photographer Raphael Bliss on a remote piece of landscape of Skye. “We looked up all the witchcraft and superstitions of Scotland and went there right up to the Isle of Skye in the snow and the edges of mountains in the freezing cold with Raphael and our friend Jay Wright who was living in Glasgow at the time.”
Elsewhere, issue two of Gut profiles “some new faces from the contemporary art scene” including Jack Felgate and Lucas Dillon, plus work from contributors including Claire Barrow, Joyce NG, Leonn Ward, Oskar Proctor, Theo Cottle, Jessica Taylor, Joshua Gordon and Jess Maybury. Gut also commissioned filmmaker and photographer Saskia Dixie to create a film for the issue, which will be screened at the issue’s launch night at Ditto. The magic theme runs through the magazine’s design, with “medieval fonts and text laid out like old books. We have wayward toads on certain pages from Google images, and there’s a feature on woodcuts depicting witchcraft from the 15th and 16th Centuries.”
Next up for the Gut girls will be a food-themed issue which, if the sploshing in issue one is anything to go by, will be fabulously filthy. In the mean time, Ami and Georgia are looking to make further inroads into the physical marketplace with “a lot of exciting merch… and an antiques and curios section going up in our shop!”
Gut will launch on Monday 31 October at Ditto Press, London, 7-9pm. The magazine will be available to purchase at the launch or through the website.