{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for October, 2009


Clouzot’s towering inferno

Clouzot’s towering inferno | A film called Hell.

Posted in {film}, {noted} | Comments Off


A playlist for Halloween: Voodoo!


It’s become a tradition here to post a playlist for Halloween so here’s the one for this year, a collection of favourite “voodoo” music. Most are these pieces have as much to do with real voodoo as Bewitched does with real witchcraft but I like the atmospheres of Voodoo Exotica they evoke. Voodoo Drums in […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {occult} | 6 comments »


The Evil Orchid Bookplate Contest


Bookplate by Denis Kostromitin. Following the recent postings of covers and illustrations from Der Orchideengarten, Will at A Journey Round My Skull posts the results of his Evil Orchid Bookplate Contest which encouraged illustrators to create an Orchideengarten-styled bookplate design. You can see the winner and many other splendid entries on his pages. I fully […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {fantasy}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | Comments Off


The Watcher and Other Weird Stories by J. Sheridan Le Fanu


Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1814–1873) has long been a favourite of mine since I first discovered his weird tales in ghost story collections, still the place you’re most likely to find his work. His ghost stories are frequently superior to the more celebrated MR James (who edited a Le Fanu collection), they’re less […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {television} | 2 comments »


Der Orchideengarten illustrated


Halloween approaches and as a precursor it’s a great pleasure to be able to post a selection of interior illustrations from Der Orchideengarten, courtesy of Will at A Journey Round My Skull. Der Orchideengarten was a German magazine of weird fiction which ran for 51 issues from 1919 to 1921 and whose existence today is […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {fantasy}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | 6 comments »


Equus and the Executionist


I wrote about Peter Shaffer’s fascinating play, Equus, in September last year, and in passing touched on the horse and Mari Lwyd-inspired paintings of Clive Hicks-Jenkins which seemed to complement the play’s themes of sexuality and passionate obsession. Callum James had been having similar thoughts about Clive’s art and urged his friends at The Old […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {photography}, {theatre}, {typography} | 2 comments »


The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art


Skull Vision by Michael Ayrton (1943). The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art: great title for an exhibition, a shame that it’s all the way down in Cornwall at Tate St Ives. This group exhibition takes its title from the infamous 1962 book by St Ives artist Sven Berlin. It will explore the […]

Posted in {art}, {occult}, {painting}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »


Orson Welles: The most glorious film failure of them all

Orson Welles: The most glorious film failure of them all | David Thomson on why Welles still fascinates.

Posted in {film}, {noted} | 1 comment »


Through the Wonderwall


It’s taken me years but the recent obsession with UK psychedelia led me to finally watch Joe Massot’s piece of cinematic fluff from 1968, Wonderwall, a film distinguished primarily for its score by George Harrison (with Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton playing pseudonymously), and its title which was swiped years later by a bunch of […]

Posted in {art}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 5 comments »


Booklife by Jeff VanderMeer


Yet another of the titles I’ve been working on this year—yes, it’s been a very busy time—Booklife took several months of back and forth on the part of author, editor and designer before we had something that everyone was happy with. Offering timely advice in an era when the burden of production and publicity frequently […]

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Continuing a rather psychedelic week, Eyecandy is another of those groovy web toys, this time putting you inside a kaleidoscopic sphere of coloured circles whose parameters you can change with sliding controls. Fun to mess with when the right music is playing. And while we’re on the subject, my new calendar has been selling very […]

Posted in {psychedelia}, {technology} | Comments Off


The art of Robert Sherer


American Martyr. The Sebastian-esque piece above is a pyrograph by American artist Robert Sherer. Pyrographs—pictures burned onto wood—aren’t very common here but are a fixture of craft classes at US summer camps. Sherer adopts the medium to subvert the wholesome orthodoxies of American life, that side of America which persistently stigmatises minorities as “other”, and […]

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Haeckel fractals


In which Ernst Haeckel’s Art Forms in Nature are given the Mandelbrot treatment. The example above is one of a number of variations created using the splendid Gorgon-headed Starfish, a creature I’ve messed with myself a couple of times. These fractal images have been created by the Subblue people using their Fractal Explorer plug-in for […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {science}, {technology} | 6 comments »


Gays are being attacked – but we’re holding hands, heads held high

Gays are being attacked – but we’re holding hands, heads held high

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The Red Book by Carl Jung


This month is a major one in book publishing as Carl Jung’s magnum opus The Red Book, or Liber Novus, which has remained unpublished for 80 years, is issued in a facsimile edition. Selections of pages have been turning up in reviews and online previews which easily whet the appetite. In his late 30s, Jung […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {occult} | 7 comments »


Psychedelic Wonderland: the 2010 calendar


So I had a bright idea at the end of September… Instead of rehashing old work for a CafePress calendar design, I thought I’d try something new. I hadn’t done any artwork for myself all year, everything I’d been working on was a commission of some sort. In addition to that, I’d spent a large […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {psychedelia}, {work} | 25 comments »


Album cover postage stamps


top row: The Division Bell by Pink Floyd; A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay. bottom row: London Calling by The Clash; Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. The Royal Mail follows its series of British Design Classics postage stamps with a series dedicated to what they call “classic” album covers. The design classics […]

Posted in {design}, {music} | 7 comments »


