Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Monika Fischbein - Patternotion's Big Bang

Monika Fischbein -
'The Start of Everything'

Photograph of a book presented to us, rather provocatively, on it’s side. That is to say the photograph is turned on its side so that the book appears at first glance to be attached to a wall rather than resting on a table.

I love books. During some recent toadying I said to my employer “making fridge magnets is charming, creative and fun but to publish a book must be a far more thrilling and rewarding exercise”. He seemed pleased.
I would like to point out that I do not approve of the way that books are treated by the artist on page 51 of Patternotion (see also page 27 of Freedbook). I shall make no further reference to this person except to say that I applaud the recent confiscation of her library card.
‘The Start of Everything’ is overwhelming as a concept and it’s a bit puzzling as the title of this picture. If it’s The Start Of Everything then why does the position of the bookmark (or “silk” as it’s possibly called) indicate that the reader is a third of her way through the book? Answer me that! Perhaps this title is a reference to the Book of Genesis.
Monika Fischbein -
Freedbook Page
They (experts) used to proclaim confidently that the start of everything was a Big Bang. Now our greatest minds are suggesting that there was probably some stuff going on just before the Big Bang. Asked why they’re now unhappy with a Big Bang as the Start of Everything the experts have replied “it seems an unlikely thing to happen”. As an expert in my own field I find this unsatisfactory. I’ve sent emails.
So why has Monika Fischbein chosen “The Start Of Everything” as a title for this photograph? A myriad of reasons I suppose. Artists tend towards the enigmatic. They tease us with possibilities. See also Fischbein’s excellent contribution to Freedbook for a further example of her elegant titular idiosyncrasy.
Being enigmatic carries with it a misinterpretation prerogative for the viewer. This is the loophole which allows me to ponder birds, books, big bangs and other tangents when almost certainly the artist would prefer us to be appreciating the more abstract qualities contained within her work.
For example. Are the birds at the left edge of this image in sharper focus than everything else? That might be important.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Ella Klenner - The healthy human

Ella Klenner - Keep the balance
Patternotion book

As a general rule I reckoned that if we left the other lumps of rock and metal orbiting our sun well alone they could take care of themselves. Then that scary meteorite hit us the other week and I wasn’t so sure.
Ella Klenner’s little figure leans back precariously in a wooden chair. His face may be distorted by G-force but he has a quiet dignity about him. You will note, for example, that he is not shouting “Whooaahh!” and that his arms do not flail about in a traditional slapstick manner. The fellow may even have his hands in his pockets. The legs which are carelessly positioned between Mars and Jupiter play merry havoc with the asteroid belt.
For any non astronomers I should point out that this is an entirely realistic diagram of our solar system with 1. Mercury (top left) above the mans head. 2. Venus (top right) next to the word “buch”. 3. Earth with a picture of what might be an oil well gushing on its surface. You will have noticed that due to an entirely naturalistic perspective the birds depicted can be seen to fly behind our Earth but not behind any of the other planets. 4. Mars above the knee. 5. Jupiter below the heel. 6. Saturn easily spotted with it’s distinctive rings. 7. Uranus under Saturn. 8. the elusive Neptune (bottom right) hiding under the table.
Ella Klenner - Monkey Business 1
Brighton Open 2012
When I look at the surface of Neptune depicted here I see a rocky landscape. A certain friend viewing the same small disc called me an innocent fool to my face and said she could see “parts”. The surface of Neptune is covered entirely with male and female “parts” according to her. Even through a magnifying glass I’m not convinced by this reading. But just suppose for a moment that this is the case. How refreshing that not all creative people need to have their private areas waggling at us from centre stage the whole time. Here is someone who has had the discretion to put them on the surface of distant Neptune and then to hide that gas giant under a table. Such filth peddlers as Michelangelo Buonarroti could learn something from this.
I was born into a solar system with nine planets and I miss Pluto very much but what can you do? Up until age 46 nothing could harm me, I thought I was superhuman. No aches and pains to speak of, everything functioning satisfactorily. Someone recently told me that for him it was age 28 when things started going wrong. I’ve been lucky I suppose but never have I been more aware of the delicate balancing act necessary for remaining healthy than I am at present. My hero Mark E Smith once sang “I’ve got a nervous system” and he was dead right.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Sarah Beinart - Yarnbombing-by-the-sea

Plenty of clues as to what kind of person we are dealing with here. Extremely pleased with myself for having remembered that “habit is a great deadener” is a quote from Waiting For Godot. Just to the right of the artist herself sits a pencil drawing of Samuel Beckett. Nobody in Beckett would have much use for the word “Renaissance” of course. His writing tends to be about people trapped in situations from which they are unable or even unwilling to escape.
 I had to google the other Beckett quote “Dance first think later…”. I was expecting it to be a BeeGees lyric to tell you the truth. Puzzled by the big fellow, slight resemblance to Peter Ustinov, in the drawing to the left of S.B.  I’m sure he’s another important creative influence. Do you think the word “Alma” (written inside the guitar) is relevant here? Or is it that just the name of the manufacturer?
 S.B. describes herself as a yarn-bombing experimentalist living by the sea. Well I hope she wasn’t the one who yarn bombed the Merry Maidens stone circle. Certain people I know of were very upset about that. Spells were cast, incantations were uttered in ancient cornish. This is just a friendly warning, don’t mess with the stones!
Page 12 of Patternotion contains a joyful self portrait and a bold statement of creative renewal. Hallelujah!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Launching Patternotion in Style

Blue Plaque walkers at Books For Free NW5
We launched the Patternotion book in style last Saturday (9th March 2013) with a Blue Plaque walk around North London.

Well, the style was mostly waterproofs and walking boots, but what do you expect with the threat of a 50% chance of rain.

We were hosted by some very stylish walkers (Jacquelyn Guderley and friends) though. Volunteers from Books For Free NW5 joined us too and sections of our procession resembled a fashion runway with these North London beauties in tow.

The artists and authors who started the walk we're Bill Mudge (with Gina and Harriet), NCRIPT (Steve and Victoria Cohen), Myself with Jessamy, Effie and Natalie Low, Mike and Gail Watts, Ella Penn, George and Sally Low, Peter S Smith, Melanie Ezra, Daniel Leek, Harvey Wells and Geraint Evans. And not forgetting Jacquelyn Guderley's BFF group of course.

The route (right) took us up hill and down dale and through some of the smartest corners of London. We picked up people and artists along the way including Tanya Kreisky, Katie Stone and Dawes Gray.

It was a strong pace so we could get round the full 9.5 miles of the walk and return to BFF in time so that the furthest travellers, Mel and Dan, could catch their train back to Swansea. In future though I'll be choosing a modest launch for next Sampson Low Ltd book. After this hot pace and tackling North London's hills we we're all glad of the 'breathers' we got when reaching each of the 17 plaques on our route.

We placed around 50 magnets along our route and you can view the whole day in the slideshow (right). If you'd like a closer look then click on the images and peruse at your own leisure.

Thanks you to everyone who walked with us and contributed all the photos (Peter S Smith, Harvey Wells, Mike Watts, Tanya Kreisky, Jacquelyn Guderley, Gerry Evans and Melanie Ezra). I'm going to have a well earned rest now because we have several Sampson Low Ltd books in the pipeline or at the printers including Harvey Well's Therapeutic interventions for mental health professions and Epsom UCA's The Future Bound Project.
But the one that will really test my stamina is SMartwalks' 'The longest Gallery in the World' book. They'll be putting out the call to artist's on April 1st, so keep your eyes peeled.

Hope you have enjoyed the Patternotion project and Blue Plaque walk. We'll be keeping up the reviews of artists work by our intern Philip J Deed and check out our latest reviews on our press page, including our most recent from Rainlore's World of Music, Art and Letters.


Tanya Kreisky with her plaque and where she lived in 1971

Friday, 8 March 2013

Free Thinkers, Books and Blue Plaques - Join Us!

Blue Plaque walk route
Tomorrow, Saturday 9th March 2013, we'll be visiting 17 traditional blue plaques from North London's finest authors and artists.  Join us for part or all of this 8 mile walk encountering some of Literature's finest minds, and the chance to meet the latest crop of Britain's great thinkers along the way. Yes. That's right they'll be a number of artists and authors from Patternotion here too.

Artists like Melanie Ezra, Ella Penn, Tim Cullingford and Peter S Smith.
Photographer Darren Atkinson and poet Daniel Leek.
Folk empresario Gerry Evans and  published author Harvey Wells.

Hopefully a few guests too, Mike 'the Folk lens' Watts and his wife Gail, and freedbook contributor/graffiti artist NCRIPT. Writer Tanya Kreisky and papershuffler Katie Stone.

We'll be starting at the Books For Free Bookshop,
 147 Fortess Road, Tufnell Park (30secs from Tufnell Park Tube) at 10am.

We will be in the capable hands of Jacquelyn Guderley from BFF who'll be providing everyone with a map and list of plaques.

Of course this wouldn't be a Sampson Low Ltd book launch without a twist. So we've made 50 coaster-sized Blue Plaques of our own which we'll place en route. Follow our progress on Twitter though our SMartwalks chums @smartwalks or #patternotion.

In fact I helped our friends at The Kentishtowner get in the spirit of things this week by making blue plaques for 5 of London's lost nightclubs from the 1990's. Check out their adventures HERE!

The KentishTowners celebrating
the 1990's lost nightclubs
Now, we appreciate an 8 mile walk might be a bit long for some, so join in where you can. My mobile number is 07792 027716 if you need to get hold of me or get lost.

All going well we hope to return to Books For Free around 3pm-ish where we'll be signing and leaving 5 copies of our latest book Patternotion for people to pick up for Free.

If you've still got some energy left, Mike Watts is leading a raiding party into the nightlife of Kentish Town at The Torriano to see Joyce the Librarian. So after picking up 3 books for Free from the BFF NW5 carry on partying long into the night.

I'll have a few copies of Patternotion for sale (£4.99) on my person but I wont be able to carry the full stock. So if you'd like to buy a copy visit the BUY Page.

Find the list/itinerary of Plaques we'll be visiting below, hopefully you'll be able to join us.


Meet Tufnell Park Tube – Books For Free 10am
(Tube/train stops we're passing in Bold)

BETJEMAN, Sir John (1906-1984) Poet lived here 1908-1917
31 Highgate West Hill, Highgate, Highgate, N6 6NP

PRIESTLEY, J.B. (1894-1984) Novelist, playwright and essayist lived here
3 The Grove, Highgate, N6 6JU

HOUSMAN, A.E. (1859-1936) POET and SCHOLAR wrote "A SHROPSHIRE LAD" while living here
17 North Road, Highgate, N6 4BD

 LAWRENCE, D.H. (1885-1930) Novelist and Poet lived here in 1915
1 Byron Villas, Vale of Health, Hampstead, NW3 1AR

GALSWORTHY, John (1867-1933) NOVELIST AND PLAYWRIGHT lived here 1918-1933
Grove Lodge, Admiral's Walk, Hampstead, NW3 6RS

Bolton House, Windmill Hill, Hampstead, NW3 6SJ

Hampstead Tube

SITWELL, Dame Edith (1887-1964) Poet lived here in Flat 42
Greenhill, Hampstead High Street, Hampstead, NW3 5TY

KEATS, John (1795-1821) POET, LIVED IN THIS HOUSE. B: 1795. D: 1821.
Keats' House' (Wentworth Place), Keats Grove, Hampstead, NW3 2RR

Hampstead Heath Overground

BRAILSFORD, Henry Noel (1873-1958) Writer Champion of equal and free humanity,lived here
37 Belsize Park Gardens, Belsize Park, NW3 4JH

Belsize Park Tube

PLATH, Sylvia (1932-1963) Poet lived here 1960-1961
3 Chalcot Square, Primrose Hill, NW1 8YB

YEATS, William Butler (1865-1939) Irish poet and dramatist lived here
23 Fitzroy Road, Primrose Hill, NW1 8TP

CLOUGH, Sir Arthur Hugh (1819-1861) Poet lived here 1854-1859
11 St Mark's Crescent, Primrose Hill, NW1 7TS

JACOBS, William Wymark (1863-1943) Author lived here
15 Gloucester Gate (Albany Street frontage), Regent's Park, NW1 4HG

Camden Town tube

THOMAS, Dylan (1914-1953) Poet lived here
54 Delancey Street, Camden Town, NW1 7RY

Camden Rd Mainline train

 FONTANE, Theodor (1819-1898) Writer and Novelist lived here 1857-1858
6 St Augustine's Road, Camden, NW1 9RN

ORWELL, George (1903-1950)GEORGE ORWELL 1903-1950 Novelist and Political Essayist lived here
50 Lawford Road, Kentish Town, NW5 2LN

Tufnell Park Tube
Books For Free - 13.5km – 8miles   Arrive 3pm-ish

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Dawes Gray - Enjoy life for less!

