The publishing company run by myself and poet MW Bewick, Dunlin Press, has just released a small pamphletA Study of a Long-Lived Magma Ocean on A Young Moon. We thought this new book presented a great opportunity to use my new gallery space as a way of making the book ‘bigger’ with an accompanying art installation.
This 36-page pamphlet is a collaboration with poet MW Bewick and me. The latest project from our creative partnership showcases asemic poetry pieces by me and a long form poem by Bewick.
The first edition of fifty is individually numbered and comes with a signed artist postcard.
We were so taken with the concept of the pamphlet – of life and movement in all kinds of landscapes and locations. We were inspired for the project to have a life and presence beyond the book.
I took the asemic poetry pieces I created for the book and made them large scale. I was inspired by mark-making and wordless written language, but the large pieces were also influenced by modernist stained glass window designs and religious scrolls.
We wanted the new book and art installation to be a full experience. So MW Bewick created a soundtrack, available on Band Camp to accompany the piece. I also created some ceramic relics for the project.
You can buy the book at the Dunlin Press shop, you can download MW Bewick’s Young Moon soundtrack at the Dunlin Press Band Camp page. And if you’d like to see the show then please get in touch. Viewings are currently available by appointment.
The Orphaned Spaces is a rumination on life and loss through the prism of liminal spaces – derelict land, brownfield sites, edgelands – caught between moments of dilapidation and regeneration.
The Orphaned Spaces project was meant to be a small artistic endeavour. Our original idea for The Orphaned Spaces was to have a brown paper bag containing fragments of writing, the odd drawing and some landscape photography, all loosely themed around ‘waste ground’. About a month in however, it had already started to take on a life of its own. As is the way of things, it escalated into something bigger, encompassing a 148-page book and handmade book box set.
The Orphaned Spaces features exquisite words and visceral landscape imagery from MW Bewick and my quick brush sketches that I spoke about in this previous post. Both the book and the box set also include fine line botanical and insect studies in black and white (see below), ikebana-inspired still life plant photography plus wild flower pressings, all created by me.
The black and white studies were created with fineliner pigment ink pens.
I’m really pleased with the botanical photography aspect of the book – you can read more about it here
I’m also delighted with the way my wildflower pressings came out. I used to press wild flowers and plants with my mum when I was kid, so I wanted this aspect to be in the book as I felt it needed a child-like, playful aspect to it. Actually as it turned out I think in some ways these illustrative elements are the most plaintive and poignant images of the publication – they are particularly effective as the archival prints featured in the box set but that’s worthy of another post.
This is the shop for Ella Johnston. Here you can buy original artwork, prints, stationery and homewares from my archive. Dismiss