17 March 2012

Things has always had lofty ambitions, and through months of hard work and eyes-on-the-prize regimentation we’ve achieved quite a trove of treasures. This week’s Things is no slacker, pulling its non-gender-specific weight to bring you the re-invention of the bookmark, tales of fanatical football fans and dead sheep between the sheets AND a trip to Kew Gardens! Plus if you can’t make it to this excellent exhibition, we’ve got you sorted.

Dog Ear Pete Lewis

In today’s art art world just about anything can become a platform for curated work – but come on, would you have ever thought to turn a bookmark into a magazine? This micro-mag folds out into a readable page and folds up into a nifty bookmark. It’s a brilliantly innovative format (that takes its name from the unsightly habbit of folding page corners) and makes good use of a small space. Content is diverse and submission-based, you’ll find the ten best poems, drawings and graphics in print and the top 30 on their website.

The Palm House Sophie Elizabeth Hicks

And later in the week I had the pleasure of sitting at an open window lined with palm fronds, quietly contemplating slender leaves and the interplay of sun and shadow. All this thanks to Sophie Elizabeth Hicks, whose third year illustration project at Camberwell documents a “walk” through the Victorian Palm House at Kew Gardens. Lovely, lovely stuff.

Spiel Issue 3 Paul Gleeson and Dan Byrne

With sports reportage often confined to rehashing score-lines and industry drama at the back of your newspaper, its always a sweet relief to see someone tackle things from another angle. From the cover of Spiel magazine you’d probably never guess it was a football journal, and that’s exactly the king of approach they take to sports writing, whipping up a unique cocktail of photography, interviews and illustration that documents sport in both an overt and nuanced manner. With this issue’s focus on “football fandom”, Spiel makes for an accessible, attractive and informed read. Well played.

Odious Comparisons Ralph Rochester

A pebbly notebook cover opens along a red binding to reveal Odious Comparisons (or A Day in the Country), a book of verse and illustration. The verse is spoken by William, a “more-or-less poor” and “give-or-take old” poet who lives with his wife Flora. The illustrations are terse but colourful renderings of their life together in the countryside, a life that leaves William looking pretty happy and Flora a bit long in the face. But she gets him back in the end… you’ll see. An unexpectedly poignant and thoroughly jolly read.

John Wood and Paul Harrison Things That Happen Exhibition Catalogue Carroll/Fletcher

John Wood and Paul Harrison make great art. It’s in the Carroll/Fletcher gallery right now, in fact! Turns out there’s some pretty beautiful catalogues to go along with the show. Brimming with words, drawings, video stills and essays pulled from the exhibition, it plays a successful supporting role while being a bit of a star in its own right. Would probably look best on a rustic wood wooden table next to cup of strong coffee.

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