Monday, 21 November 2011

Picnic, the launch And so my little essay about picnic and community was launched on Monday this week, with a small invited gathering at the Wellcome Collection. I started this project more than two years ago, collaborating with artist Gemma Orton since the early summer this year, and benefitting hugely from the advice and support of Giles Lane, using the Bookleteer process. It’s been an entirely unfunded project - which gave me freedom to write what I wanted to, but of course has made it inevitably loss-making (yes I know, I’m a lousy capitalist). No matter. Gemma and I had some friends and interested parties round for a little swigging, guzzling, and networking with the opportunity to buy copies and some of her striking images. Gemma had taken several of the designs used in the book, printed them digitally onto fabric, and added stitching. (Examples and still a few pieces available here). We also had the chance to hear some songs from the delightful Ije Amaechi – a special moment for me as I have known Ije since she was tiny - and a few poems from Kim Morrissey of the Purple Poets, who contributed to the 2009 Wellcome community picnic. By way of setting the tone for the evening, we had invited people @PicnicLaunch to suggest ‘late arrivals’ at the picnic event. You know the kind of thing – ‘Will you welcome please... Mr and Mrs Got the Mayonnaise and their son Ivor Got the Mayonnaise.‘ I’m pleased to say that some offerings were quite excruciating, naming no names Richard, and will not be reproduced here. More on the booklet here, and you can help keep economically-incompetent artists going a little longer by clicking in the right place on this page. The standard edition costs just £10.00 and the special limited edition, sold in aid of the homelessness charity Crisis, is £30.00. Think Christmas. The pic of Gemma and myself above was taken by Rebekah Franklin; the pic of Kim Morrissey reading at the launch event was taken by Ben Harris. Previously: Picnic and community. See also: this post with video interviews, by David Wilcox. Community: it's no picnic - Julian Dobson.

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