The Urban Alchemy book launched June 24th 2015 in UCL Construction welfare canteen and is available for sale here
Public collection acquisitions so far include the Saison Poetry Library, the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, NY Pratt Institute, ECA artist book collection, Winchester School of Art artist book collection, AA Library, Wellcome Library, National Library of Wales, University of Arizona Poetry Center and the worlds largest collection of first edition poetry books in the University of Buffalo’s Poetry Collection.
Through imaginative salvage and experiments in chemical printmaking the project Urban Alchemy explores the material stories and processes of urban transformation. My Leverhulme artist residency in UCL Chemistry has allowed for a year of experimentation with and salvage of demolition site materials in a project where creative production and the poetry and politics of place combine with the science, agency and political ecology of materials.
The book itself is a hard cover cloth-bound gilt edged volume in the traditional of an alchemical ‘book of secrets’ exposing the narratives and techniques of the transformation of these materials over this year of experimentation and exchange. It examines a core ‘family’ of demolition site materials –zinc, copper, slate, brick, stone/concrete, steel, aluminium and asbestos through photographs from the demolition site, of the materials undergoing transformation in chemistry laboratory and print studio and of the image outcomes of these creative and chemical changes. This imagery sits alongside a series of poetic narratives of each of these materials.
Thank you to UCL Chemistry, Institute of Making, Leverhulme Trust, UCL Estates and Sustainability, Wilson James, Peak, Scudder, Gilbert Ash, Maylarch, UCL Anthropology, Journal of Material Culture, UCL Urban Lab, East London Printmakers, Joint Faculty of Graduate Studies, UCL Grand Challenge for Sustainable Cities.