Monday, 1 September 2014

Text and Image at Arvon

Tomorrow I start teaching a week long Text and Image course at The Arvon Foundation in Totleigh Barton, Devon - nearest village, Sheepwash. I'll be teaching it with my co-tutor David Pearson, renowned book and book jacket designer. Our guest lecturer on Wednesday is the excellent Margaret Huber talking about visual diaries. The Arvon Foundation is a wonderful writer's residency retreat. It's always exhausting teaching a course, but incredibly rewarding. I love it there.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Interview by Hardy Parker in The Loop

In the latest issue of The Loop, the excellent children's magazine 'for kids who are into everything and anything' there is an interview with me by Hardy Parker who came to the studio a few weeks ago for a chat. He has done an amazing job, all the more remarkable since he is only 10 years old. His questions were great and his reporting is very accurate. (I can almost hear my own annoying voice when I read it.) Amazing job. It's too long to include here, but do check it out.
The interview was arranged by photographer Jenny Lewis who also took the picture of us. Jenny is a wonderful portrait photographer who came to the studio to take pictures of me and Margaret for her Hackney Studio project where she photographs (Hackney) artists in their studios, the next subject being suggested the previous one, which creates a lovely meandering chain of linked artist. Here are some of the ones she took of us, but you should visit her website to see more of her work.

Textures Exhibition - Johannesburg

It's been and gone, but I've only just found out about it. In April 2014 Woman's World was part of an exhibition of artists' books iat the University of Johannesburg, South Africa: Textures: an exhibition of text, textures and structure in artists' books, curated by Jack Ginsberg, David Paton and Rosalind Cleaver. It included books by Tom Phillips, Jonathan Safran Foer, Ilia Zdanevich, Naum Gronvskii, Mark Danielewski, Hedi Kyle, Marion Bataille and David Pearson. You can download the catalogue here, see Jack Ginsberg's introduction to the exhibition on Youtube here and generally see more about it here.

Frank Damek - card collector

Here's the original story of Frank Damek who collected a complete deck of found cards. It appeared in an 1870 Chicago newspaper and was the story that I used in my 1993 series Lying Doggo, but I'd never seen the original article. It inspired me to collect cards found on the street, and I've been on the lookout since then. Someone suggested that the story was probably made up by a journalist to fill space in the newspaper, but I prefer to think that it is true.

Varoom talk at Foyles Gallery

I forgot to post this link to the talk I gave at Foyles back in April. (Illustration Rules?! - Launch of the AOI's Varoom 21 magazine with Viviane Schwarz and Phoebe Halstead. It was recorded and can be heard on Soundcloud via this link. Though why anyone would want to listen, I'm not sure. I didn't, but then I heard it the first time. Pictured here after the event, Margaret Huber (Mrs Rawle) and I are showing off our matching tartan socks.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Talk at the Whitechapel Gallery

I'm giving a talk on Friday June 27th at the Whitechapel Gallery as part of the UCA event on research. It's taking place in the Clore Creative Studio. Here are the details of the day.

9:30 – 9:50 Arrival
9:50 – 10:00 introduction
10:00 – 10:40  Jeremy Coysten, designer and photographer, partner at North (,
10:40 – 11:20  Graham Rawle, author, artist and designer (
11:20 – 11:40  Coffee
11:40 – 12:20  Durrell Bishop, interaction and product designer (
12:20 – 13:00  Nick Bell, Director of Nick Bell Design, UAL Chair of Communication Design, Visiting Critic at the RCA, Consultant to Eye (
13:00 – 14:00  Lunch
14:00 – 14:40  Rob Watkins, art director at Improbable (,
14:40 – 15:20  Dylan Kendle and Simon Taylor, designers, directors and creative partners at Tomato (
15:20 – 15:40  Coffee
15:40 – 16:20  Adrian Johnson, illustrator (
16:20 – 17:00  Trevor Keeble, UCA director of Research and Enterprise (
17:00 – 17:10  Thanks and end

Sunday, 20 April 2014

James Franco - Woman's World

These self-portraits were taken from the catalogue of James Franco's current exhibition, New Film Stills, at The Pace Gallery in New York. Of particular interest is one where he is seen lying next to a copy of Woman's World. Mr Franco made an offer for the film rights to the book, but no agreement was reached. These pictures put me very much in mind of Norma, the protagonist in my story.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Falmouth Talk this Thursday

click image to enlarge

Thursday, 10 April 2014

More found cards

A lot of thin, papery cards found by one of our MA students, Mark Daniels, outside the school where he teaches, from which he chose the Five of Clubs.

The Ace of Diamonds, found by another of our students, Pip Carter, on a cycle path on her way to work. Only two weeks previously she found the Ten of Spades. I need to scan and add that one.

And this Seven of Spades was selected from a discarded pack by.... er... Mark Daniels, I think. Let me check on that.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Cards Found update

Lots of card finds have been sent to me since the last 'found card' posting. There is this Jack of Spades found by Tom Wishart, son of Lou Wishart, a student on our course, who found this in Reigate on his way home from school.
A few weeks later, he found the ten of diamonds, photographed here in situ. Tom has decided, like me, that if he finds several discarded cards, he can pick up any one of them. 
The eight of diamonds was found by Luise W at the foot of U Bein's bridge in Burma (Myanmar).

