I've always been a fan of Hole & Corner but let it be said before we go any further - My name is Olivia & I'm a massive paper geek - so when this issue came in, I was immediately seduced by the cover art by George Young but also by the simple yet ingenious way this issue is put together; a new look for Hole & Corner - 128 pages printed & held in place by a green elastic, it's almost like the new creative broadsheet and I grew up thinking people who read broadsheets were sophisticated, clever and interesting so💁🏻♀️.
This issue is a real treat to get lost in, the Restless issue is both inspired by and a result of that feeling of itchy feet which I'm pretty sure we can all relate to at the moment.
Sarah Ryhanen bought an 1840s Greek revival farmhouse with land in New York State for 200k and for the past 10 years has set about making World's End Farm - 107 acre communal living flower farm and small soap factory with her family, friends and coworkers. Growing up in New York, she has now let go of her city ties where her floristry and soap business grew in Brooklyn and is based solely at the farm, which has been painstakingly and passionately renovated over the past decade to create the fragrant idyll of soap and flowers it is today. Now, where do we sign up?
They say the devil makes work for idle hands… If that's so then the expert craftsmen at Wakabayashi Butsugu have nothing to worry about, in this issue we get a glimpse into the world of metal casting, gold carving, gold leaf and sculpture and the very talented people that are continuing these crafts and adapting to the 21st century.
One of my favourite things to do since I’ve been a wee bairn is to collect things… I still have drawers of feathers, fossils, shells, broken pottery, bones (animal, don’t worry) and I even think I have an old jam jar of owl poo somewhere… So I was fascinated to join sculpture, printmaker and letter carver, Jo Sweeting and author Louisa Thomsen-Brits on a walk of the Sussex Downs discussing the history of the area and their tradition of rambling and collecting.
Jo says, “I’m not an adventurer. “Away” for me is doing this… I don’t travel, so I return to places over and over again…” This is so refreshing to here, especially in a time now where we are so pressured by social media, influencers and peers to travel (can’t tell you the amount of dates I’ve been on where the opening question has been - ‘where’s your favourite place you’ve travelled… Where was the last place you travelled to?’)
Jo has a box from a project in which she was creating a cabinet of curiosities, she put a call out on social media and people from all over the world sent her meaningful objects (at first i thought… this could get weird - but maybe that’s just my social media following...); there were shells, seaglass, plaited grass, honeycomb and a fossilised sea urchin. This art of collecting and what it means to me personally, to Jo Sweeting and obviously lots of other people is fascinating:
‘There is a spontaneous generosity, kindness and reciprocity at the heart of this project, which is typical of Sweeting’s work. The fact that she inspires the same qualities in others - who are prepared to offer up objects invested in cherished personal memories - speaks volumes.’
Issue 21 of Hole & Corner is a delight from cover to cover. Aside from my highlights above there is so much more to sink your teeth into. I recommend settling down with a pot of coffee or a cup of tea on a late Sunday morning.
Hole & Corner Issue 21 was reviewed by ex-paper merchant and Iceberg Press subscriptions whizz, Olivia O’Connor.