MEND - These Islands, We Sing

This month sees the release of These Islands, We Sing a new collection of poetry from publishers Polygon. As the Polygon web blurb says "this anthology pays tribute to the islands’ creative output by bringing together a huge array of poetic talent, from the internationally-renowned – Sorley Maclean, Iain Crichton Smith, George Mackay Brown, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hugh MacDairmid – to those fantastic poets deserving of more attention – Jim Mainland, Aonghas MacNeacail, Meg Bateman, Alex Cluness, Jen Hadfield, and many more – in one wonderful collection. With poems exploring the themes of love, language, landscape, identity and belonging, These Islands, We Sing is a significant and heartfelt celebration of poetry and place."

Hot from the printers.

This collection is of particular interest to us here at New Dead Language as it features a number of poems from our very first publication, MEND by Alex Cluness. We are extremely proud to have worked with Alex on the original pamphlet and are delighted to see a selection of these poems reaching a wider audience.
If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy of MEND it is now available over on our etsy page.



For many known and unknown reasons this print has been a long time coming. The original layers were inked and uploaded to my flickr page 18 months ago. Unsurprisingly when I came to print I couldn't remember the exact colours I'd intended to use although perhaps surprisingly I got two out of three right. I'm still not entirely sure what the third colour would have been had I printed at the time of illustrating (I have a note of it somewhere) but the results are satisfying enough.

In the image below you can see the developmental stages of the aforementioned misprint. Absentmindedly I'd printed the green layer the wrong way over the copper layer. This gave a curious impression of depths and shadow, the suggestion of a denser school of fish than I'd originally drawn. It's a very nice effect that I wish I'd had the foresight to do intentionally. Intrigued, I split the run in two with half following the error and half continuing down the intended path.

boxerfish shadow stages

There are 10 copies of each variation, A4, signed and numbered. The main version is available over on etsy but if you fancy buying a copy of the variation just let me know and we'll sort that for you.

Kissy Kissy Fairy

Kissy Kissy Fairy

Back in the January of this year Jono Sandilands and I had ourselves a little doodle week in which we each found elements to develop into full screenprints.

Elephant Deuce

Philip Eight's Elephant Deuce print

Original artwork from Philip Eight's seminal 1978 fragrance, Elephant Deuce.


Mind Your Head

My Aching Back, My Tiny Crown Rate the Bug People

For the next fortnight the latest prints from co:lab will be hanging at the Peerie Shop Cafe in Lerwick. For this project we've worked together with local charity Mind Your Head and have each explored the subject of mental health in our own unique way. This has made for a very rich and diverse set of prints. You can see above my contribution - My Aching Back, My Tiny Crown and Rate the Bug People.
All monies made from the sale of these prints go directly to Mind Your Head and we're hoping the work invites debate while further raising the charity's profile.
If you're interesting in buying any of this work you can fill in one of the forms at the Peerie Shop Cafe, speak directly to one of the artists or visit our online Heart Your Head shop over on Etsy. Co:lab will also be launching an Etsy page specifically for this project in the next day or two so watch this space for more details. Each print is an edition of 20, 297mm x 420mm and cost £20 each.

Bug people cyan layer

Above and below you can see a brief photodocumentation of the printing process we used. Both my prints feature three colours - cyan, magenta and yellow.

Bug people magenta layer
Test print and final bug people


NDL goes Etsy : Buy now!

The New Dead Language shop is now active over on Etsy. It's still a little rough around the edges but I'll refine it as I upload more prints and such for sale.

For a lot of you it'll still be easier to buy direct from me, face to face. But for those of you who are a little further away this should be a useful addition to the NDL webnest. Check it out and tell your friends!

Doodle week

Jono and I recently enjoyed a doodle week over at the co:lab blog.

Daily doodle week: Saturday

You can of course also see the results over on my flickr page.