picture: John Duncan
Here in Bath, Spring is in the air and The Big Freeze (aka in other places as a bit of snow and a little bit nippy) of January is well over, which is a shame. We were living a dream, a cross between Norman Rockwell and The Road, all home baked pizza and bread, I made a sledge and we were one step away from getting our own shopping trolley it was so darned parky.
Instead we rode around the hills of Bath on the homemade sledge. No, that's a lie - we didn't ride anywhere on my sledge. It was made out of a pallet (find out how to make one here - if you want to burn pallets instead, John Duncan shows you how to do that here) and it weighed a ton. You could put it on the top of the Eiger and it wouldn't budge it was so heavy.
Improvements? Make one out of iron, or concrete or the weights keep fit places throw out after all the January sign-ons give up on their New Year weight loss regimes.
It's the year of DIY in photography too - making your own photobooks is the thing and The Independent Photobook blog by Mrs Deane and Joerg of Conscientious covers it. It's very much on the slick end of book making at the moment, but that seems to be changing as the global reach expands and everyone gets rougher and more handmade through the year. There are definite geographic variations but the Dutch are leading the way big time in what is being made. A little bit of Dutch punk in there will do everyone good - and will remind us traces of the old style liberalism remain.
Perhaps most interesting are the offerings from FW books (especially Koen Hauser's De Luister van het Land and Jaap Scheeren's Fake Flowers in Full Colour), Grace Kim's artist's book Love Hotel - and the five zines from Zine look an interesting buy. There's also Mrs Deane's gem of Dutch geo-photography, Hier (which she was kind enough to send a copy of).
There are lots of exciting things happening with the printed page, and one gets the feeling that something new is popping up here and there is a defining era in the history of photography in the air - a kind of Provoke or 1955. It will be interesting to see what work comes out of this and how it is defined by the end products.
From the UK, it is great to see Nick Turpin has Publication out, a wonderful-looking loose leaf street photography magazine similar to Lay Flat ( which has its second issue out soon).