Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Right- children back to being entertained by their teachers and I have leisure to pillage their bookcases uninterrupted once more.
But continuing on the theme from our day of furious crafting of Goof City I have a couple of lovely books about Art to waft temptingly under your noses today and tomorrow.

The first of these is the simply titled 'Faces' by the inspirational Zoe Miller and David Goodman. To be accurate with the truth I should say this is actually newly pillaged from the husband's bookcase, as it formed part of his birthday present yesterday.
He has been enjoying constructing plenty of faces and characters of his own from the pricey but thoroughly wonderful 'play shapes' made by Miller and Goodman; a previous 'wooden' anniversary present from me.This book seemed like an interesting complement.

'Faces' could be a coffee table book for adult contemplation, or a book to engage the smallest baby with their programmed hypnotic gravitation towards features. It's a series of photographs of faces constructed out of a huge variety of artfully arranged household objects including colanders, pebbles, dish brushes, gloves, vacuum bags, sports kit and more. Accompanied by a simple rhyming text it encourages you to playfully re-engage with the world about you. The art that has been created is sometimes as simple as the suggestion of a smile from the hanging handle of a bag or sometimes a much more complex and purposeful arrangement. All are joyful- a book to smile at and with.

And definitely inspiring. Bill pored over this book with great appreciation yesterday- you could almost see the possibilities being opened up to him. I found myself unable to go round a corner of my house without finding some newly transparent face of light fittings and windowsills say winking at me. I think inspiring without being either overwhelmingly didactic or off-puttingly complex is a pretty rare trick for an art book to successfully pull off and this manages it.
For Eddie, who presently HATES anyone putting a pen in his hand and expecting him to produce anything with it, the idea of making a picture just by manipulating fruit and crockery was also immediately liberating. He made himself a new friend which then accompanied him throughout the day:

'Faces' by Zoe Miller and David Goodman, pub. Tate isbn 978-1-85437-992-4


  1. Oh, those play shapes are lovely! I've not seen them before. Might have to hint for my birthday ;-) Lovely book too, thanks for sharing xx

    1. They are if anything EVEN lovelier than they look- reversible too. Worth every penny.