on 23 January 2011
Stephen Gill's Hackney Wick is already a considered a classic photobook (disccussed in Vol. 2 of Parr and Badger), but, at least to my mind, Hackney Flowers is even more interesting. Part of the series of Gill's Hackney books (which includes Hackney Wick, Buried and Archaeology in Reverse) this book consists of images taken with Gill's 50p camera (bought at a local market, and which he used to produce the images in Hackney Wick), but the images are then modified by the addition of flowers, seeds and plant material and then re-photographed, a kind of natural photocollage combining material from Hackney and photos from Hackney in a kind of creative synthesis or symbiosis. The book includes a wonderful set of 'straight images' mostly in gate-fold, of people in hackney wearing floral patterns (these photos are unmodified) as if they were already doing the Gill's work for him. The book is itself an objet d'art, with a silkscreened cloth binding, beautiful paper-- all the production values achieve the very highest standard (It really seems amazing to me that you can still buy copies of the first edition -- 3500 copies-- for under 20 quid, but I don't expect that will be the case for long).