Friday, 10 December 2010

Has He Thoughts Within His Head?

Here're the two pieces I produced for Stolen Space's Winter group show, 'Never Judge...?'


The first one is my re-imagining of the cover to Ted Hughes' 'The Iron Man', which I engraved into a chunk of iron (kindly chopped to size by my friend Ben) and is actually so heavy that it took one whole person (who later remarked on how surprisingly heavy the piece is) to install it into the gallery's readymade box frame.

The Iron Man was the first book with hardly any pictures and loads of words that I got out from Chesterfield Library, took home and read. I never forgot the book and as I got older it became synonymous to me with the Black Sabbath song of the same name. They both seem to capture a dark, industrial feeling of dread in the shadow of the central character’s towering figure, which I hoped to emulate in the engraving. I tried putting The Iron Man in the pose of the pink-suited guy from the Paranoid cover initially, but this seemed to degrade his 'metal-mystique' somewhat, so the Sabbath reference ended up in the form of the ‘S’ in Ted’s surname.

You can buy this intricately scratched-up hunk of metal from Stolen Space's Online Shop.. HERE.

Here's the other one..


The second piece I knocked up for the show is my take on a cover for Flann O'Brien's 'At Swim-Two-Birds', which I inked-out on some adhesive paper and stuck onto a bit of wood.

The book is a ‘Kaufmanesque’ masterpiece of meta-fiction, which was dreamed up way before Charlie Kaufman or any of the characters that he dreamed up were around to dream up any meta-fictional masterpieces. I actually preferred the relative simplicities of O’Brien’s ‘The Poor Mouth’ and ‘The Third Policeman’, but I wanted to play around with the Penguin book format and how a book with so many layers, and one which recognized its own existence, could display the elements of the cover interacting with themselves, whilst referencing the title and the publisher… Penguin ended up giving a nod to my depiction of their amphibious birds with a photo of the piece on their online coverage of the show HERE, so that was good n' all.

You can check out this decorative piece of wood in the Stolen Space Online Shop.. HERE..

..and the show (which is well worth checking out in real life if you get the chance) is on 'til the 19th of December at Stolen Space (round the corner from Rough Trade East)

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