Artists’ Books at Canterbury. Mail Me: A Small Guide to Amsterdam. Fanny Wacklin Nilsson. (2009).

Artists Books WAC

Mail Me: A Small Guide to Amsterdam. (2009).

Wacklin Nilsson, Fanny.

A collection of ten postcards produced by Fanny Wacklin Nilsson. Each postcard is illustrated with a place visited in Amsterdam during the Foundation trip, including De Kaaskamer, one of Amsterdam’s famous cheese shops, Boekie Woekie, an independent artist’s book shop and Foam Amsterdam’s photography museum.

Fanny’s work is a mixture of hand drawn illustration and collage using receipts, cardboard, paper, postage stamps and other found materials incorporated into the designs. Fanny has created all the typography and re-illustrated logos in her own handwriting, adding a more personal touch to the postcards.

The postcards come sealed in a green envelope with a luggage tag wrapped around, perfect for taking to Amsterdam and posting home to friends and family.



Mail Me: A Small Guide to Amsterdam. Wacklin Nilsson, Fanny. (2009).

Mail_Me Mail Me: A Small Guide to Amsterdam. Wacklin Nilsson, Fanny. (2009).


RARE BOOKS AT CANTERBURY. Wonders of Art and Nature


‘The Wonders of Nature and Art;  being an account of  whatever is most curious and remarkable throughout the world; whether relating to its animals, vegetables, minerals, volcano’s, cataracts, hot and cold springs, and other parts of natural history; or to the buildings, manufacturers, inventions, and discoveries of its inhabitants.’


Published in 1750 by Samuel Birt, London,  ‘ The Wonders of Art and Nature‘ is a four volume edition with beautiful copperplate illustrations throughout. A collection of writings by historians, travellers, geographers and philosophers, it notes their observations and reflections.


These volumes detail a fascinating insight, recording and capturing a world in detail from another time.





Balenciaga in UCA Rochester Archive (display)


The Victoria and Albert Museum are about to open the UK’s first retrospective on the enigmatic man Cecil Beaton referred to as, ‘fashion’s Picasso’, and Christian Dior called, ‘the master of all of us’. He was, of course, Spanish fashion designer Christobal Balenciaga.  It is 100 years since he opened his first fashion house at San Sabastian and 80 years since he opened his Paris salon.  Balenciaga is considered to have been one of the most innovative and influential fashion designers of the last century. His exquisite craftsmanship and pioneering use of heavy fabrics and unnecessary detail revolutionised the female silhouette, and lead to the creation of a succession of shapes rather than a single signature garment.  He wasn’t interested in ready-to-wear, instead he wanted to design for the people who would wear his clothes.  Balenciaga once said, ‘A dress follows the woman’s body, it’s not the woman that follows the dress’.

Christobal Balenciaga died back in 1972, but his influence is still visible on modern fashion and the label he established  lives on.

We have created a display Quiet Study Room using images sourced only from UCA Rochester Archive.  Examples on show include those gathered from British Vogue (we have incomplete runs that date from 1940), and Harper’s Bazaar (our collection includes issues from the early 1950’s); as well as from other journals such as Vogue Paris, Queen, Flair, and Jardin Des Modes.  There are examples from American Vogue (all back issued can be accessed electronically on ‘Vogue Archive’,  via UCA Library Catalogue).  Articles about Christobal Balenciaga can be found in our back journal collection, such as Harpers Bazaar (June 2017, pages 168 – 177), and Selvedge magazine (Issue 69, pages 56-7) .

The Stuart Aitken research files can be used to follow the path of the V&A exhibition, exploring both Balenciaga’s work (in ‘The Modern Period, Book 3, Balenciaga’) and his influence on other designers, such as Andre Courreges and Hubert de Givenchy (‘The Modern Period, Book 4, The Balenciaga School’).  Stuart Aitken, a long-serving former member of UCA Rochester’s teaching staff, donated these files upon retirement.  The studies comprise of collated notes, and are illustrated with Stuart’s own sketches.  Stuart also made meticulous notes on other designers, and explored different aspects of garment construction, and these are examined in his other files.  (please search UCA Library catalogue or contact the Gateway counter to learn more).


Above left: Stuart Aitken research file ‘Balenciaga’.

Above right: The bottom shelf of the cabinet includes images from the Stuart Aitken research file ‘Balenciaga School’.


(Please note that all aforementioned sources are classed as archive reference material and to be used within the library only. Please ask at the Gateway counter if you wish to view them).

Victoria & Albert Museum’s exhibition Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion opens Saturday, 27th May 2017.  For information and ticket prices  please click here.

RARE BOOKS AT CANTERBURY. Les Mots en Liberte Futuristes


Published in 1919,  this publication  was written and designed by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti,  1876-1944.


A poet, novelist, critic and founder of the Futurist Movement. This publication is an exploration in Futurist writing and typographic experimentation. A pioneering example of concrete poetry, the layout is dynamic and engaging.


The work written in French, contains four  fold-out diagrammatic works of art and plays with different typefaces throughout to create a composition of energy and expressive freedom.



Artist’s books RAE.

