As designer of the Peeps book, Ancoats has held a special place in my Manchester make-up since arriving 20 years ago in this city. As I felt my way into the arts and cultural set up here, I used to head to a basement printers, who typeset and produced artwork for me before I had my first mac, often a scary dark and forbidding place, visited early before the rush of a day’s work to get my stuff sorted, or getting my fly-posters done old school style down a dark alley, cash only…
A forgotten hinterland, rotting away, this part of town was always of fascination for the suggestion of a latent energy, of past glories, the street names nail it for me, so evocative of global places and endevour. I think that is why my chance meeting with Dan, in Italy oddly, drew me to the project he discussed there, about what he was doing in my adopted city. And so I then got the opportunity to sift through the archival material and draw on it, become immersed in it, read his rough notes, work with his photography and collected ephemera, to make a bookwork – a joyful process.
Now I often detour on my road bike through the streets of pavé on my way back from the Velodrome, enjoying the feel of the cobbles under the wheels (its a european cycle thing), the place less ominous, but equally as fascinating, buildings of beautiful past industrial power reclaimed saved and reinvigorated.
June 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm