Landscape and Language

Being in South Kensington, I thought I should call in on the small, but excellent exhibition, Landscape and Language, in the cases outside the National Art Library, about the way landscape, exploration, and topography have been reflected in, and inspired, artists’ books.

It begins with an early work by Richard Long – A Day’s Walk Past the Standing Stones of Penwith Peninsula, produced by the Coracle Press for Anthony d’Offay in 1990:-

Hamish Fulton was the other pioneer of the genre, with Twilight Horizons (1983) also produced by Coracle Press:-

Ian Hamilton Finlay had already collaborated with Simon Cutts who ran Coracle Press in a tiny book, Straks, published by Finlay in 1973:-

I liked the little self-published book by Stephen Willats documenting a walk in Roydon:-

Then, in a case all by itself, is Romilly Saumarez Smith, Newfoundland, a book of such refined photography (Verdi Yahooda), typography (Nicola Barnacle and Dan Edwards), layout and design, including anagrams by Gavin de Fiddli and M.M. Hamar Ritz that I am pleased to see it in such company:-



We started in Lucie Gledhill’s room, where she has collaborated with Kasia Wozniak, a photographer, who uses wet plate collodion-

We liked the work of Ikuko Iwamoto, a ceramic artist represented by Cavaliero Finn:-

Nina Bukvik:-

Rie Taniguchi:-

Last, the magnolia chandelier by Christopher and Nicola Cox:-


Fiona MacCarthy

I’m really sad to read on Twitter of the death of Fiona MacCarthy – a wonderful, charming, life-enhancing writer and gregarious friend, who started life as a deb (see The Last Curtsey), then went to Oxford, worked as the design correspondent of the Guardian in the 1960s, married David Mellor, moved to Sheffield and, in 1989, published her startling and revelatory biography of Eric Gill, based on love of the subject and archival research. This was followed by William Morris in 1994, which won the Wolfson History Prize, Stanley Spencer in 1997, Byron in 2002 (she did a small exhibition about Byron at the NPG), Burne-Jones in 2012 and, most recently, Walter Gropius. All her books were enlivened by her deep interest in people and their foibles and a passionate engagement in the art and practice of design. So sad to lose her.