Categories
EVENTS THOUGHTS ON BOOKS

The Natural Collection – Website and Event

The Natural Collection call only went up around 2 weeks ago but already the books that have arrived are in demand and will be travelling with me to a book club event at the University of Hertfordshire. Students there are currently undertaking a book module and a project centred around nature so it seems a perfect fit! All the books that have arrived before I leave on Tuesday 18th will come along for the ride and I will make sure I get some pictures to be posted here soon…

In the meantime, consider checking out the website in it’s infancy…

Categories
BOOKS NEWS THOUGHTS ON BOOKS

The Natural Collection

There are some fantastic photobook collections the world over – collections that focus on indie or handmade books, collections that are driven by rarity and monetary value, collections based on location and many based on specific events or happenings. The Photobook Club has never been and never had a collection, occasionally kind folks have sent books through to me and I have sought wherever possible to take them with me to Photobook Club events and talks but no more.

Paul Gaffney – We Make the Path by Walking

Now, I find more and more I have been asked to bring collections of books to events, Universities and so on – I respond by bringing my own collection but it is a young and sparse collection lacking curation and coherence. At the same time I have been thinking a great deal recently about a thematic collection, a collection that, while not seeking to be exhaustive, does seek to provide both broad and deep reading. A collection that can be visited in my home, a collection that will be viewable online and a collection that can travel in whole, or in parts, to different locations.

Lucas Foglia – A Natural Order

I figured such a theme would need to be narrow enough that it could near a completion of sorts but in reality this will never happen. I have chosen instead to openly begin a collection with a broad headline, which can then be shaped both by works submitted and interest in it’s contents. The theme chosen I believe speaks not only about photography and it’s history but also relates to the indie photobook movement, the interest in the generative artefact and a quest for a less hectic way of life.

The Natural Collection
– Photobooks, zines and papers that explore our relationship with nature and the natural landscape.

As mentioned above, this is broad, but will be shaped in time. As a set of books to offer a well known guide, I would consider the likes of John Gossage’s ‘The Pond‘, Lucas Foglia’s ‘A Natural Order‘, Ricardo Cases ‘Palomo al Aire‘, Ron Jude’s ‘Lick Creek line‘ and Oscar Tuazon’s ‘Leave me be‘.

The call

I would be grateful to anyone, established or otherwise (incl publishers) who would be willing to send works through to the collection, these works will be featured on the Photobook Club website, will be taken to various book club events and will be open to anyone willing to pop by for a cupa! The condition of the works is not of paramount importance so any misprints at publishing would be welcomed with open arms!

The Natural Collection
The Photobook Club
10 Granby Avenue
Harpenden
Hertfordshire
AL5 5QR
ENGLAND

Matt
matt@photobookclub.org

 

Categories
REFLECTION

Sally Mann’s ‘Immediate Family’ and the Physical landscape

One of the things I love about photobooks is that they can stay on your shelf and change over time so much so, that two readings of the same book can cause completely different reactions.

Lately I have found myself drawn back to books that work with the physical, natural landscape, a few of my favourites at the moment being Paula McCartney’s ‘Bird Watching‘ and Bernard Fuchs’ ‘Roads and Paths‘.

©SALLY MANN 'Fallen Child, 1989'

And so perhaps it is no surprise that in picking up ‘Immediate Family’ again for this month, one of the themes that resonated unlike before was the physical landscape and serene beauty of this idyllic setting. As a town-dwelling citizen I see (naively) only the ideals of this rural setting, the simple pleasure of collecting yard eggs and resting by the water.

Mann’s images really bring home this idea of living alongside the landscape when we see Jessie’s wild hair tangled up and becoming part of the foliage she stands in front of. Or where Emmet stands tall in the black water, only creating the slightest of alteration to the flow. This Virgina idyll also puts me in mind of Henry David Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ from which I have lifted a few quotes alongside Mann’s images.

– Matt

 

“In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society.

©SALLY MANN 'Yard Egss, 1991'

“As I sit at my window this summer afternoon, hawks are circling about my clearing; the tantivy of wild pigeons, flying by twos and threes athwart my view, or perching restless on the white-pine boughs behind my house, gives a voice to the air…

“Now that the cars are gone by and all the restless world with them, and the fishes in the pond no longer feel their rumbling, I am more alone than ever. For the rest of the afternoon, perhaps, my meditations are interrupted only by the faint rattle of a carriage or team along the distant highway.

©SALLY MANN 'The Alligator's Approach, 1988'

“While I enjoy the friendship of the seasons I trust that nothing can make life a burden to me. The gentle rain which waters my beans and keeps me in the house today is not drear and melancholy, but good for me too.

“On land only the grass and trees wave, but the water itself is rippled by the wind. I see where the breeze dashes accros it by the streaks or flakes of light. It is remarkable that we can look down on its surface. We shall, perhaps, look down thus on the surface of air at length, and mark where a still subtler spirit sweeps over it.

©SALLY MANN 'The Last Time Emmett Modeled Nude, 1987'