Monday, 9 January 2017

Entering the dytopsia

So its been a while. I wish I could say that my disappearance from the bloggersphere was due to me taking a holiday, but it wasn't, in fact, it was quite the opposite. Since our incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign ended on December 4th, I have done nothing but sit at my desk working. There has been very little time to paint. It has been a full time job overseeing a Kickstarter project like this. There are delivery boxes to be made up, slipboxes to be designed and edits to be carried out. I must have read/edited that book a hundred times. It's been hard work, and it still isn't over as I am intending to post the books this March. However, I will say that I have enjoyed every single minute of it. I also would like to thank you all for making the Leafscape book campaign such a success. 

Colour proofing the Leafscape book at the printers
Colour proofing the Leafscape book at the printers

Leafscape - making the book
Mocking up the pages on photoshop - here's a screen grab from my PC.

I admit I underestimated how well it would be received. I had no idea that all the books would sell out 28 days, before the Kickstarter campaign had even finished. Since then, I have received a number of emails from those of you who missed out asking if I would be willing to do another edition. You'll be delighted to know that after much planning out I have decided on another print run. This second edition book will be available in soft back and will feature at least four extra plates and some of my supporting material and are available to pre-order here.

Leafscape The Soundtrack:

Last week the completed soundtrack for the Leafscape album came in. Alongside the exhibition I have had a CD soundtrack composed featuring the environmental sounds I captured at the time I collected each leaf from each site. The idea behind this was to add a new dimension to botanical art so that it communicates the importance of our environment more poignantly in our modern day. My main interest has always been in showing the world how beautiful nature is in the most unexpected wayThe soundtrack has been composed by Derek Thompson (Hoodlum Priest). 

The journey the composition takes you on is our vision of a botanical dystopia; the natural world in a state of decay through interaction with the encroaching urban environment. Through a process of both precise and random digital manipulation, Derek has been able to intertwine place, time and space to create something that is both disconcerting and disorientating. Visitors to the Leafscape exhibition at Abbott and Holder will be able to listen to the soundtrack in situ and the MP3 is available to those who buy the Leafscape book.

To me, this soundtrack is exactly how I hear the world. It is how I hear its rhythm, its breathing. I see the tenderness in our decay - the pleasure and the pain of it. This soundtrack is about life as much as death. It is about the journey both philosophically (and physically in the sense that it documents a two year passage of my life between the ages of 30 and 32). It is also, how the world might be heard from the perspective of a leaf. A distorted Gothic nightmare. It is the terrifying jungle of our world.