A fifth book of poems and images
by Phil Madden and Paul L. Kershaw
227 x 326mm, 30pp
Printed on BFK Rives paper, 250gsm, using an Albion press and a cylinder press. There are 50 copies in the edition. The setting is Ellington and Strayhorn. It is quarter bound in cloth, with a printed patterned paper. The design, graphics, printing and binding are by Paul L. Kershaw.
Through a series of words & images set across the open spread, the book explores ideas around the movement of water, from estuary to spring. The book is comprised of 15 double-page spreads. Except for the first and last of these – title-page and colophon – text appears as negative within a coloured shape. The poems have been written over recent years but not with any specific intention of them being part of a collection. They have been gathered together as the project developed and the idea of upstream progress became central.
Images are a mix of the representational and abstract, and are relief prints. Occasional small wood engravings combine with much larger shapes and textures. Much of the source material was created by playing around with black ink, for both printing and pen, with whatever came to hand – palette knives, rollers, brushes, solvent etc. Printing ink was worked on a sheet of glass, sometimes when clearing up from a printing session. The results were blotted with paper and left to dry. Useable ones were scanned and areas selected and adjusted to form layers in the composition, then each made into polymer plates for printing.* Colouring of the images was done quite freely, with hardly any proofing, and with fingers crossed that the final appearance of the spread would work. Altogether there are 127 separate printings, so for the edition alone, never mind the inevitable spoilage, that makes a minimum of 6350 impressions were taken.
* This involves sending a file for filmsetting. It comes back as a negative, which is then, in my darkroom, placed over a steel-backed plate on a vacuum bed and exposed to ultraviolet light. After washing with water it is dried and re-exposed to harden it for printing.
copyright © Paul L. Kershaw 2023