Means of Escape
Means of Escape brings together all the posters for the 2022-23 season of Golden Cabinet which took place at The Kirkgate Centre in Shipley, plus other work created during the same period. If you know what Golden Cabinet is then I’ll say no more, but if you don’t, maybe it’s best to stay hidden under the covers with all the lights on as it goes some way to try and illustrate what those nights became via the medium of paper and ink (and tut! tut! toner).
Just the sort of antidote to a shocking few years that many people obviously needed as every single one of them sold out (often within 24 hours) and people could be seen stumbling out of the venue dazed and confused whilst grappling with a new found sense of impending doom, or laughing their heads off with a strange maniacal look in their eyes. Or both.
It’s unashamedly riffing on the cut and paste graphical style of hardcore / anarcho punk / skateboarding that I got sucked into as a teenager, produced using processes that I could only dream of at the time that were usually hidden away in dark, dusty airless printing dungeons filled with sweat, cigarette smoke, noxious chemicals, bad breath, foul language, poor personal hygiene, blatant racism, homophobia and page 3 pin ups on the wall. Maybe that’s why printing was called the dark arts after all.
It incorporates wash up sheets / mono-prints, grot, noise and accumulated filth gathered together from years of printing on printing presses, knackered, horrific typefaces from a 1970s Letraset catalogue, full colour images with bugs crawling over / out of them, scary dolls heads, tapeworms and massive spiders, as well as pages that look like they’ve been slashed with a big blunt knife and are bleeding out. All of this is infused with a copy of a copy of a badly dubbed memory of watching video nasties on a clapped out VCR late at night in a cold draughty room lit by a solitary flickering light bulb and no curtains, so what’s on the outside can see in but you can’t see out as all the escape routes suddenly melt into a mass of writhing worms…
It’s undoubtedly subconsciously / un-subconsciously channelling 70s / 80s giallo / horror films, heavy / black / death / doom metal, Discharge (the band, not bodily fluids, well actually maybe that too), the occult, badly photocopied demo tapes from tape trading in the 80s, acid flashbacks, the utter grimness that you find yourself in at 3am on a bad come down and those total WTF is going on moments that you never want to revisit ever again. Or do you?
Welcome to my world. This means of escape became a place to go to, to (maybe) get to somewhere else without a clear destination or defined route of travel, with an emphasis on working quickly, using a range of malfunctioning obsolete ‘modern’ equipment that was completely impossible to achieve with letterpress printing. Except that’s not entirely true, as the black section on the cover was printed letterpress, as were all of the inserts included in the package…
This new way of working after a number of years of banging my head against a creative brick wall with zero energy has completely infected and re-energised every aspect of how I now approach image making. Who knows how long it will last and quite possibly who the fuck cares, but maybe you do.
It’s not just all pictures though as there’s some writing in there with a nod to some of my influences which you might like to (stage) dive head first into from a giant speaker stack.
I’d love to show you every single page here but then you wouldn’t get the full effect of absorbing the horror through your fingers and eyes as you read it before bedtime and also I need to eat food and pay the rent!
Covers printed on 200gsm Favini Shiro Alga Carta (“a paper created from algae that, by its abnormal proliferation, was damaging the fragile ecosystem of the Venice Lagoon.”), with the black printed from a laser engraved block on a Vandercook SP20.
The inners are printed digitally on off white rough paper which came from a dusty, filthy closed down printers in Shipley with its own decaying horrors, ghosts from the past and dreams of a better future which ended in failure (and later demolition).
Roger Grech stabbed them three times with a very sharp needle and sewed them together with the blackest of threads and then folded and creased them in half with the bone of a whale.
The dolls head sticker is hand inked then overprinted on an Adana 8 x 5”. The postcards, bookmark & other sticker were all printed on a Heidelberg 10 x 15” Platen from laser engraved woodblocks, hand cut lino & hand set 24pt metal Koloss type.
One of the postcards is overprinted onto a very old chopped up litho poster of mine, which means if you were crazy enough to buy enough copies it would reveal the original poster below with its magical sequence of numbers.
2 x A6 post cards / art prints printed letterpress
2 x Stickers printed letterpress
1 x Bookmark printed letterpress
Flat item. Sent separately to posters / prints.
Thanks for reading this far.