Sydney, Australia: Chowder Bay Press, 2012. Artist's book, one of 26 lettered copies, A-Z, plus 2 Artist Proof copies, all on Japanese Iwaki Mulberry paper for the linocuts and Rising Stonehenge paper for the poems, with wrapper supports of Suecia Antiqua Chamois, each book signed and lettered in pencil, by the artist, Peter Kingston, and the author, Robert Adamson. There are twenty-one prints by Kingston, including three long internal wrappers, a folding leporello, the upper lid of the box, and the illustrated colophon in the base of the lining. Page size: 13-3/4 x 13-3/4 inches; 14 folios consisting of poem title on recto, poem on verso, linocut (chine colle) on recto (one of which is double page fold), verso blank; plus titlepage and colophon, plus wrappers consisting of double-page linocut on Iwaki Mulberry paper to hold colophon and color photograph of Mr. Kingston and Mr. Adamson. Bound: loose as issued in linocut-printed green wrappers of Iwaki Mulberry paper showing wide-eyed, iridescent silver - pink - and blue seahorses in a black net on green ground on front of wrapper with groper swimming into the net on the back cover; the wrappers are one continuous double-size linocut - and quite an extraordinary one it is. Housed in custom-made wood box (radiata pine) with Peter Kingston's view of Sydney Harbor on a cream painted ground (by Peter Kingston) then printed silk screen with his view of Sydney Harbor in red, blue, black, and yellow and finished by hand. One the inside front cover of the box is Peter Kingston's musical score for piano, "Francis Webb's Song" printed on Rising Stonehenge paper. Francis Webb, well-regarded Australian poet and Adamson's poetic hero, was the subject of his inaugural lecture as founding Professor, CAL Chair of Poetry, University of Technology, Sydney. A light sensitive circuit plays this song without words when the box is opened. Another linocut, the logo of Chowder Bay Press, is revealed on the inside pastedown of the box, again printed in color with the wood spoon technique by Peter Kingston, again signed and numbered by him.
Each of the 21 linocuts is hand finished by Peter Kingston, especially the cover wrapper of sea horses which are accomplished by hand (eyes, scales, etc.) The sea horses enchant and invite the viewer / reader to get caught in the "net" of this wonderful memory of a shared environment. Meticulously printed, designed and assembled by Nicholas Pounder, set in Bembo type, using archivally stable Japanese pigment ink, the book reflects a true collaboration between author and artist and printer.
The poet Robert Adamson and the artist Peter Kingston, both born in 1943, grew up on opposite sides of Sydney Harbour: the poet on the north shore at Neutral Bay with Taronga Park and Balls Head nearby, and the artist on the south side at Vaucluse, near the now lost Wintergarden Cinema and Sydney Stadium. They shared a deep attachment to the foreshore and water, although their paths diverged: Kingston was sent to a prestigious private school, and Adamson graduated from delinquency to Long Bay Gaol; and Kingston eventually moved across the Harbour to Lavender Bay, while Adamson left for the Hawkesbury River. However in this autobiographical collaboration they recall some of the landmarks, formative events, and magical experiences of their childhood, like the seahorses that Robert Adamson used to see taunting a groper on the other side of the shark net at Balmoral, where he swam every day.
Peter Kingston is a well-known Australian artist whose work is held by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the State Library of New South Wales, Sydney; the Museum of Sydney, several regional galleries and internationally by the Biblioteque de la ville, Belgium; and the National Film Library in Tokyo. A monograph of the artist's work titled 'Harbourlights: the art of Peter Kingston' was published in 2004. Robert Adamson, one of Australia's leading poets, has been a key player in the growth of the 'New Australian Poetry' and was editor of the Poetry Society of Australia's magazine, was President of the Poetry Society of Australia, and has been writer-in-residence at Australian universities.
Infrequently, a book with text and images can so capture "spirit of place" that all who read it make the place their own. This is the accomplishment of SHARK-NET SEAHORSES. This remarkable book is accompanied by a recent trade publication, PETER KINGSTON DRAWINGS, signed by Peter Kingston, reproducing 62 drawings by Kingston and an essay by Hendrik Kolenberg. Item #10659