Ward's artists' books display playful ingenuity, sensual textures and intimate scale. The exhibition draws together scattered milestones from boyhood to adulthood, laying bare the common mortifications of youth so excruciatingly private but so utterly universal.
Little Wonder ... pays homage to the Brooke Bond Tea Card albums of the 1950s and â60s, replacing the collector cards on birds or motors with a series of artists' books accompanied by Ward's poignant moments and personal admissions.
More than an exercise in nostalgia, Ward appears bound to these moments, edifying them as the building blocks of identity to be classified and combined as a form of neo-genome. An album of autobiographical description and blanched shadows indicating where each laser-cut card is to be affixed, the album becomes their repository. Drawn into a makeshift timeline, the fragments assemble under the authority of history.
The artist's book offers containment, an opportunity to smile or cringe anew at formative woe from the safe distance of adulthood. Ultimately, it is the spectral outlines that haunt as they extend from the album into the gallery, evoking unknown futures and an irretrievable past.
Little wonder ... A series of thirty cards of discontinuities, personal schisms and varying timescales.
Designed by Jonathan Ward and published by KALEID editions. A limited edition of five hundred hand screen-printed and offset lithographic collector albums accompanied with a selection of laser cut tea cards. To complete the set if thirty, the final cards will be posted to each collector by Royal Mail in tandem with Ward's future publications.
The exhibition will also feature artists' books by Yvonne Bucheim, Chris Hill, Rob Hunter, Dawn Mason, Jonathan McNaught and Ben Newman.
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