Dreaming and discovery – high Victorian children’s books and their illustrations…

The king and a maiden...image
The king and a maiden…

The University of Florida is home to the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature.You can find over seven thousand titles digitised here:

https://ufdc.ufl.edu/collections/juv

The plate accompanying this article is of a king and a maiden on horseback, from an 1872 UK edition of Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen.

See more here – https://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026595/00001/images/5

Using the search box will afford you many hours of pleasure as you discover writing and illustrations from the disturbing to the lyrical and heart warming.

“… strengths and distinctions of the Baldwin Library include: alphabet books, marginalia and inscriptions, nonfiction from the 20th century, Little Golden Books, religious tracts, and illustrated editions from the Golden Age of Children’s Literature.

Scholars worldwide use the Baldwin Library for research in morality tales and religious tracts, conduct of life, gender roles, comparative editions, and toy and movable books.”

Source: The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature.

See more here…https://ufdc.ufl.edu/collections/juv

A treasure trove on-line indeed. We recommend this collection.

The architect, Lord Norman Foster, has been recently talking about his latest project, the InHub la punt in the Swiss Engadin Valley. Foster, in the video below, talks about the changing nature of buildings and how innovation can be accommodated, often in architecturally provocative ways, whilst offering communities new spatial and intellectual resources.

‘…designed as a centre for innovation, the project seeks to bring new visitors together with the local community to increase prosperity, create jobs, and revitalise local crafts and produce. Separate from the home or office, the setting is conceived as a ‘third place’ for collaboration and creativity. The 6,000-square-meter (64,583 square foot) project will comprise work and seminar spaces, sports facilities, retail outlets, a restaurant, as well as an underground car park…’

Foster is aware of the controversy some of his firm’s designs can create, but is always enthusiastic for intellectual collaboration and human engagement. He also reflects about the context of pandemics in the human experience and, importantly, the sustaining nature and enduring qualities of community.

An important, sustaining position to take, we would argue, in the current epidemiological climate.

You can see more details of the work and images of the proposed project here on the pages of designboom magazine.


Are you interested in exploring art with your children? Are you put off because art is solely in the domain of the ‘highly talented’. The resource below will help you overcome such reserve.

Indian author and educator Nisha Nair has produced a lively and thoughtful book about the teaching of art, and the short film below illustrates the four main misconceptions of art in both education and outcome.

 

The argument is explored in more depth in her book Art Sparks: ideas. methods. process.

”What do children learn through art, and what is the value of what they’re learning? Exploring these questions seriously for the first time in the Indian educational context, this book guides the interested adult through an engaging and uniquely successful process of art-making with children. The method – based on a workshop model – assumes that an artist is not simply an individual who is born with an innate natural talent, someone who can ‘draw well’’. 

The work is published by Tara Books and you can purchase a copy of Nisha’s work from their bookshop here…

Art Sparks: Ideas. Methods. Process.


Enlightenment in the East of England

This short lecture is delivered by Abdulrazak Gurnah, the 2021 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

It is a concise, masterly exposition about the birth of the writing process in the young mind, as well as how, as a mature writer, the author begins to finally see the warped mirror reflecting the reality of the landscape of colonialism, racism and inequality.

In this video essay Abdulrazak Gurnah traces the arc of anger, joy, confusion and the quest for clarity in a troubled world. His writing is, in essence, a tool chipping away at the vaunting edifice of inequality, mis-direction by elites, cruelty and injustice.

It is a long journey from Zanzibar to the University of Kent, but the journey began with a sheet of paper and a pen.

In his opening stanza, Gurnah reads us an excerpt from the writings of Lawrence, that beautifully captures the experience of the young person discovering the illustrative power of reflection…a sensation, a memory, that any putative writer, in any setting will recognise immediately.

Masterly is too slight a word for this video essay, and it will remain laden with meaning and message for all of us as 2021 comes to an end…

We commend it to our readers, as we hopefully await sunnier uplands in 2022.

Discover the life of Abdulrazak Gurnah on Wikipedia here.

 

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain have produced their own inimitable version of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.

It is a compendium of spirit, vivacity and bravura musicianship, of course.

If you do not know of the Ukulele Orchestra, this is a great introduction.

If you have had one Zoom meeting too many during the day, or phone calls that never seem to end – this is the antidote.

Who knew the ukulele was a therapeutic tool?

Discover the UOoGB home page here…and details of their forthcoming gigs.

Enjoy! We did.

Editor’sNote: If you missed the Nirvana original see it here.


See more information here…

Our Partnership is really proud to be supporters of St. Elizabeth’s Hospice in Ipswich.

The team have a fabulous creative project, and fund-raiser of course, in The Big Hoot. There is still time for artists far and wide to submit their creative designs for the owl statues of the Big Hoot art trail being held in Ipswich next summer by St Elizabeth Hospice and Wild in Art…

”As part of the Big Hoot, between June and August next year, 40 ornately decorated owl sculptures, featuring designs celebrating all things Suffolk, will be scattered throughout Ipswich showcasing the wealth of artistic talent of the county and beyond, as part of the biggest free art event in Suffolk which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the town.

In June, the hospice called on artists to submit their creative ideas before 15th October for an expert panel to review, ahead of a special matchmaker event in December which will decide the final designs to decorate the Big Hoot statues for the magical trail in 2022.”

