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


 

Paul Laffoley, 1940–2015

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Alchemy: The Telnomic Process of the Universe (1973).

Another week, another incomparable artist gone. This small selection of Laffoley’s unique art and sculpture manages to combine references to (among other things) alchemy, William Blake, Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, HP Lovecraft, Mark of the Vampire, and Night of the Demon. And this is only a fraction of his work. Richard Metzger has a memorial post at Dangerous Minds together with more paintings and some video links. There’s more at the official website and Kent Fine Art. It’s good to read that the University of Chicago Press will be publishing The Essential Paul Laffoley in March, 2016.

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The Death and Life of Monsieur Sebastian Melmoth: Au Théâtre du Grand Guignol (2001–2003).

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The Solitron (1997).

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The art of Neil Dallas Brown, 1938–2003

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Apocalypse (Homage to Tangerine Dream) (1981).

It’s not every day you find a painting dedicated to the doyens of German electronica. This and other works by Scottish artist Neil Douglas Brown are in public galleries in Britain which means they’re also online at the BBC’s Your Paintings site. The pictures that combine nebulous figures, blank backgrounds and lines/arrows show an obvious Francis Bacon influence but that’s no bad thing, and Brown isn’t the only artist to explore this territory. There’s more of his work at the official website.

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The Indictment (1976–77).

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Fallen Man (1977).

 


Weekend links 284

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Les Hanel I by Pierre Molinier. There’s more at The Forbidden Photo-Collages of Pierre Molinier.

• Western anti-hero Josiah Hedges, better known as Edge, was the creation of prolific British author Terry Harknett. The famously violent Edge novels, credited to “George G. Gilman”, were ubiquitous on bookstalls in the 1970s. They were Harknett’s most successful works, and are still collectible today; if you’re interested there are 61 of them to search for. Amazon Originals have just launched Edge as a new TV series although anything for a mass audience is unlikely to retain the exploitative qualities of novels that often sound like pulp precursors of Blood Meridian.

Related: Terry Harknett discusses the creation of the Edge series at Drifter’s Wind; Ben Bridges on Harknett’s career, including a look at the writer’s many other Western and thriller novels; Bill Crider on Edge, Harknett and the British group of Western novelists known as “The Piccadilly Cowboys”.

• Boyd McDonald’s queer-eye film guide, Cruising the Movies: A Sexual Guide to Oldies on TV (1985), has been republished by Semiotext(e) in an expanded edition. Related: True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell by William E. Jones.

• “Zdenek Liska’s music thrived in unrealities,” says David Herter in a lengthy appraisal of the great Czech film composer (whose name would be accented if the coding of this blog would play nicely with diacritics).

• “…a film that plumbs the dark recesses of all our imaginations: dangerous, glorious, absurd, vivid and terrifying by turns.” Charlotte Higgins on her favourite film, The Red Shoes (1948).

Art Forms from the Abyss, a new collection of illustrations by Ernst Haeckel for the report of the HMS Challenger expedition (1872–76). Related: Silentplankton.com

• “The biggest kick I ever get is to find myself pursuing some group of images without knowing why,” says M. John Harrison in conversation with Tim Franklin.

• “Plots didn’t interest him much. They were just pegs on which to hang characters and language.” Barry Day on Raymond Chandler.

• At Dirge Magazine: S. Elizabeth delights in the dark decor of Dellamorte & Co.

• Nabokov scholar Brian Boyd selects his ten favourite Nabokov books.

• Mix of the week: The Ivy-Strangled Path Vol. XIII by David Colohan.

Take me to the cosmic vagina: inside Tibet’s secret tantric temple.

• Pour Un Pianiste (1974) by Michèle Bokanowski | 13’05″ (1976) by Michèle Bokanowski | Tabou (1992) by Michèle Bokanowski

 


Battements solaires, a film by Patrick Bokanowski

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Actually a video piece rather than a film, Battements solaires (2008) is the last official release to date by Bokanowski. Silhouettes of people and animals are laid over more abstract imagery to create another of the director’s moving paintings. As usual with Bokanowski’s films, the music is by the director’s wife, composer Michèle Bokanowski. There’s a DVD of this and other short films available here.

Previously on { feuilleton }
La femme qui se poudre
Patrick Bokanowski again
L’Ange by Patrick Bokanowski

 


Graft by Matt Hill

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UK edition.

This latest cover design has been made public much sooner than some of the other things I’ve been working on this year. Graft is another cover for Angry Robot, a novel set in near-future Manchester by local author Matt Hill. The title plays on the multiple meanings of the word “graft”, not only the colloquial term for work (honest or otherwise) but also the sense of a medical graft. Once again, Barnes & Noble have provided a convenient précis:

Manchester, 2025. Local mechanic Sol steals old vehicles to meet the demand for spares. But when Sol’s partner impulsively jacks a luxury model, Sol finds himself caught up in a nightmarish trans-dimensional human trafficking conspiracy.

Hidden in the stolen car is a voiceless, three-armed woman called Y. She’s had her memory removed and undertaken a harrowing journey into a world she only vaguely recognises. And someone waiting in the UK expects her delivery at all costs.

Now Sol and Y are on the run from both Y’s traffickers and the organization’s faithful products. With the help of a dangerous triggerman and Sol’s ex, they must uncover the true, terrifying extent of the trafficking operation, or it’s all over.

Not that there was much hope to start with.

A novel about the horror of exploitation and the weight of love, Graft imagines a country in which too many people are only worth what’s on their price tag.

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US edition.

The challenge with this one was to create something that might be read as futuristic yet also included elements of the real Manchester. All the buildings are worked up from photos of my own, many of them taken during a long day out spent wandering around the Cornbrook area and Salford Quays. The latter has been extensively redeveloped in recent years so there’s a lot of new architecture out there, including the new BBC headquarters. The elegant pylons are the supports of the Lowry Bridge which can be raised to allow ships into the docks.

I couldn’t settle on a final colour scheme for this one so I made a number of variations then let author and publisher decide. This resulted in three covers: the UK edition, US edition and e-book. It took a while but I think I’m happiest now with the blue-and-purple version. Matt Hill talks about Graft here.

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E-book.

 


 




 

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Penda's Fen by David Rudkin