by Antony Cairns
LDN by Antony Cairns. ISBN 978-0-954709181. Handmade, 52pp, 29.7 x 20.4cm, 18 plates, published June 2010
Antony Cairns’s book LDN has been produced in a handmade limited edition of 100 copies. The original photographs were taken in London between 2008 and 2010 as black and white reversal transparencies. They show the city in twilight, a shadowy place of subway silence reminiscent of the world of Eraserhead. It is the vision of a city unsuccessfully trying to throw light into the dark corners where people might hide, creating instead an atmosphere of tension.
The images, printed onto tracing paper, allow for occasional splashes of illumination as hidden patches of spray paint burn through from the page behind. The photographs are both specific, with the exact location and subject divulged in an index, and general, the images in some instances being little more than a collection of geometric lines, like a fuzzy and wayward constructivism.
LDN takes good advantage of the possibilities and opportunities offered by a handmade book. It is visually stimulating, with a subtle grading of paper colours ranging from avocado through various stages of aubergine to soft blacks. It is also a tactile book, being made with a variety of Japanese papers that move from heavy and warm through to a silky, almost rubberised finish. For a full preview of the images, see the photographer’s website at www.antony-cairns.co.uk.http://www.antony-cairns.co.uk/