Emil Cadoo


Untitled (1963). One of a small number of pictures from a recent exhibition of work by American photographer Emil Cadoo (1926–2002) whose nude studies and often homoerotic themes were controversial in America of the Fifties and Sixties but welcomed in France, as was often the case at that time. In April 1964, all 21,000 copies […]

Posted in {books}, {gay}, {magazines}, {photography} | 1 comment »


Jaipur peacocks


…or Indian palaces have the best doorways. These are from the City Palace, Jaipur, also home to what is claimed to be the world’s largest silver object. Previously on { feuilleton } • Jaipur Observatory panoramas • The Jantar Mantar

Posted in {architecture}, {design} | Comments Off


Short films by Sergei Parajanov


Hakob Hovnatanyan (1967). I’ve been enthusing for years about the unique films of Sergei Parajanov (1924–1990), usually in vain since his work hasn’t always been easy to see and is (for now) poorly served by DVD. His two masterworks, Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (1964) and The Colour of Pomegranates (1968), have both been issued […]

Posted in {film} | 2 comments »




Both issues of Wyndham Lewis’s avant garde art and literature journal can be found in a collection of similar publications from the Modernist years at Brown University here and here. I’ve always liked the bold graphics of Lewis and his fellow Vorticists, and BLAST 2, “the War Number”, is especially good in that regard. The […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {magazines}, {painting}, {sculpture} | Comments Off


The first action heroine

The first action heroine | Ellen Ripley and Alien, 30 years on.

Posted in {film}, {horror}, {noted}, {science fiction} | Comments Off


Mervyn Peake at Maison d’Ailleurs


I should have mentioned this a lot sooner considering the museum sent me a copy of the exhibition prospectus. Maison d’Ailleurs is the Museum of Science Fiction, Utopia and Extraordinary Journeys in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, and their current exhibition is Lines of Flight—Mervyn Peake, the Illustrated Work. Yverdon-les-Bains is too out of the way for most […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 5 comments »


Charles Robinson’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


As you might expect, the Internet Archive has a lot of Alice in Wonderland adaptations, including a silent film version whose poor picture quality makes any attempt to watch it a chore. Among the many books in their collection one of the best is this illustrated edition from 1907 by Charles Robinson, brother of the […]

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Coming Out Day


National Coming Out Day is a gay awareness day which has been observed in America since 1988, and is now something of an international event if “the world” can mean the USA and a handful of European countries. With typical contrariness, the UK’s Coming Out Day is a day later on October 12th. The Outer […]

Posted in {design}, {gay}, {work} | 3 comments »


One nation under a Moog

One nation under a Moog | Synth Britannia.

Posted in {electronica}, {music}, {noted}, {technology} | Comments Off


Humpty Dumpty variations


Humpty Dumpty by EB Thurstan (1930). A preoccupation of the past couple of weeks has been Lewis Carroll’s Alice books as I’ve been working on an Alice in Wonderland project which I’ll unveil shortly. Looking around at some of the numerous visual interpretations of the stories I came across two portfolios I hadn’t seen before […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {work} | 9 comments »


Technology, then and now


A recent book purchase was A Century of Punch (1956), a weighty collection of drawings from the humour magazine edited by RE Williams. While much of the comedy is now very dated, many of the illustrations and cartoons yield other pleasures, not least by being a fascinating snapshot of the times and their attitudes. Some […]

Posted in {art}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {technology} | 2 comments »


Jeppe Hein’s mirror labyrinth


Follow Me by Jeppe Hein. Photo by Jamie Woodley. More mirror art. Yes, I really like this kind of thing, and this particular example, Follow Me by Danish artist Jeppe Hein, looks especially fine with the sunlight and trees reflected from its panels. Hein’s labyrinth is a new and permanent installation in the grounds of […]

Posted in {art}, {sculpture} | 3 comments »




{ feuilleton } is taking a short break. As usual, you’re encouraged to browse the archives.

Posted in {miscellaneous} | 3 comments »


Bridget Riley Flashback


Movement in Squares (1961). Continuing the Sixties theme, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool has an exhibition running whose title, Bridget Riley Flashback, alludes to the connection between Riley’s vibrant Op Art and the psychotropic concerns of the decade which brought her to the world’s attention. Riley’s works nearly always look very clean and mechanical […]

Posted in {art}, {painting} | 1 comment »


Michael English, 1941–2009


left: The Soft Machine Turns On (1967); right: UFO Coming (1967). This was a bitter blow coming at a time when I’ve been working on something inspired in part by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, the 1960s design duo comprised of Michael English and Nigel Waymouth. The two artists, together with associate Martin Sharp, are […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 3 comments »


The art of Raphaël Freida


Illustrations by Raphaël Freida for a 1931 edition of Thaïs by Anatole France. I hadn’t come across Freida before and it’s impossible to say more about him or his work, information being frustratingly scant. The site where these are from has other editions of the same book illustrated by Georges Rochegrosse and Frank C Papé. […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | 10 comments »


Philip Pullman ranked second on US banned books list

Philip Pullman ranked second on US banned books list

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {noted}, {politics}, {religion} | 1 comment »


Luke Jerram’s Glass Microbiology


Large E-Coli. Or art as virus…. Just because micro-organisms can make us seriously ill doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful. Luke Jerram‘s glass renderings of some of the most deadly examples are on display at the Smithfield Gallery, London, until October 3rd. The sculptures were designed in consultation with virologists from the University of Bristol […]

Posted in {art}, {science}, {sculpture} | 3 comments »







“feed your head”