Since the 1980s, Colin Sackett, a book artist, designer and printer based in Axminster, has been publishing books which take peripheral information as a source material, and rejuvenate it so as to make it newly intelligible and vital. Sources as diverse as book indexes, Ordnance Survey maps, watercress labels and radio commentaries are singled out. These texts are edited and rearranged, sifted and panned and sieved, so that language comes to the surface new and raw and untarnished. The art here is typographical, and the end product of these explorations is a backlist of impeccable publications of simplicity and plainness.
Englshpublshing sees a body of work published discretely in the 1990s, with essays, commentaries and unpublished pieces, compiled into a single volume with a standardised format. An opportunity, then, to concentrate on content, rather than product, and what is striking is the consistent wit and audacity charging this assault on an unsuspected hotchpotch of source material. Unrelated words and works strike off each other in counterpoint, building a compelling impression of some coherent whole from the parts, like the variations of a Bach suite. (John Bevis)