An occasional newsletter about forthcoming books and events

April 2019

In this newsletter . . .

an exhibition: Naoko Matsubara at the Ashmolean, Oxford

two events: Alchemy of the Planets on show

an amazing book: Venice Reflections



a forthcoming event
Naoko Matsubara

Stunning woodcuts on show at the Ashmolean

16 April to 6 October 2019
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Some years ago we published a collection of the work of Japanese woodcut artist Naoko Matsubara. It was called tokonoma and it coupled twenty haiku and tanka verses by the late James Kirkup with stunning multi-coloured woodcuts by Naoko.

From April to October, under the title 'Lifelines', Naoko has an exhibition of forty of her woodcuts on show at the Ashmolean.

tokonoma was an opportunity to do something a little different: I wanted a book that didn't need to hide its contents - Naoko's images in particular - closed and on the shelf like a conventional codex. I decided that each poem-image pair would be printed on a single sheet of paper and the collection held in a box that would serve as a picture frame as well as a storage device. You can see the result in the following image:

Since this is a book there is also a title page, several pages of introductory text by James Kirkup, and a colophon page, all as separate sheets. The full set of sheets sits in a shallow tray beneath a perspex sheet, with a support that turns it into a picture frame. A slipcase allows you to hide the whole thing on a shelf if you choose! The twenty images allow a change of image once a fortnight for many months.

The whole thing was of course a fine excuse to use Japanese hand-made papers throughout, and Naoko arranged for the images to be printed on a making by the late master paper-maker Masao Seki, while the text sheets were printed on a gampi torinoko.

If you are interested in more detail you can find it right here. We do still have copies for sale.


news about
Alchemy of the Planets

Shows in Cambridge and Germany


Alchemy of the Planets has found its way into a number of international as well as private collections. It recently featured in shows of the work of artist Philip Hughes in both the UK and Germany.

Last November it appeared alongside some of the original artwork in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre in Cambridge, England. And, given its space-mission theme, it was more than appropriate for an exhibition at the European Space Agency's Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, from December 2018 to the beginning of March, again with some of Philip's original works on the walls. You can see a fine collection of photos of the two shows by clicking HERE for a PDF.

If you haven't seen the book, the following picture will give a taster of it and of course you can see more and get full details at our website.


talking about


It might seem odd but this article is as much about another publisher's book as ours.

We recently had yet another visit to a favourite city - Venice - a city which, as many readers will know, has featured in a number of our past books. This trip proved to have a nice bookish flavour, with, in particular, a train excursion to the Tipoteca museum in Cornuda (much recommended), and a morning at the Printing R-evolution and society, 1450-1500: fifty years that changed Europe exhibition at the Museo Correr.

On our return home we found our copy of a stunning book just published by artist Leslie Gerry: Venice Reflections.

Leslie has a unique and mesmerising way with digital art. We collaborated with him on his Stockholm Reflections, of which this is one opening showing one of his images:

Leslie's Venice Reflections, published under his own imprint, is staggering on more than one level, as the following picture I'm sure will tell you:

We hope you have enjoyed this update on the Press's activities.
You can browse an archive of past newsletters at our website.
If you have comments or questions on the contents of this newsletter just let us know.
You can of course find details of all our plans and books in print at our website.

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Copyright Martyn Ould 2019