Turkeys, Rockets and Superpigs
10 Nov - 22 Dec 18
Turkeys, Rockets and Superpigs is an exhibition celebrating over 30 years of John Purcell Paper Christmas cards. It is also a celebration of John Purcell’s collaborations with Merivale Editions and MakingSpace Publishers. These collaborations have in turn acted to gather the talents of artists, poets, illustrators and printmakers in the three decades of their production.
From Edward Bawden’s ‘Elephant’ via Penny Brewill’s mechanical birds and on to Chris Hill’s turkey on wheels, the collection explores the more liminal of Christmas content. Some arrive assembled, others invite the destruction of the card to make its final form.
There are miniature books, sliding pouches containing greedy hamsters and collectors cards exploring kissable frogs. One card takes a sneaky peek at the Queen giving her toes a soak, while another follows the exploits of a hen desperate to find the perfect roost. Mini narratives, artists‘ books and classic concertinas all offering a playful sense of discovery and surprise.
All the artists involved had free reign to explore their ideas. Their only condition was to choose from JPP’s Aladdin’s cave of paper stocks. This has resulted in an eclectic collection that offers a visually oblique look at Christmas through each artist’s plum-pudding tinted glasses.
One of the aims of this exhibition is to throw light on the print and production processes used in their production, while encouraging the viewer to handle the display copies and experience their tactility and three dimensional nature. Who knows, the exhibition may be the catalyst for a cascade of next generation turkeys, rockets and superpigs through our letterboxes on a crisp and even, future Christmas night.