Limner: the stick that moved on its own

A work just published in the third issue of Limner – a critical journal of illustration by Studio Operative, designed by Traven T. Croves. More on the issue's theme below. This pieces reprises a title 'the stick that moved on its own' (used in a previous work) because I'm not yet done with its connotations.

The phrase is excerpted from 'Woodland Animals', a book for young children published by Golden Pleasure Books in 1967. The copy I have was found in a cupboard in a cottage on the coast of County Down, Northern Ireland. The tales of a young hare, beautifully illustrated by Paul Durand, are suffused with account of the substance of the wood from a small mammal's perspective.

The negotiation of damp moss, scaffolded twigs at close quarters gives a claustrophobic, thingly aspect to the narrative and it is this I wanted as a spur. A point at which a topological mumbling and stammering (hence the twice-attempted spread compositions) supercedes the linear text. Didn't the Faraway Tree 'wisha-wisha' something similar?

The other core ingredient has been to account for an adolescent life spent on the belt of pastoral and municipal. So the object-palette is out-of-town retail – prodded, lashed to satisfy a shaky, tender, herbarial urge. Service scree.

Loathe to offer a viewpoint on critical illustration, so proximate to contributing a piece of work. 

I will say, though, that an altered or developed discourse can only occur if the form is altered – not by talking in a new way about the same thing. This includes the form of the writing, which after all orbits a discipline whose kinship to text is rooted more in the fictional, the speculative. 

The slotting, lamination, splicing, superimposition, counterpoint of written and imaged in a one-plus-one-equals-good-one complicity asks the words to muck in on a renewal of form. So it good, for example, to see Dr. Malte Oppermann and Rosie Eveleighs' piece on the imaging of electrons.

Alice Lindsay, Peter Willis and Miriam Elgon are on their third issue and each one is edging further towards a reflexive form and argument.

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