Saturday, 13 September 2008

can you hear the colours of autumn?

David Bellingham, Fresh Fruit + Tables, 2008
Fresh Fruit + Tables is a book of -- what d'you call'em: thought constructions maybe, or language drawings -- by the artist David Bellingham (who was recently featured in the V&A display Certain Trees). Bellingham is a kind of micro explorer of language, non-verbal signs and marks, his short trips yield specimens and anecdotes often witty, but rarely slick or slight.

Consider the 2-page spread (where the obliques are line or page breaks):
INTERIOR / an absence of most things // EXTERIOR / a presence of most things.

Or a little thing where the words MORNING and EVENING are handwritten to the same physical length, one above the other, two line-spaces apart. On the intervening lines, the letter O, between the first instance of letter N in each word, thus reading NOON vertically (I can't make the html here hold it). You can see these, and indeed download the whole book: Lots of the pieces are about how apparent opposites are not unlike in the same way. Quite a few are about mensuration (a long-time DB theme), especially, in this case, of time. They use type, drawing or writing (sometimes a mixture), and it would be interesting in each case to decide why. The combination of means, and tenor of the ideas, are enormously original I think.

Fresh Fruit & Tables was launched today Saturday 13 Sept. at The Changing Room, Stirling (Scotland) on the triple occasions of the Stirling Book Festival, the celebrations of 500 years of printing in Scotland, and an exhibition by David Bellingham. The book is being distributed free to selected libraries in the UK, a few of whom have been supplied with many copies so that individual readers can take away a copy for themselves. The only ones outside Scotland are in London: the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Poetry Library at the South Bank Centre. Come to the NAL during the month of September, and hopefully there will be a copy left for you.