I'm sure a few of you are familiar Nick Bantock, the creator of the Griffon & Sabine book series, yes? Today I started to read his book, Urgent: Second Class. In the book, Mr. Bantock gives some insight to his outlook and process in making art.

To anybody interested in making some tom-foolery out of old ephemera — and I suspect that there are one or two of you out there — I highly recommend this book or, at the least, check out Nick's website simply titled NickBantock [dot com].

This evening I was inspired to use some of my new found borrowed perception. Here's a first stab at copping Nick's style.

Maybe a little much here and there, but still, some fun.

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Comment by Carmela Rizzuto on May 25, 2015 at 2:41am

Hi Keith--Yes, Bantock style and creativity is a favorite of mine. Came across his work during my book-making era. You've captured his his combination of beauty and international travel.

Comment by Heleen de Vaan on December 5, 2013 at 3:49pm
Comment by Keith S. Chambers on November 5, 2013 at 3:32am

Oh no, please tell us about the story of wooing your husband here if you'd like. I think conversation has run it's course; time for something much, much more interesting!
Or you can write your own post about it . . . ¿

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on November 4, 2013 at 11:42pm

Rebecca, you get birthday presents from people you know vaguely? Nice going. :--} And we might all like to hear about the mail-art wooing of your husband (yah!). Maybe you could write your own blog post about it and not steal this one of Keith's. I'll be watching for it.

Comment by Rebecca Guyver on November 4, 2013 at 9:26pm

My mum gave me copy of Signs on the Wind several years ago.  Also highly recommend it. My books live in different places (mostly because shelves don't think like I do) and I have always had a problem with what to do with the Bantock trilogy. At the moment it is in fiction, not art, but when I show it to young people they are always inspired by it.  Someone I knew, vaguely, bought them for me over the course of three birthdays when they heard the story of how I wooed my husband with mail art.

K.S., your collage suggests a story and that appeals to me!

Comment by Keith S. Chambers on November 4, 2013 at 8:26pm

First and foremost, I do not consider Nick Bantock a true mail artist. Yes, without the postal journey, art is just that art. True mail art must make the journey. True mail art is about correspondence between artists [in my humble opinion].

I have followed Bantock's career since the publishing of the first Griffin and Sabine book. Although fictional, it is a wonderful story of mail art.

I merely wanted to point out to those who may not be aware of Mr. Bantock of his work, his experience and process. Lessons to be learned, adopted and adapted if one wishes to expand their own arsenal of processes. Creation of art is not always done so in a vacuum. It is important [I'll say imperative] to find one's own footing and blaze one's own path, but without looking at both our contemporaries' and predecessors'  work can we find the basis of our own culture and decide if we will build upon it or create a new one altogether. Heck, Picasso began as a figurative artist before he learned to be otherwise. It is often helpful to know the rules so you can properly break them; but of course this is not an axiom as that dogmatic thought is the antithesis of creative endeavors.

I did not mean to start a debate regarding the qualification of mail art, although it sounds like most of us here are of the same mind regarding the physical journey of a given work.

Nancy, I'll look into Lenore Tawney, thank you for sharing.

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on November 4, 2013 at 12:55pm

Have you seen the work of Lenore Tawney, Keith? You might like it (as do I). Her postcard collages are collected in book "Signs on the Wind" (corny title but she's not corny). She always sent them, apparently, beginning in the 1950s or '60s, I believe, and not in envelopes, no matter how much stuff she'd piled on there. Our own KDJ sent me this book. By the way, your piece here is beautiful and I hope your experiments will continue.   

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 4, 2013 at 12:18pm

About two years ago one of Nick Bantock's students was active here at the IUOMA. She was a very nice and well-meaning person in many ways, but she was soliciting for a Bantock-style book project that involved copyrights and was for profit. That caused one of those IUOMA-style debates about mail-art and money. If you were counting votes, the overall consensus was, "Mail-art and money don't mix." I'm not sure what happened to the project. I gather Bantock is a bit controversial in the mail-art community based on that earlier discussion and comments in this stream. It's probably worthwhile that newer folks are aware of his work, as it adds to the big picture.

Comment by Ruud Janssen on November 4, 2013 at 7:50am

my advice would be, don't copy but create new things with new techniques that you have now.

Comment by vizma bruns on November 4, 2013 at 7:28am

Whoa, this is crazy!! I am currently reading his stuff after discovering him just last week!!! I found 7 of his books at the op-shop and bought them all!!! They are beautiful, magnificent and really special books and I'll never part with them!! I've already read 4 of them, including the Griffin and Sabine trilogy.

 Nick may not be an actual mail artist, but his books are mysterious and quite inspiring, definitely worth the read!! I like your example, Keith!

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