A couple of days later she found a ripped Jack of Hearts at Hsinbyume Pagoda, Mingun.
This Ten of Hearts was found by Jim O'Brian, on wet tarmac outside the recycling centre in Exeter.
 The Queen of Diamonds was found by Reece Wykes following a talk I gave to BA Illustration students at Kingston University.

Warren Lehrer's Book List

How flattering to see Woman's World listed in Warren Lehrer's favourite design book list at Designers& Books, New York. This is what he says about it.

This is one of the most surprising, enjoyable, couldn’t-put-it-down books I have read in years. It’s surprising in a number of ways. First, it’s important to know that this book was assembled (written/composed, pick your verb here) from 40,000 fragments of text snipped from 1960s British women’s magazines. (Rawle apparently wrote a draft of this pulp-noir, gender-bending story, then rewrote it like a mosaic using all these found snidbits.) So, the first thing that is surprising is how unfragmented the writing is. The second surprise is how fabulously scrumptious the sentences are, particularly Rawle’s descriptions, in large part because of his peculiar, painstaking process that produces wildly unexpected (and often funny) phrasings that wouldn’t otherwise come to a writer’s mind. The lion’s share of good Dada poems have numerous bizarrely fantastic lines in them, but the poems remain absurd, for the most part. In Woman’s World, every sentence has meaning and helps move the story forward. The third and perhaps most revelatory surprise is how downright breezy a read this book is, considering that nearly every word or phrase-chunk is a different size and typeface, aligned by hand with glue and exacto knife along wobbly baselines—which flies in the face of (probably) every study ever made about legibility. Ph.D. candidates, this is the basis of a doctorate in waiting.

Warren has a new book out that looks beautiful and sounds really interesting. I've just ordered it for myself. You can 'look inside' on Amazon. Here.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Woman's World Review - Enotes

Here's another nice review of Woman's World, taken, I think, from Magill's Literary Annual. It stops half way through and you have to subscribe to read the second half.  See (half of) it here.

Woman's World Review - Wink Books

There's a great book review website, Wink Books, with some really
interesting books and astute reviews. And, I'm pleased to say, a very nice review of Woman's World by Carla Sinclair. Read it/ visit their site.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Oh Lordy. It's been so long since I made a blog entry. I've been busy working on the second draft of my new book OVERLAND, which is now in the hands of my agent.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Card found - another 6 of spades

I just found this card in the back of my notebook. It was given to me some time ago by my friend Steve Braund who found it outside a pub in Falmouth. This is the third 6 of spades that's recently surfaced. See below.

The Card Shortlisted for 2013 WGGB Award

The Card was shortlisted for the 2013 Writers Guild Award for Best Book. It was up against Big Brother by Lionel Shriver and The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence and lost out to the latter. Never mind. It's not about the winning, it's about the taking part. Apparently. Bastards.

The Designer as...

Woman's World is featured in a new book by Steven McCarthy, The Designer As...: Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepreneur, Curator, and Collaborator: New Models for Communicating. My book is referred to as Women's World rather than Woman's World, as so often happens - the temptation to pluralise 'woman' seemingly too strong to resist. I blame the Women's Institute.
More about the book here.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Graphic Canon Volume 3

The Graphic Canon Vol 3: From Heart of Darkness to Hemingway to Infinite Jest (Seven Stories Press) edited by Russ Kick in New York has been out for a few months now. Publisher's Weekly have described it as the most beautiful book of 2013. I expect that's because of the chapter on my Wizard of Oz pictures. There are reviews in The Guardian here, Publishers Weekly here and Comics Review here.

Friday, 18 October 2013

6 of spades found twice

Two cards found this week. Both the six of spades. The first one was found by Tim Coles just off Station Road, Long Eaton, Derbyshire. It was very wet so he took it home to dry it off before photographing it.

The second six of spades, also very wet, was found by Mark Daniels who has recently joined the course I teach on at Brighton. The card appeared a couple of days after a lecture I gave for the new group in which I predicted that someone would later find a card. He found it in Fleet and took this perfectly composed picture.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Cards found

It's been a long time since I made an entry. Busy, busy. In the meantime, there has been a whole slew of found cards. Two found by me, several found by others.

I found the eight of clubs on my way home from seeing the degree show at Norwich, It was on the pavement on Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street station.

My friend Judy Bieber found this queen of spades. I can't remember where now.

Here's a Joker I found outside Tesco on Shoreditch High Street a couple of months ago.

This card was found by Jim Rawson who told me,  "I found the ace of clubs on a very steep hill near the Manx Museum in Douglas, just after having my hair cut." His girlfriend Mia wrote to me with her more romantic version of the find: "Jim found the ace of clubs while walking hand-in-hand down the hill with his true love (me) on a distant island." 

This rather lovely ten of diamonds was found by my friend Barbara Smith in Banff, Canada.

And this delightful find was sent to me by illustrator David McMillan from UWE Bristol who happened upon the torn card on a Dublin street. Like me, he wonders what story lies behind the tearing and discarding of the card.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

It's A Cut Up - Exhibition

I'm currently showing work at a collage exhibition at the Flannels Gallery in Leeds: It's A Cut Up. The Art of Assemblage and Photomontage curated by Tony Baker. I have prints for sale too.
You can find out more about it, and the other exhibitors, here.