Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Alternative Press Festival & Sugar Beet Collages

There I was pulling cash from my wallet, feeling like a proper patron of the arts at the International Alternative Press Festival on Sunday - well, no-one else seemed to be parting with their money. Ah yes, it was just like the old days, wandering amongst tables covered in handmade paper products - and there was Mark Pawson! Still doing his thing, which he's been doing since the late-80s, back when I started my zine. So we chatted for a while and the term 'pre-internet' came up, which I said made me feel ancient but he rightly pointed out the importance of differentiating between then and now.

Outside I chatted to a French cartoonist who asked me what I thought of the festival, to which I replied 'There's some good stuff', and she told me she thought otherwise, thus sparking a debate about subjectivity during which I confessed my general ignorance of contemporary comic strip art. Besides, much of what was on show was so crude that it was impossible to tell the 'badly drawn' from the deliberately naive works of genius that eschewed old-fashioned craft and 'quality'. The difference between the French artist and me being that she claimed to be able to recognise all the rip-offs which may have appeared original to me.

I was hoping for more texts in indie production mode but only saw a few booklets of poems, and I don't like most poetry; it's too poetic. Perhaps the writing revolution is rarely festivalised, or I should pay more attention to the press, but which press? The last thing I want to attend is a Hampstead soiree for writers, or anything sponsored by The Guardian.

Still, I found this little book of collages that I liked so I thought I'd scan a few images from it (with the artist's permission, of course). Her site is here.

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