I have become rather irregular at blogging recently (it’s lucky I'm not monetised!) but the truth is that my life is upside down at the moment and I'm not getting much done in the way of new work. I always find the best thing to do under such circumstances is to recharge the creative batteries and keep collecting ideas, and make space for new ideas and influences to brew away in the background - then, when work resumes, we hit the ground running and a terrific new body of work will issue forth.
In the absence of any interesting new work of my own, I thought I would share some of this process and post some of the things which have grabbed my attention recently: one is this book Sun and Moon - Folk Tales by Various Artists, which I stumbled upon in Maria Popova's wonderful Sunday email newsletter Brain Pickings. I was so taken with Sun and Moon I instantly broke all my own rules about not clicking on links from my inbox - and I was suddenly on a spell-binding journey around the website of Tara Publishing.
Tara is an independent publishing house started in 1994 by Gita Wolf. The first thing to greet the eye on their home page is a banner which reads:
Pushing the boundaries of the book form in an age that is busy writing its obituary
I was hooked. Then I found their hand-made books and I was a lost cause, falling head over heels for at least four books which instantly found their way onto my must-have list - and they are actually affordable! (Well, one at a time, anyway, if you are like me, and I can always drop big fat hints to my nearest and dearest in time for Christmas!)
Of Sun and Moon, the publishers write:
"Part of everyday life, yet rich in symbolic meaning, renderings of the sun and the moon are present in all folk and tribal art traditions of India. They are always in relationship with each other. Agrarian societies keep track of time by referring to markers in the seasonal variations of the sun, moon, and the planets. Over the course of time, they have also woven wonderful stories and myths around them. Here, for the first time, is a collection of unusual stories and exquisite art from some of the finest living artists, on this most universal of themes."
I think you will agree the artwork is exquisite and the book itself looks sumptuous - I can't wait to own a copy.
I will post entries here about the other three books which lit me up. I could cheerfully buy everything from the whole online shop on the website, it is all so beautiful.
In the mean time, check out brainpickings.org where you can subscribe to Maria's newsletters, which I swear was one of the best things I ever did; and please visit tarabooks.com and feast your eyes on some of the loveliest books I have seen for years.
Thank you for reading,
A big cheery wave and best wishes to you all!
Images from Brain Pickings newsletter by Maria Popova, Sunday 20 August 2017