Cultural Bulletin
Cultural Bulletin is a quarterly magazine that provides an international view of creative work. We look to film, music, design and art as signifiers of our cultural moment.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Grégoire Pujade-Lauraine
 
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Grégoire Pujade-Lauraine is a photographic artist and designer from France. He’s worked as head of design and production at MACK , contributing to books by artists such as Joan Fontcuberta, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Guido, Guidi, Alec Soth or Paul Graham among others, and collaborating with institutions from the Tate to Le Bal, the Hasselblad Foundation to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Words taken from LIBRO.

He has published two books of his own artistic work, The Significant Savages (2011) and A Perpetual Season (2014).

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ArtTom SilverComment
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Rafael Corkidi
 
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Rafael Corkidi was a Mexican cinematographer, film director and screenwriter.

He began his career as a cinematographer and contributed to the visual style and cinematography in three films directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky in Mexico, Fando y LisEl Topo, and The Holy Mountain.

Enjoy some stills from the weird and wonderful The Holy Mountain below.

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FilmSebastian BodinComment
IN PRINT: GIORGIO WOLFENSBERGER – Foto Povera
 
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Giorgio Wolfensberger was born in 1945 in Zürich, grew up in Winterthur and died in 2016 in Umbria, which he’d made his adoptive geographical and political home. He was not only an industrial photographer, filmmaker, slide-show specialist, expert on and writer for the Swiss modern dancer and dance teacher Suzanne Perrottet, sleuth extraordinaire for archival photographs; he was also a collector and photographer equipped with a seventh sense for the things of this world.

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He seems to have been a magnet for the peculiarities of everyday life, departures from the norm, the play of objects, the humorous and the grotesque, as though his eyes, nose and fingers were probes immersed in physical reality. Whether on assignment for an exhibition project or a book, roaming freely on the prowl in the city or driving around the countryside, he always discovered something unusual in the commonplace, something of his own in the general, something rich in the poor, something strange in the norm. This book brings together his artistic freelance photography for the first time, to form a cabinet of curiosities, a variegated cabaret of things. Beginning with the black-and-white documentary photography of his first years in Italy, he gradually developed a rich, humorous, colorful photo povera, an enchanting, pensive dance of “poor” plain things.

—Urs Stahel

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BooksPlato's HouseComment
SHORT FILM: FAUVE - Jeremy Comte
 
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Jeremy Comte is a director based in Montréal, Canada.

His shot film, Fauve, won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance 2018. Comte reportedly had a recurring nightmare that inspired the events of the film.

Watch this expertly tense and superbly acted film below.

Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer.

 
WATCH: Hollis - Miguel Rodríguez
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This essay - from Miguel Rodríguez - examines the visual similitudes, double strategies and tropes in Hollis Frampton’s filmography. Known for his oblique references—from Ezra Pound’s poems to mathematical syllogisms—the filmmaker interrogates some of the multiple possibilities that cinema might have developed in the past and that became entangled in narrative logic. His most celebrated works are frequently seen as singularities rather than the sums of a whole. Hollis seeks to pair up its own images in order to show his coherence as a filmmaker, as well as initiating those who might not be familiar with his work.

A joint venture from FILMADRID and MUBI.

FilmTom Silver Comment
MUSIC: Joan La Barbara ‎- Tapesongs

Tapesongs is the second of two crucial Joan La Barbara reissues on Arc Light Editions, following Voice Is The Original Instrument (ALE005). The original artwork is an incredible shot: Joan buried to her neck in reel to reel tape. It includes two essential pieces: John Cage’s Solo For Voice 45, and a burning take-down of Cathy Berberian in “Cathing”.

Originally released in 1977, Tapesongs makes use of early electronics, and multi-tracked tape techniques to manipulate La Barbara’s signature extended vocal techniques. In 1977, La Barbara was living in NYC, playing concerts internationally and performing regularly with John Cage, who she described as a mentor. “I began working with John Cage in 1976 and we had done several performances of his "Solo for Voice 45" from Song Books in concert,” says Joan. “Cage determined the 13-minute version for this version, overlaying all 18-pages of the score so that one hears the entire work in layers. Hearing it again after all these years is wonderful and brings back many memories.”

“Cathing” uses a recording of a radio interview Cathy Berberian did during the intermission of one of La Barbara’s concerts at the Holland Festival: “She basically trashed those of us doing extended vocal techniques,” she says. “She used the interview for her own self-promotion rather than taking on the mantle of the ‘mother’ of vocal explorations. Rather tragic, I thought. So I created a work exploring extended vocal techniques and manipulating her spoken voice.”

“Thunder” is for six tympani and voice, using electronic devices (the same as used in “Vocal Extensions” from ALE005), and explores patterns through instruments and real-time composition with two jazz improvising musicians.

MusicPlato's HouseComment
IN REVIEW: Celine Gillain - Bad Woman 
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Label: Antinote

Maybe we know the truth deep down, and maybe that is the role of art — to articulate what we know but can’t express. As if a mirror, Celine Gillain’s record Bad Woman puts sounds to feelings of contemporary life. Last track ‘I’m Grateful’ seems to conclude that even if the mirror that reflects reality back exists virtually or is in essence an illusion it can still tell you something useful.

We live in a uniquely cynical moment in history that is both relentless and soft, so it is understandable that people should come from a naturally sceptical perspective: what do they want? Is that what they really think? What’s in it for them? Do people really live like this? The CGI glass of water is always half empty, to see it another way is a delusion. To be wary of drinking the water is appropriate, it is probably contaminated. So, what is sacrificed as a result of our contemporary perspective?

‘In the arena we meet each other, in the arena we eat each other.’  

Often perceived as a hyper competitive life, we are now keeping up with a billion Jones’ on social media and yet reluctantly talk to our next-door neighbours. Through the carefully curated fictional versions of our lives, we quickly see the fraud in others as perhaps a projection of our own disingenuous behaviour. We are bad.

‘Your friendship is like poison, paved with good intentions – I saw the fraud in you.’ 

What can be felt as an optimism across Bad Woman is the willingness look at our situation as someone who is complicit in it. There is no doubt that as reality changes with the increasing complexity of technology so will our perception of the world. With the limitations of the human mind laid before us by superior algorithms (that do our jobs), the idea of being factually certain will be laughable. 

Bad Woman is such a storied and yet abstract record that feels like a journey, the end point of which is as much a moment of happiness as it is a realisation or integration. The idea of the individual is absorbed into the collective multitude, as if realising you are less could be the only gateway to seeing that you are more. It is a contemporary kind of enlightenment that Gillain refers to, one we are still figuring out – together. AG

BUY THE RECORD HERE

IN PRINT: FLOWER IS… by Robert Frank
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FLOWER IS… is a photobook by Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank. The close exchange between Frank and Motomura began with their collaboration on Frank’s 1972 book, The Lines of My Hand. Both happy with how it all turned out, they came to form a strong bond and this led to the later publication of Flower is in 1987 by YUGENSHA. This book is a memorial to Franks’ daughter, Andrea, who was killed in an airplane crash in Guatemala in 1974, comes in three sections: the first section, Flower is Paris, consists of Frank's Paris flowers, shot between 1949-1951; the second, Factory is Detroit, photographs of Detroit and the nearby Ford assembly plant taken while working on The Americans in 1955; and the last, Mabou is Waiting, pictures of interior views of his house and the stark sun-drenched landscape shot between 1976 and 1984. Book design by Kohei Sugiura. There are two versions of the front cover, one featuring "Champs-Élysées, 1950" and the other “Metro Stalingrad”.

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BooksAdam GreenhalghComment
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Norm Li
 
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Norm Li is a cinematographer from Vancouver.

Most notably, he has worked with  Panos Cosmotos on Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010) and has credits including music videos for Loscil and Reptile Youth.

Enjoy some of his work below:

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FilmTom SilverComment
PHOTOGRAPHY: Thomas Demand
 
Daily #7, 2008


Daily #7, 2008

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Thomas Demand (born 1964) is a German sculptor and photographer. He currently lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles, and teaches at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg.

Archiv (Archive), 1995

Archiv (Archive), 1995

In 2005, MoMA described his work as follows:

Demand’s photographs can seem convincingly real or strangely artificial. The work of German photographer Thomas Demand achieves a disquieting balance between the two. Born in 1964, Demand began as a sculptor and took up photography to record his ephemeral paper constructions. In 1993 he turned the tables, henceforth making constructions for the sole purpose of photographing them. Demand pushes the medium of photography toward uncharted frontiers. His originality has won him recognition as one of the most innovative artists of his generation.

