Things is back! After some good, hard reflection about how best to showcase the incredible selection of stuff that we receive in the It’s Nice That studio, we’ve decided to transform Things into a carefully curated monthly selection of the ten best art and design nuggets from the month. On that note then, here’s November!
Girls Don’t Do That
Girls Don’t Do That is the kind of zine that would have had the original Riot Grrrl set jumping for joy, shouting “look at that! It’s 2014 and they’re STILL proclaiming their independence via independent publishing! Looks like we did something right, eh?” Put together by a diverse selection of contributors, the not-for-profit publication finds the joy in making fun of societal expectations of women, for example, “girls don’t poop, have body hair, far, cut their toenails,” etc., whether that be via photography, illustration, poetry or original artwork. You can’t say fairer than that.
Tamsin Casswell: Exhibition Catalogue
“Her work takes as its premise that embroidery is a language and thoughtful at that,” the opening line of this catalogue to fine artist Tamsin Casswell’s recent London exhibition begins. Tamsin works predominantly with textiles and materials to explore the way we record our day to day lives in the fabrics around us. As a result, the book feels something like a collection – of swatches, delicately drawn sketches and photographs of structures – creating an overall aesthetic which is tactile and entirely familiar.
Martin Ransby: Palm Studies
Publications that do what they say on the tin – or in this instance, on the cover – are underrated. What’s wrong with a little clarity, eh? Palm Studies is “a series of inkjet prints based on imprints of palm trees collected as cyanotypes on a joinery in Thailand, July and August 2014,” and as such, it’s delightful straightforward in both aim and final product. Experimenting with various printing techniques to discover different effects, Palm Studies is a kind of abstract ode to Martin’s trip, and we’re more than happy to have been able to share it with him through the medium of such cool images.
Patrick Kyle: Amongst No Cauldrons
Patrick Kyle can do no wrong! Especially not if he continues to create illustration of this calibre. This time it’s a collection of caped figures keenly doing magic tricks, printed in a concertina by Valley Cruise Press, who have some pretty impressive taste, counting Will Bryant and Thomas Howes among their featured artists along Patrick.
Olivier Balez and Pierre Christin: Robert Moses, The Master Builder of New York City
If you’re after a graphic novel that will also teach you a thing or two you didn’t already know you could do far worse than Robert Moses, The Master Builder of New York City, the new book by Olivier Balez and Pierre Christin. Published by NoBrow, it tells the story of the architect behind New York’s skyline, “from the streets to the skyscraper, from Wall Street to the Long Island suburbs,” as the synopsis explains. It’s beautifully printed, and long-time comics artist Olivier Balez has done a wonderful job of bringing Pierre Christin’s words to life.
It wasn’t until my hunt for an email address to direct my thank-yous to that I realised Memorandum is in fact created by Sunspel, which is, in my opinion, a testament to the brand’s integrity and a respectably anonymity in this printed side-project. Created as a means of celebrating craft, community and nature, the pared-back journal “portrays five artisans working with their hands, explored the forgotten factories of England’s manufacturing glory and discovers how one drink came to symbolise a nation.” It also features an unusual but pleasantly oversized and glossy insert to present photographs of Derby. Overall, a gorgeous thing.
Guglielmo Rossi, Ben Campkin, Rebecca Ros: Urban Pamphleteer
Densely packed with information, Urban Pamphleteer does not immediately betray its contents, but fortunately for bewildered readers the synopsis explain that it is “a series of publications confronting key contemporary urban questions from diverse perspectives.” Drawing on the history of radical pamphleteering, the publication is printed cheaply at University College London and distributed for free to square up to various contemporary debates, while each issue is printed with a different spot colour and with a different typeface.
Louise Evans and Catherine Madden: Exchange
There’s something really charming about projects that demand the creation of a poem in response to an illustration and vice versa – like a conversation expressed by creative means rather than oral ones – and this sweet book Exchange ticks the box perfectly. Illustrations by designer Louise Evans are marked with circle, while poems by Catherine in response to Louise’s illustrations are marked with asterisks, to create a seemingly symbiotic relationship and a satisfyingly substantial collection of work.
Alessandro Furchino: Reminiscence of Summer
After a flock of first rate projects we don’t expect anything less than wonderful from photographer Alessandro Furchino these days, and Reminiscence of Summer is proof that we’ve no need to. It’s a simple publication, gathering up shots the Italian photographer took over the course of his Summer, but it’s delightful, too, especially looking back on the Sun from dingy December in London.
About the Author
Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 as an intern before joining full time as an Assistant Editor. Maisie left It’s Nice That in July 2015.