The book measures 21 x 28cms. It is a perfect represention of the ideal domestic and cultural context I was offered as a child. It combines a dogged and stoney representation of the everyday world with a sudden and inexplicable lurch into the nightmarish and bizarre.
I have often found it difficult to spell out a personal delight in the dead surface, in the slate qualities of flesh, in faces caught in a disconnected rictus of glee.Think of Magritte's paintings of clay people in landscapes, and the regular features in the Strand magazines of Vegetables that look like household objects or familiar relatives. There is much illustration that is generally disregarded which captures exactly this dead quality. It is a natural response and a natural corrective to all the fake lushness of Matisse and the Cult of the Mediterranean. Against the garish gleam of Cannes let us set here the stolid patina of the Home Counties.
Laughing at Lapwings.