Daily #14, 2011

Daily #14, 2011

Daily #2, 2008


Daily #2, 2008

Daily #9, 2009

Daily #9, 2009

Daily #18, 2012

Daily #18, 2012

Daily #11, 2009

Daily #11, 2009

 
In Print: IT'S FREEZING IN LA! - Issue 2
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IFLA! is a new independent magazine with a fresh perspective on climate change. Too often, environmental discussion is polarised into one of two categories: the remote, technical language of science, or the hotheaded outrage of activism. This magazine finds the middle ground, inviting writers and illustrators from a variety of fields to give us their take on how climate change will affect — and is affecting — society.

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We want to help untangle the climate tensions and choices that our generation will have to navigate by platforming as many different perspectives as we can find. IFLA! provides original, engaging and surprising content that you will want to read — widening environmental discussion and offering a range of vocabulary and insights not found elsewhere.

    27.5 × 21 cm, Softcover, 2019,
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BooksPlato's HouseComment
IN REVIEW: loscil - first narrows
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Label: kranky
Year: 2004

Some records are ergonomic, sliding seamlessly into our lives, not requiring us to change. Instead it is as if the record is sympathetic to us, knows the patterns of our lives and vibrations of our minds. Such records become companion pieces, offering utility in there ability to amalgamate with us. They make us attentive to routine events, enhancing our daily being which is why this music can be associated with the idea of the domestic life.

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You notice the shadows of trees from the garden, cast in an angled frame of light that is reflected onto the wardrobe. Their movement, enhanced by the magnification of the shadow, is like a thick liquid, oil on water or the sequential patterns of the bacteria in a petri dish. The vibration of your body, the interface between you and the music is awakening to the otherwise imperceptible and is why ergonomic records help to elevate us towards higher ideals.

Vancouver based artist, Loscil has since released 14 other records that are well worth your time.

IN PRINT: Footnotes - Issue B
 
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Footnotes is a type design periodical published by La Police.

Editor and designer Mathieu Christe opens the publication by explaining that Issue B is the second issue of Footnotes - the periodical bulletin of applied research into type design.

 
 

For newcomers, he states that Footnotes issue A (now sold out) included the first part of an article about the Haas Typefoundry Ltd. This saga is concluded by Brigitte Schuster in the opening act of issue B.

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The publication then looks at the jump from analogue to digital with Switzerland’s first generation of digital type foundries, a decade after Haas’ closure.

François Rappo is also featured - taking the reader through his practice, visions, impressions and projections. Christian Mengelt gives his perspective on the meaning and motivations of designing type in the context of today’s saturated, sometimes frivolous, market. We also get an essay from Adrian Vasquez - a designer at John Morgan Studio in London. Frank Grießhammer then shares his thoughts on the exploration of early vector fonts by Dr Allen Vincent Hersey.

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To conclude, we have Alice Savoie, Dorine Sauzet & Sébastien Morlighem researching Ladislas Mandel’s typefaces for telephone directories – part 1.

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Website Fonts In Use have provided a useful rundown of the typefaces displayed throughout the publication. They explain:

In order for the reader to discover the typeface(s) presented in each contribution, every essay is typeset with the related typeface(s). Some are unreleased, here’s their detailed list in order of appearance:

LP Jung is a still-in-progress typeface by La Police.
Detroit was available at Optimo between 1998 and 2000 in MM format.
Swiss Gothic is an unreleased revival of Gerstner/Mengelt’s Programm by François Rappo.
Antique is a private version of Helvetica by François Rappo.
Theinhardt Mono is an in-progress variation of the Theinhardt family by François Rappo to be released by Optimo.
AA Files Display Initials are a mix of styles drawn by Adrien Vasquez for the layout of the AA Files magazine.

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Buy your copy of the publication here and follow thier digital smoke signals on their twitter page.

 
WATCH: Caravaggio - Derek Jarman
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Now on the BFI Player is Derek Jarman’s wonderful film about the the 17th century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio. The film comes with a short intodcution from renowned British film critic Mark Kermode.

The BFI say:

Jarman struggled for seven years to get it to the screen. The result was well worth the wait.

It’s a freely dramatised portrait which conjures several of the controversial artist’s most famous paintings through elaborate and beautifully photographed tableaux vivants, and boasts wonderful performances from Nigel Terry, Sean Bean, and, in her first role, Tilda Swinton.

Watch it here.

