We have just sent our latest book, VLOED by Lucia Dove to the printer. It will be released on 22 May 2021.
Lucia Dove is a writer from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, living in the Netherlands. Her book VLOED is a work of creative nonfiction. Comprising historical analysis, poetry and photography, the book explores the shared cultural memory and landscape between Essex and the Netherlands in relation to the North Sea Flood of 1953.
We have been working with Lucia on this since she first approached Dunlin Press in August 20219. In January 2020, we visited Lucia in Southend during her residency at Metal, walking from Southend to Old Leigh, and holding a creative kick-off during which we discussed initial concepts for the cover.
It’s always an interesting process to develop a book’s artwork, and it was great to discuss ideas with the author. The previous summer, Lucia had been to the Into The Great Wide Open festival. At the festival there was an activity known as ‘Vliebanieren’ – stencil painting on fabric. Lucia thought this would be a great starting point as a cover idea.
It was a great idea.
Once we set about creating the artwork, the shapes on fabric lent themselves as a means to explore the sense of shifting land and water – perfect for the book’s subject matter.
We painted shapes onto sail cloth using acrylic paint and pure pigment. The paint shapes bled onto the sail cloth and in some cases produced a raised effect – creating depth, texture and a more organic feeling to the work. The contrasting shapes felt as though they were floating and also conveyed a sense of collision, interruption and movement while feeling strangely connected.
When we scanned the pieces at high resolution the texture of the cloth itself become part of the piece, giving the artwork another dimension and tactile quality. It felt as visceral and physical as the events and feelings Lucia was describing.
All of the vliebanieren pieces we created had this tactile, physical feel. It was interesting not only how the different coloured shapes related to one another but also the contrast in texture on the painted and non-painted areas. In fact, we created black and white versions of the images and incorporated them into the inner pages of the book – but you’ll have to see those later. What we can show you now is the final cover.
VLOED is out on 22 May and can be pre-ordered from our shop.