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

Archive for the ‘Tom Phillips’ tag


Weekend links 273


Byronic I by Boris Pelcer. Via Full Fathom Five. • “Music determines everything in terms of our narrative. Music demands, music suggests. Whereas traditional Hollywood animation is all based on character development—you know, there’s Toy Story and it’s Tom Hanks’s voice pushing the thrust of the action. For us, décor is all part of it. […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {television} | 2 comments »




An engraving of Dante’s encounter with Lucifer/Satan at the end of the Inferno. Illustrators of Dante have given us a number of depictions of Dante’s fallen angel—a monstrous beast with multiple wings and three heads; icy blasts from the wings travel through the circles of Hell—but this is one I’d not seen before. The engraving […]

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Lachman’s Inferno


I’ve written already about Harry Lachman’s remarkable melodrama, Dante’s Inferno (1935), but the links to the Inferno sequence are now defunct so here’s an updated one. Lachman was an artist before he became a production designer for Rex Ingram, and later a director in his own right. The French government awarded him the Légion d’Honneur […]

Posted in {fantasy}, {film}, {religion} | 2 comments »


Hell, a film by Rein Raamat


An inferno of a different kind, Hell (1983) is a short film by Estonian animator Rein Raamat based on a series of etchings by Estonian artist Eduard Wiiralt (1898–1954). The drawings date from around 1930 when Wiiralt was living in Paris so they’re understandably connected to Surrealism. Browse some of the originals at 50 Watts. […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {surrealism} | Comments Off




The Barque of Dante (1822) by Eugène Delacroix. More infernal visions. Depictions of Hell aren’t exactly recent but the 19th century saw an increase in Dantean themes, helped, no doubt, by the Romantic taste for violent drama. There are many more such paintings, especially of the doomed lovers Paolo and Francesca whose plight is almost […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {religion} | 4 comments »


Mirko Racki’s Inferno


Mirko Racki (1879–1982) was a Croatian painter whose early work fits the template of allegorical Symbolism even if he was never part of any Symbolist movement. Dante’s Divine Comedy was a favourite subject: these canvases are among the available examples which also include a series of etchings. The painting above showing Charon ferrying Dante and […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {religion}, {symbolists} | 3 comments »


Weekend links 248


The Dreamers (2013) by Kate Baylay, from Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen. • RIP composer and musique-concrète pioneer Tod Dockstader. “I didn’t have the money for electronic sounds…I had to have things like bottles, or anything that would make a noise. It didn’t matter what it was; if it sounded interesting, or I could […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {illustrators}, {music}, {politics} | 4 comments »


Weekend links 216


Why Do The Heathen Rage? (2014) by The Soft Pink Truth. Cover art by Mavado Charon. Drew Daniel’s latest release as The Soft Pink Truth is Why Do The Heathen Rage?, a witty electronic riposte to the often reactionary attitudes of black metal music and the people who create it. (The album is dedicated to […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {politics}, {pulp}, {science fiction}, {symbolists}, {technology}, {television}, {work} | Comments Off


Weekend links 176


This week PingMag was looking at Czech film posters. This one by Bedrich Dlouhy is for the belated 1970 release of Kurosawa’s Rashomon. • In October Alison Goldfrapp curates an exhibition for The Lowry, Salford, featuring her favourite art. Examples will include work by Leonora Carrington, Lotte Reiniger and Henry Darger so I’ll definitely be […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {politics}, {psychedelia}, {science}, {theatre} | 6 comments »


Weekend links 116


Ankle Deep, a pyrograph by Robert Sherer whose work is showcased at The Advocate. • “Bertrand Russell wrote in 1932, during another period of economic distress, ‘that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial societies is quite different from what always […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {gay}, {music}, {politics}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »


Weekend links 109


Dreams before Surrealism: a sheet music cover from 1926 by René Magritte. • The week in music: Listen to compositions by Annea Lockwood. | At the Free Music Archive: Uncomfortable Music, a tribute to David Lynch’s Eraserhead (and, it should be said, to Alan Splet’s unique soundtrack). | Alan Licht plays a track from Trout […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {politics}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {science}, {surrealism} | Comments Off


Weekend links 108


Bob Staake’s cover illustration acknowledges President Obama’s statement last week in favour of gay marriages. • Related to the above: Gay rights in the US, state by state, an infographic and a useful riposte to people like Orson Scott Card (yes, him again) who claim that gay Americans are equal in everything but the right […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {music}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {work} | 8 comments »


Tom Phillips album covers


Words and Music (1975) by Tom Phillips. Two related posts is coincidence, three is a series. Earlier posts from the past couple of weeks looked at album covers created by designers better known for their work in other areas. Tom Phillips is a British artist, writer and composer who I continue to insist is one […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {music}, {painting} | 13 comments »


Weekend links 38


Arriving in the post this week was Lovecraft Black & White, an Italian book whose contents are spelled out in the title, black-and-white illustrations based on the work of the Providence master. Among the featured works is my 1999 rendering of Azathoth. There’s more about the book here and here. Also on the work front, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {gay}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {science}, {technology}, {work} | 7 comments »


Weekend links 37


Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom is fifty-years old this year, an occasion celebrated with a limited UK cinema run and a reissue on Blu-ray and regular DVD. This was the film which famously ended Powell’s career as a director in Britain for reasons which have never been quite clear. Was the film’s critical vilification the culmination […]

Posted in {apple}, {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {fashion}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {theatre}, {work} | 6 comments »


Penda’s Fen by David Rudkin


This is a post I’d been intent on writing for the past four years but kept putting off: why go to great lengths to describe another television drama which people can’t see? And how do you easily appraise something which haunted you for twenty years and which remains a significant obsession? My hand has been […]

Posted in {film}, {gay}, {politics}, {religion}, {television}, {theatre} | 38 comments »


Weekend links 1


• Two covers from a new range of Penguin reprints for the AIDS awareness fund (RED), all of which are based around quotes from the books in question. Non-Format‘s stylised extract concerns the blazing red of the Count’s eyes while Coralie Bickford-Smith plays some Tom Phillips games with the text of The Secret Agent. The […]

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Harry Lachman’s Inferno


Looking at Willy Pogány’s work last week I was reminded that as well as illustrating books he worked in Hollywood for a while as an art director and set designer. Among those jobs was a credit for “Technical staff” on the only film for which director Harry Lachman is remembered today, a curious 1935 melodrama, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators}, {religion} | 2 comments »


Thursday Afternoon by Brian Eno


Cover painting by Tom Phillips, design by Russell Mills. A post for a Thursday. Brian Eno’s ambient music receives a lot of playing time here, especially Music for Airports, On Land, The Shutov Assembly and, when something really minimal is required, Neroli. But it’s Thursday Afternoon that receives the most attention. Recorded at the request […]

Posted in {art}, {electronica}, {music}, {television} | 4 comments »


Maps of the Inferno


Dante’s Inferno, Map of Whole Hell (1587?). Continuing the theme of yesterday’s post, Wikimedia Commons has a substantial section devoted to Dante’s Inferno including some maps, the best being this one and another, both by Giovanni Stradano aka Stradanus (1523–1605). And taking a broader view, there’s Michelangelo Cactani’s depiction of Dante’s entire cosmos showing the […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {painting}, {religion} | 2 comments »







“feed your head”