Music: Martina Lussi - Diffusion Is a Force
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Label: Latency Recordings

Martina Lussi’s second album fuses together disparate sound sources with a disorienting quality that reflects the modern climate of dispersion and distraction. The Lucerne, Switzerland-based sound artist released her debut album ‘Selected Ambient’ on Hallow Ground in 2017, and now comes to Latency with a bold new set of themes and processes. 

The range of tools at her disposal spans field recordings, processed instrumentation, synthesised elements and snatches of human expression. The guitar is a recurring figure, subjected to a variety of treatments from heavy, sustained distortion to clean, pealing notes. Elsewhere the sound of sports crowds and choral singing merge, and patient beds of drones and noise melt into the sounds of industry and mechanics. The track titles manifest as a compositional game of deception complete with innuendos, empty phrases and claims – flirtations with perfume names and ironic assertions. 

From the volatile geopolitical climate to the changing nature of music consumption in the face of streaming and digital access, ‘Diffusion is a Force’ is a reflection on fractured times where familiar modes and models change their meaning with the ever-quickening pace of communication.

MusicPlato's HouseComment
PODCAST: Episode 2 of The Serpentine Podcast: On General Ecology
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Episode 2 of The Serpentine Podcast: On General Ecology. As humans, we have a need to simplify our surroundings to understand them. How can we communicate the complexity of the world in a way we understand, without losing its meaning? In this episode, Victoria Sin and Lucia Pietroiusti digest material from the Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish second symposium, curated by Lucia and Filipa Ramos. Anthropologist Anna Tsing encourages us to consider the subjectivity of the land through Friendly Farming, and Daisy Hildyard attempts to square the individual human experience with its place in the global economic system. We try to find the cracks in the everyday experience that allow us to see the multitudes of meaning that surround us.

Hosts: Victoria Sin & Lucia Pietroiusti

Production: Jessie Lawson for Reduced Listening

Mixing: Steve Wyatt

Plato's HouseComment
IN PRINT: The Castle - Richard Mosse
 

Richard Mosse has spent the past few years documenting the ongoing refugee and migration crisis, repurposing military-grade camera technology to confront how governments and societies perceive refugees. His latest book The Castle is a meticulous record of refugee camps located across mass migration routes from the Middle East and Central Asia into the European Union via Turkey.

Using a thermal video camera intended for long-range border enforcement, Mosse films the camps from high elevations to draw attention to the ways in which each interrelates with, or is divorced from, adjacent citizen infrastructure. His source footage is then broken down into hundreds of individual frames, which are digitally overlapped in a grid formation to create composite heat maps.

Truncating time and space, Mosse’s images speak to the lived experience of refugees indefinitely awaiting asylum and trapped in a Byzantine state of limbo. The book is divided into 28 sites, each presenting an annotated sequence of close-up images that fold out into a panoramic heat map. Within this format, Mosse underscores the provisional architecture of the camps and the ways in which each camp is variously marginalised, concealed, regulated, militarized, integrated, and/or dispersed.

His images point to the glaring disconnect between the brisk free trade of globalized capitalism and the dehumanizing erosion of international refugee law in European nation states. Named after Kafka’s 1926 novel, The Castle prompts questions about the ‘visibility’ of refugees and the erosion of their human rights.

The book comes with a separate book of texts, including a poem by Behrouz Boochani, the journalist, novelist and Iranian refugee currently held by the Australian government in confinement on Manus island, an essay by Paul K. Saint-Amour, associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, an essay by philosopher Judith Butler, and a text by Richard Mosse.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Hitoshi Tsukiji
 

Hitoshi Tsukiji was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1947. Originally self-taught, Tsukiji later became acquainted with the book designer Nobuyoshi Kikuchi, who taught him methods of photographic expression and thought. Since the mid-1960s, Tsukiji has pursued the essence of photographic expression in the city with a sharp eye while eliminating lyricism. In 1979, he established CAMERA WORKS with photographic historian Ryuichi Kaneko, and photographers Shinzo Shimao and Miyabi Taniguchi and published the booklet camera works tokyo (1979-1995). His photographs are included in the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Tokyo Photographic Art Museum; Kawasaki City Museum; the Japan Foundation and Princeton University.

