Headlines: Eavelines

A portfolio of limited edition (50) prints entitled ‘Headlines: Eavelines’, published by Openings Press at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, Wiltshire, 1967/8, commissioned by Ian Hamilton Finlay for Eve Furnival.

Artists include: Ann Stevenson, Christopher Lumgair, Susan Hudson, Simon Lord, Jonathon Willcocks, Virginia Robinson, Deborah Fulford, Ann Hildred, Angela Wellard, Paul Ansell, Simon Farrell, Elizabeth Kelly.

During my time as a student at Bath Academy of Art, I collaborated on two projects involving both tutors and students on the theme of concrete poetry, which was a very popular subject for artistic interpretation in the late 1960s. Images which might look commonplace today thanks to computer graphics programs were incredibly difficult to create back then, as all type would have been hot metal – individual characters printed off, cut out and pasted up to form circles, squares, repeated lines and so on. Each one would have taken days to produce.

Through helping on the production of these limited-edition prints, I was able to acquire a number of them which I still own. In researching the project recently, I was delighted to discover archive sets in several museum collections both here and in the US, and for the first time in 50 years I have discovered some that are missing from my own set. I still retain fond memories of my tutor, John Furnival, his wife Astrid and their daughter Eve. Corsham Court – home to Bath Academy of Art – was a very special place to be in 1968.

Princeton University Library

 “In September 1966 a group of graphic design students at the Bath Academy of Art at Corsham began a postal collaboration with Ian Hamilton Finlay in Scotland. The scheme developed almost accidentally out of a previous (but still unpublished) series of Headlines/Pondlines for which John Furnival had made linocuts. Furnival’s small daughter Eve sent Finlay the Flying Scotsman, complete with wings and kilt, now reproduced in varnish on the outside of the present portfolio.

Finlay replied with thirteen postcards to Eve which arrived on consecutive days to form the series of Eavelines. Furnival took these to Corsham, where he taught, and handed them over to thirteen students to print, using a variety of techniques and the school’s own presses, under Finlay’s distant eye”

Water wheels in whirl / Ann Stevenson — Tug accused of loitering near bank / Christopher Lumgair — Great round-the-bay race / Susan Hudson — Quack cures pond / Simon Lord — Windmills enter arms race / Jonathon Willcocks — Skylark wins yacht race / Virginia Robinson — Hillside incident / David Mitchinson — Hedgehogs announce annual turnover / Deborah Fulford — Lobster treaty – additional claws / Ann Hildred — ‘Joy through strength’ say teapots / Angela Wellard — Elephant trapped in trunk / Paul Ansell — Kingfisher scoops pools / Simon Farrell — Waterlily led double life / Elizabeth Kelly.

 Princeton University Library