Linocuts Apr - June 2020
Linocut Book (2008)
Mill Road Stories Without Words
Privately published book, paperback, A5 landscape, 116 pages.
£15 direct from Sam Motherwell
This was the flier for the book launch on 6 Dec 2008 at the Mill Road Winter Fair.
See below a Flickr slide show of the images in the book, in a random order. In the book they are in geographic order working along Mill Road.
ABOUT THE PICTURES
This book is a distillation of some 40 years drawing on Mill Road, Cambridge. Linocuts require one to reduce an image to its essence – this is a book of pictures – not a history – not a geography – but full of stories. My first linocuts done in January 2007 were a discovery in getting to the essential, and at an exhibition in the annual Mill Road Winter Fair in December 2007 these prints proved sufficiently popular to warrant a book. The linocuts are based on real on-the-spot sketches (the quicker the better) and in a way they often ‘draw themselves’ rather than be the outcome of careful planning. Almost all the scenes can be seen today on a walk from the swimming pool on Donkey’s Common to the end of Mill Road and beyond to Burnside, which is the last vestige of a country lane. The location of each sketch is shown on the Map. Things are continually on the move in Mill Road, shops come and go, faces change, but the buzz of life persists in all its diversity.
I want to thank many friends I have made in the course of this journey, for their encouragement and helpful suggestions. James Hill, master printer of St. Barnabas Press for three great tips on linocutting: (sharp tools, the best ink, and a large roller); Bernard Walker of Gwydir St for countless conversions – a student of the overlooked everyday moments of life; Suzy Oakes whose Mill Road community efforts have been so inspiring; Abdul Arain for his wonderful Al-Amin stores; Roy Williams antiques dealer at Dales Brewery; Chris Williams art gallery; Allan Brigham for guided walks in Cambridge and Romsey history; Claire Bisdorff and John West; Café owners without number; Kymmoy; Arjuna; Bridget at Elitian printers; Jean and Tim of The Alternative Bookshop; Lenore of Books for Amnesty; … sorry I can’t mention everyone. And above all, my wife Pat, always full of ideas for this book, and encouraging, and who else could have thought of an All Day Tea for the book launch!
Technical Notes: The linocuts were on off-cuts from our bathroom floor, Chinese cutting tools, T.N. Lawrence Intaglio Ink, printed on a roller press at St. Barnabas Press. Two or three pictures are wood-cuts on MDF. Original size of prints varied from 9 x 5 cm to 30 x 21 cm, most were about 20 x 15 cm. The book was printed and bound in-house by Elitian printers on Mill Road.
Web sites of interest: http://www.mill-road.com/, http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/cemetery/index.htm, http://stbarnabaspress.com/, www.sammotherwell.com
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