Dawes Gray - Patternotion
Dawes Gray
I think that drawing items from the Argos (or whichever) Catalogue is a great idea. I mostly copy stuff from TV listings magazines these days. My sketchbooks are crammed full of badly rendered Phil Mitchells. Anything that gets me drawing is a good system.
Calculating how long I’d have to toil to buy all those desirable lawnmowers, beds, chess computers etc doesn’t appeal at all though. I’m sure that was Dawes Gray’s intention. This is her witty sneer at our consumer society I suppose. I like how we’re told to “appear happy” when following this set of instructions whilst relinquishing any hope of ever owning the fine shiny objects depicted.
 Excellent drawing of a posh teapot in a smart middle class kitchen. Nice dotty wallpaper, a hint of lush well tended gardens through the window. Who wouldn’t want a lifestyle like this?
 I personally have never bought a teapot. There’s always been a scruffy one around already that functions perfectly well. If I won the lottery I still wouldn’t spend much on teapots to tell you the truth. And I speak as someone who thinks a teabag dropped in a cup of boiling water is a crime against teamaking. I’m especially offended if that teabag is then crushed by some buffoon with a spoon rather than being allowed to infuse at its own pace. I’m sure that Dawe’s famous ancestor would agree with me on this.

Don't forget we will be launching Patternotion and embarking on our Blue Plaque walk from the Books For Free bookshop, 147 Fortess Road, Tufnell Park, NW5 2HP at 10am - This Saturday 9th March 2013.

All are welcome. So come along!

Our route will take us past 17 authors and poets that have lived or worked in the area. Including Sir John Betjeman, JB Priestley, DH Lawrence, John Keats, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas and George Orwell. We'll be finishing back where we started from in Tufnell Park, where we'll be signing and leaving 5 First Editions of Patternotion for eager collectors to snap up for FREE.


Monday, 4 March 2013

Listen in on Julia Colquitt Roach

A charming drawing rendered in charcoal and ink which JCR says was started after overhearing a conversation on a bus.
I have to mention this. It’s more than my jobs worth not to. My employer Mr Alban Low is known for his own drawings based on conversations overheard on public transport. There’s an excellent example of one of these in Freedbook by the way. Perhaps it’s a coincidence. Or possibly being a thoughtful type JCR selected this drawing for Patternotion with exactly that in mind.
“This might just be in accord with what Alban is trying to accomplish” she could have been thinking. I should quickly point out that her finished artwork looks nothing at all like any of Alban’s overheard conversation pictures. It is a unique and remarkable delineation of her own audio-voyeuristic travelling experience.
Nevertheless it got me wondering. Is it possible that over time the intuitive, intelligent and highly empathic contributors to Sampson Low publications might develop between them if not exactly a house style then at least some kind of loose shared aesthetic? Themes, symbols, systems even, whether unconsciously or deliberately would be shared. A clumsy new word “sampsonlowesque” would be brought into use in an attempt to caption this phenomenon.
Inevitably thuggish and undiscriminating minds would miss out on all this and their contributions would continue to stick out like a sore thumb. Yes, I’m looking at you David Bushell.
The drawing portrays a cycle of naughtiness where the characters seem trapped in a cheerful(?) slapstick existence. There’s clearly some sort of physical struggle for superiority going on. At the bottom of the page someone has gained control and sits triumphantly on a rival’s shoulders. Bizarrely the victor is depicted with a giant sick note on his/her head!
Patternotion is now in the shops, buy your copy here, visit the buy page and receive it in just a few days. AL

Friday, 1 March 2013

Buy Patternotion Book

Patternotion Book
Stella Tripp (left)
Patten Smith (right)
The Patternotion book has just arrived at Sampson Low Ltd and it looks absolutely fantastic. Over the next few days we'll be sending out copies to all the artists and selling the remaining 1st Editions.

If you would like to BUY your Patternotion book then click one of the BUY NOW buttons below and pay securely with PayPal.

60 artists and authors reveal the secret blueprints of their lives. Get inside the heads of these creative system makers, learn from their endeavours and be inspired to make a change in your life.

Patternotion is a 72 page softback book, There are 100 copies printed in each Edition.
ISBN 978-0-9534712-3-2
Each book is individually numbered.
Freedbook costs £4.99

Sampson Low Ltd Catalogue Number SLB0002
Currently selling 1st Edition
P&P is £1.20(UK), £3(Europe) and £4(Worldwide).

Order extra copies and pay no additional P&P

Buy a Copy and send to an UK Address (+£1.20 Postage and Packing) CLICK BELOW


Send to an European Address (+£3 Postage and Packing) CLICK BELOW


Send to a Worldwide Address (+£4 Postage and Packing) CLICK BELOW


Don't forget to join us for the Official Patternotion launch on Saturday 9th March 2013, 10am, Books For Free Bookshop, 147 Fortess Road, Tufnell Park, NW5. Where we'll be visiting 20 local blue plaques and placing some of own on the streets for people to find and pick up.

The Patternotion book is published by Sampson Low Ltd