Details about the binding by Kate Holland:
I had been wrestling with how to approach Neale’s beautiful book for a while. Should I respond to the myriad colours in the flower photographs or to the monochrome of the black background and the white paper. The Greek myth of Ceres and Proserpina, mentioned in Shakespeare’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’, celebrates the seasons and the myriad hues of spring which follow the dark days of winter. This book felt similar, both metaphorically and structurally - it was like the spring, a bursting forth of colour, a celebration of all that is joyful, after the winter and from within the dark days of Covid.
It was while I was out on an early winter morning dog walk that I found the answer. Before me was the most heart-wrenching and deeply affecting sight. Local farmers had ripped out a 200ft long mature hedge and replaced it with taut and shiny barbed wire. A couple of weeks before one of my dogs had ripped open her chest on barbed wire and had to be stapled back together so I was feeling particularly anti barbed wire at that point. On one of the branches of the now felled hedge was a small group of birds, puffed up against the cold, and looking forlornly at their now lost habitat. I photographed them and the branch forms against the winter sky. The buds of spring would never burst forth from this hedge again.
The structure is a flexible tightback stub binding which opens up to form a flower head with magnetic closures that hold the boards together. The stubs are of Lokta paper in suitably spring like colours. Each stub is sewn in a different brightly coloured silk. The covers are black goatskin with inset pen and ink drawings and pencil spider’s web.