Perverted Science (2004)

Rae, Andrew.

Perverted Science started out as flyers advertising a club night of the same name in Shoreditch back in 2004. Produced monthly over four years to advertise for the nightclub before being turned into a book. The posters tell out a small, subtle narrative, of scientists creating a moose-beaver hybrid known as a ‘Meaver’. The purpose of using the ‘Meaver’ was used to represent the fusion and variety of music played at the club, cleverly Andrew’s subtle narrative creates an entire story to the ‘Meaver’ and how it came to be.

Andrew Rae’s work uses a mixture of illustration and photography. Within the book, he creates fake news articles and photographic sightings of the ‘Meaver’ and it’s thirst for blood.

You can find more on Andrew Rae’s work here:

and on his Twitter:


Perverted Science_1

Perverted ScienceRae, Andrew. (2004). 

Perverted Science_2

Perverted ScienceRae, Andrew. (2004). 












RARE BOOKS AT CANTERBURY. BridgeBuildings + The Shipshape


This publication is the fourth installment of the Architectural Association’s coveted  Folio Series.

A black clamshell box contains 26 reproductions of Peter Wilson’s drawing and a booklet with introduction by Bruno Minardi  and an interview by Alvin Boyarsky with Peter L. Wilson.

Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Architectural Association from 6 Nov. to 6 Dec. 1984.


Peter Wilson’s work demonstrates a passion for drawing as much as the architectural project. There is a sense of mechanism inherent throughout his work. He uses his architectural drawing as a tool of representation and research. In 2013 he was awarded the AAA Gold Medal.



ARTISTS’ BOOKS AT CANTERBURY. Rainbow in your hand. Masashi Kawamura (2007).

Artists’ Books KAW

Rainbow in your hand (2007)

Kawamura, Masashi

Flipbooks were one of the first examples of animation. A simple book which when the fingers are run over the pages, creates the illusion of the images moving on the page. Masashi Kawamura has taken this idea, however rather than using images, created a simple line of block colours on black paper. When flipped, this creates the illusion of a small rainbow in your hand. Although the trick lasts only a few seconds, its replay value is infinite.

You can find more of Masashi’s work on his website:

For more information on Rainbow in your hand:



Rainbow in your hand. Kawamura, Masashi. (2007).



Rainbow in your hand. Kawamura, Masashi. (2007).



Artists’ Books at Canterbury. The Siamese Twins Daisy and Violet: Love Story from a Nation of Silence. Takayo Akiyama (2006).

Artists’ Books AKI

The Siamese Twins Daisy and Violet: Love Story from a Nation of Silence (2006).

Akiyama, Takayo.

Created by Takayo Akiyama the zine follows the life of two Siamese twins, Daisy and Violet. The twins work in a local pub as barmaids and as musicians. Whilst working a shift, Daisy becomes infatuated with a yeti that walks in. A love struck Daisy sets out to win the heart of the yeti by trying to seduce him through hypnotism. Unfortunately, for Daisy (and luckily for her sister Violet) their love is not meant to be.

The zine is set in a vast world featuring a variety of different monsters, ghosts, giant squids, mermaids as well as more unconventional monsters.

You can find more of Takayo Akiyama’s work on her website:



The Siamese Twins Daisy and Violet: Love Story from a Nation of Silence.  Akiyama, Takayo (2006).



The Siamese Twins Daisy and Violet: Love Story from a Nation of Silence.  Akiyama, Takayo (2006).


Artists’ Books at Canterbury. My Way. Silex (2000)

Artists’ Books SIL

My Way (2000).


My Way by Silex is a collection of sketches by the Swiss design group, Silex. An open-minded and broad experimental book, each page hosts an intriguing variety of illustrations. There’s no defined narrative through the book and each page is created in a different style. The book has an appealing graphic style using block colours or in a comparison using sketchy pencil crayon lines or smudgy felt tip pens.



My Way (2000). Silex. Artists’ Books SIL


My Way (2000). Silex. Artists’ Books SIL


My Way (2000). Silex. Artists’ Books SIL

Rare Books at Canterbury. Outrage by Ian Nairn

The focus for this blog is a reprint [1956] of the June 1955, Special Number of the Architectural Review.

Nairn wrote the text with the hope it would make the audience angry enough to do something about the perceived destruction of their surroundings. He hoped to ignite public opinion; Nairn wanted to change the heart and direction of Public Authorities.


‘This “1955” on the land surface will become “1984” on ourselves’.

Nairn established his reputation with the special issue of The Architectural Review called “Outrage”.  It was based around a road trip that Nairn took from the south to the north of the country. This trip propelled his fears that society was heading for a drab and dreary new world where the whole of Britain would look like the fringes of a town, every view exactly the same. He coined the term ‘Subtopia’ to describe those areas around cities, which in his view had been failed by urban planning.


This thing of terror, which will get you up sweating at night when you begin to realize its true proportions, we have called, as we say, Subtopia.’

The conclusion in this book is a short anthology of the philosophical background to Subtopia stated in its widest terms, from the nineteenth-century prophecy to the time of this publication and beyond with mankind’s reaction to the outcome.