See more: https://www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/about-us/news/news-archive/one-month-left-to-submit-creative-designs-for-big-hoot-2022-owl-statues/

Celia Joseph, Community Relationships Fundraising Manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We have been thrilled to receive many imaginative designs for our Big Hoot 2022 and are already excited about the creativity and vibrancy the trail will bring to Ipswich.”

Source: Web pages of St. Elizabeth’s Hospice in Ipswich, Suffolk

If you are a creative, keen to take part and support the work of this great team in their work…sign up now.

 

Update: January 2021

The Inspector General of the United States Postal Service has just published a new report – Millennials and the Mail.

In the report, the USPS looked at how millennials view the postal service, how convenient they think it is and how well-disposed to a snail mail postal service they feel.

Surprisingly, for their age cohort, millennials see the Postal Service as valuable and have a high level of trust and satisfaction in it. Their deficits for the service are the irregularity of new service updates, identifying postal points and access to stamps.

The surveyed cohort saw great value and satisfaction in writing a letter, sending it to a loved one and appreciated the special-ness of the transaction via the post.

It seemed to us, that the Postal Service in the UK could become a significant player in improving literacy and considered authorship of correspondence, by taking the same approach to this age cohort. Enticing them to send more letters, write them more often and supporting the improvement of literacy skills as a side benefit too. Both social and economic uplift from a service central to all our lives.

Perhaps we should send them a Pigeon?  Download a copy of Millennials and the Mail here.


Original article:

This caught our imagination this morning, on a cold, not quite Christmas yet day.

We love writing, writers, writing initiatives and the rest, as you know. But in the hurly-burly of Zoom, email and e-comms, even though we are all standing still at the moment, we felt there must be space for the quiet reflection and the use of the good, old pen.

Well there is now. It’s a product called Pigeon.

Your Pigeon will come from Birmingham in the UK, by the way.

This is writing that’s fun, personal and allows you to connect to your quiet imagination, whatever your age.

We thought this was a great idea, great product design and choice, and modest pricing too.

Visit https://pigeonposted.com and discover your own Pigeon. Great for a Christmas gift too.

Season’s greetings to all our readers…


The British Library have just published their Adopt a Book list for the coming Christmas holiday.

The British Library, Adopt a Book scheme...
Adopt a classic, at the British Library

This is a great way to support the British Library conservation team, and with a…

…donation of £40 you can choose from a selection of your favourite titles, such as A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland and Jane Eyre. You’ll receive a personalised e-certificate and a gift card, sent directly to you or the lucky recipient.

Source: The British Library, support.bl.uk/Book/BookList

Seasonal greetings to our readers and all the Library team, hoping for a sunnier 2021.


We thought this was lovely.

”…in March 2020, the choirs fell silent. The Voice Project had planned to start rehearsing a new show, Arc of the Sky, inspired by the idea of a bird’s-eye view of Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh, known as the Cathedral of the Marshes, the landscape it sits in – the Blyth estuary – and the coastline.

Performances were planned there for July. Instead, we made this film with the singers recording and filming themselves. This is the result…”

Source: The Voice Project – Discover more here https://www.voiceproject.co.uk/about/

                                  See this wonderful creation on YouTube here

Beautiful filmic and voice creative work. Uplifting and contemplative also – but firmly anchored with their humanity.

Perfect for these difficult times.

We thought that these two U.S based projects were delightful examples of how, using remote technology, you can explore both art and place from your armchair.

They are not intended for the casual, under resourced visitor certainly, in terms of expected project outcome. However, they are wonderful case studies of how their subjects can be explored in depth from the laptop.

As well as successfully cultivating a world wide audience. See what you think…they might offer a new template for action in these difficult times?

See more details here…

Open House New York

October 17–18, 2020  See more at https://ohny.org/weekend

Yes, this citywide celebration of architecture is happening. (And, yes, things are a bit different this year.)

What will I be able to sign up for and see?

  • Self-Guided Tours: itineraries for outdoor exploration of an area by foot, by bike, or by boat.
  • On-Site Video Tours: video walkthroughs of a project with architects, historians, and other experts.
  • Open Studios: virtual presentations by architects and artists of a single project.
  • Podcasts: audio recordings about a single site.
  • Exhibitions: self-guided explorations of digital exhibitions.
  • Virtual Programs: panels, interactive tours, live Q&As, performances, and more

EDITIONS / ARTISTS’ BOOKS FAIR – New York

OCTOBER 14 – 28, 2020

See more here…

We are thrilled to announce E/AB Fair 2020, fully online, October 14 – 28 on this website.

A world class array of visual art book publishers in a virtual conference hall venue.

The fair will gather an international community of over 60 publishers and dealers, featuring emerging and mid-career contemporary artists. Each exhibitor will have their own viewing room and, as always, they will be accessible for artwork discussion and special insights.”

For a New York based initiative you can expect to find a vast array of visual art exhibitors from the East Coast of the USA. But there also, in the catalogue, a healthy assortment of non-East Coast based creative centres.

These include, for example the Glasgow Print Studio, Stoney Road Press from Dublin and the Flatbed Centre for Contemporary Printmaking in Austin, Texas’

Just visiting these web pages is inspirational. We wish all the contributors to the event good luck.


So if you are visiting OHNY this weekend, why not stay in New York for another week and take in the visual feast that is the E//AB Fair.

All without leaving your armchair!

Image credit:

News Desk image by Markus Winkler, Creative Commons, Unsplash...

Categories