“Shashinzo”, 1984, gelatin silver print, image size: 24.9 x 24.8 cm, paper size: 35.6 x 27.9 cm © Hitoshi Tsukiji

“Shashinzo”, 1984, gelatin silver print, image size: 24.9 x 24.8 cm, paper size: 35.6 x 27.9 cm © Hitoshi Tsukiji

“Vertical, (DOMAIN)”, 1969, gelatin silver print © Hitoshi Tsukiji

“Vertical, (DOMAIN)”, 1969, gelatin silver print © Hitoshi Tsukiji

“Shashinzo”, 1984, gelatin silver print © Hitoshi Tsukiji

“Shashinzo”, 1984, gelatin silver print © Hitoshi Tsukiji

“Shashinzo”, 1984, gelatin silver print © Hitoshi Tsukiji

“Shashinzo”, 1984, gelatin silver print © Hitoshi Tsukiji

“Shashinzo”, 1984, gelatin silver print © Hitoshi Tsukiji

“Shashinzo”, 1984, gelatin silver print © Hitoshi Tsukiji

 
ArtSebastian BodinComment
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Jarin Blaschke
 
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Jarin Blaschke is a director of photography from California.

He has worked with director Robert Eggers on the outstanding horror The Witch (2015) and short film Brothers (2014). They will collaborate again on The Lighthouse (2019) starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. It will be shot in black and white on 35mm film.

On shooting The Witch, Blaschke stated: ‘We wanted the audience to lose themselves in that world as much as possible including the light that illuminated it. For me, that meant using real flame and natural light whenever possible, which also happens to look very beautiful if placed and shaped just right.’

The Witch  (2015)

The Witch (2015)

Brothers  (2014)

Brothers (2014)

The Witch  (2015)

The Witch (2015)

Brothers  (2014)

Brothers (2014)

 
FilmTom SilverComment
IN PRINT: TBW - SUBSCRIPTION SERIES #6 by Guido Guidi, Jason Fulford, Gregory Halpern, Viviane Sassen
 
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TBW’s sixth Subscription Series gathers four artist, have each crafted a monograph charged with an essence of the surreal, exploring the passage of time and the imprecise nature of the phenomenal. Together, these narratives weave a continuum from book to book, creating a dreamlike photographic timeline spanning 40 years.

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BOOK #1

Guido Guidi - Dietro Casa
A prosaic rock pile marks our entry into Guido Guidi’s playfully strange visual journal, a nod to the days past of early 1980s Italy. Acting as both metronome setting the narrative pace and homage to the great Walker Evans, the rock pile ebbs into new shapes and sizes as cats cross paths, friends survey the curious space that is Dietro Casa (“behind the house”), apparitions double-expose across our field of vision, and a young girl wakes from the book's gentle dreamscape. Guidi’s command of the medium lends itself to performance and cinema, establishing the tone for the three books that follow as they build on the ethereal stage he so masterfully sets.

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BOOK #2

Jason Fulford - Clayton's Ascent
Employing a playful and thought provoking use of sequencing and layout that is unmistakably Jason Fulford's, Clayton’s Ascent is a fitting complement to Dietro Casa. Shot between 1997 and 2003 while traveling the US by motorcycle, Fulford’s saturated colors are infused with a veiled foreboding, drawing a blurred line between the real and artificial. Deriving its title from the historic, 1835 nine-hour hot air balloon excursion, Fulford fills the shoes of observer and protagonist, as our sights shift from scenes of a simultaneously fantastic and tumultuous American landscape, to the top tiers of indoor arenas, and finally arcing towards the heavens as we gaze down from above the clouds bidding a receding Earth farewell.

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BOOK #3

Gregory Halpern - Confederate Moons
During a summer marked by a total eclipse of the sun, known colloquially as "The Great American Eclipse" Halpern chose North and South Carolina as the stage in which to capture this rare and fleeting event, one which had not been visible across the entire contiguous United States since June 8th, 1918.

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BOOK #4
Viviane Sassen - Heliotrope
Heliotrope is a collection of images in which Sassen investigates new ways of making and altering photographs that she shot on recent travels to Ethiopia, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal and South Africa. "I aim at subverting the way I look at these images, and at the world. Color, graphic shapes and shadows are my tools to revisit, reinterpret and gather a different understanding of what seems familiar. The ordinary and the magical merge. The series is underpinned by the impulse to explore unknown territories, physical or metaphorical.

 BUY THE BOOK VIA TWELVE BOOKS HERE

 
BooksAdam GreenhalghComment