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In The Open | Wild Pansy Press

Editor of the Wild Pansy Press at the University of Leeds, Chris Taylor is an artist, designer and publisher, collaborating with artists and writers in realising their ideas for which the book is the appropriate mode of display and dissemination.

Six publications from the Wild Pansy Press exploring issues of place, landscape and being; from the Caspian Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, from the backwaters of the Venetian lagoon to the intoxicating moors of northern England.

Karen Babayan’s series of short stories, Blood Oranges Dipped in Salt, are structured around a 12 line Armenian poem, Verchatsav!, and track her family’s history and migration from the Middle East to the UK and North America.  Overlayed with text and archival imagery, PERSE (Ancienne) Dressée, a map of ancient Armenia and Iran, bears witness to a minority cultural that has experienced generations of loss, displacement, migration, immigration and assimilation.

In Déirdre Kelly’s Meeting of the Waters ~ Cruinnú na n-Uiscí, a new map of Ireland has been formed where the East and West coasts are drawn together, creating an interior lake – a land-locked mixture of sea (Irish) & ocean (Atlantic). The book takes us on a ‘round trip’ of the bays, headlands and points which characterise the Irish coastline and determine the tension between land and water.  The title is taken from the Avoca river in County Wicklow, which starts life as two rivers, Avonmore (Irish: Abhainn Mhór, “Big River”) and Avonbeg (Irish: Abhainn Bheag, “Small River”). Where these two rivers join is a recognised place of great beauty, hence the ‘Meeting of the Waters’.

Kelly’s second book, A Walk Past Standing Heads, is a tribute to Richard Long’s seminal publication,
 ‘A Walk Past Standing Stones’ (Coracle Press for Anthony d’Offay Gallery, 1980).  The ‘Standing Heads’ illustrated adorn the balustrade staircase of Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel in Venice, the carved stone now worn and weathered by both the human and natural environments.

Poet Harriet Tarlo and artist Judith Tucker work collaboratively in combining image and text, the laparelo book structure providing a sympathetic and extended format for the journeys experienced, the ^  and v of the concertina pages reminiscent of the uplands and lowlands of the landscape trod.