Bertram Rota, British, cardboard, commercial, gesso, Gogmagog Press, Hosho, Japanese, landscape, leaves, London, Morris Cox, panorama, plywood, poetry, printer, private press, Prose, seasons, seeds, spring, twigs, varnish
“Now sprigs are pricked by bursting buds,
and threading the trees the wind’s weft
skittles, drops and spurts again,
rubbing along the ground to tease old leafings
of skittering litter, scratching swirl…
Between bettling sky and buxom earth —
a mazed and frilling lightning flash!
The eye bleaches and goes black.
A far-off tracking thunder rolls
and tight, hard raindrops teem and patter,
hiss an sheen in rimplin rods…
till overhead the ragging cloud thins off
in clean-washed grin, and sun-bowl tips
over the giggling earth its molten gold.”
An Impression of Spring: A Landscape Panorama
Morris Cox (1903-1998)
London: Gogmagog Press: Dist. by Bertram Rota, 1966
ND497 C748 A43 1966
Gogmagog Press was a one man operation: for more than forty years Morris Cox — artist, writer, and printer — worked alone, using simple tools and creating one of the most important of British post-war private presses. Cox experimented with various aspects of his craft, always paying meticulous attention to detail.
Morris Cox’s poetry and prose rarely found commercial publication. For this reason, in middle-age, Cox began Gogmagog Press, in order to distribute his work. It was only then that his poetry began to be championed, for the poetry was as good as the press production. Word and image are so intertwined that one divorced from the other leaves only half an experience.
The texture of the prints derives from the unusual printing blocks used to create them. Cox mounted sheets of cardboard onto plywood and layered them with gesso, next adding materials from nature like seeds, leaves, and twigs. These elements were varnished to strengthen them.
Impressions is one of four works on the seasons, all considered to be the peak of Cox’s achievement as a printer. Printed on Japanese ‘Hosho’ paper. Edition of one hundred numbered and signed copies. Rare Books copy is no. 23.