“A Contemporary Grand Tour”

A series of artist’s books comprising facsimile copies of 21st century postcards sent from places that 18th-19th century travellers might have visited on their “Grand Tour”. 

The most recent volumes, from vol 16 onwards, use my "Concertina of Envelopes " structure, with poscards inside the envelopes.

The first fourteen volumes in the series (up to vol 15, but no vol 13) adopted the format of a “luggage tag” sleeve to store the postcards.

The volumes are shown below in descending order, so the most recent volume first.

A Contemporary Grand Tour – book XVII, Porto and Central Portugal
Facsimile copies of eight envelopes posted from eight different post boxes in Porto, the Douro Valley and Central Portugal. The envelopes have the artist’s address plus postage stamps.
Inside the eight envelopes are unused postcards with my photographs of Portuguese public sculpture, old & new, featuring books. Such “book” sculptures are common in Portugal, in contrast to the UK. Is Portugal more literary or “booky” than the UK?
Volume 17 in the “Contemporary Grand Tour” series uses the “linked envelope” structure first unveiled in Volume 16 – Lanzarote2017”.

A Contemporaty Grand Tour, vol 16 - Lanzarote2107
Documents a journey to the Canary Island of Lanzarote. While there, I posted ten envelopes back to myself in the UK from ten different post boxes over a ten day period
The new book comprises facsimile copies of the ten envelopes, with Spanish postage stamps and an additional “fake” Brexit Post stamp (featuring a Skidding Goat” motif originally found on a Persian pottery shard from 3000BC). The backs of the envelopes have a “Fly to Lanzarote” image dating from the early days of the first airport on Lanzarote & derived from a half century old tourist promotional poster. The postcards found in the envelope pockets have more tourist images of Lanzarote in the 1950s & 60s and an old map showing the locations of each image.
Linked envelope concertina structure that I believe I invented (nobody has yet told me otherwise)
116 x 152mm

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book XV, La Gomera -
The eight postcards here contain a set of iPad drawings that recall La Gomera’s vertical rock structures and horizontal agricultural terracing.
Postcards: digital prints on Southbank 250gsm
Sleeve: digital print on mi-teintes 160gsm
18.0 x 11.0cm

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book XIV, Skiathos
This edition is inspired by the beautiful sandy beaches of Skiathos in Greece's Sporades Islands, claimed to be the best in Greece.
Postcards on Southbank 250gsm,
sleeve from mi-teintes 160gsm.
18.7 x 11.1cm

(No volume 13 in the series)

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book XII, Gran Canaria
One more in my “Grand Tour” series. This edition charts a trip to Gran Canaria with original screenprints inspired by patterns found on “pintaderas”, clay or wooden stamps used by the pre-Hispanic natives of Gran Canaria and nearby islands. The original purpose of the stamps is uncertain.
Screenprints on Southbank 250gsm,
sleeve from mi-teintes 160gsm
size 18.5 x 11.2cm

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book XI, Santorini
This volume documents a journey round the Greek Aegean island of Santorini through original, hand-made prints inspired by images on Attic pottery from ancient Thira, dating from the 7th-5th centuries BC. Eight print editions using eight different printmaking techniques.
Original prints on Southbank 250gsm
18.6 x 11.0cm

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book X, The Algarve
The postcards in this volume recall a journey through southern Portugal through images of the area’s elaborate chimney pots.
Digital print on 4CC 200gsm coated paper

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book IX, Camino de Santiago
Postcards with tales from the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, garnered from over 1000yrs of story telling on the route.
Digitally printed on Simili Japon 225gsm & mi-teintes 160gsm paper.
18.5cm x 11cm

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book VIII, Orkney
Eight postcards with photographs of the artist posting each of the cards combined with thumbnail photos of Orkney sights.
Digital print on mi-teintes 160gsm card using archival inks.
18.5 x 11.0cm

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book VII, Kefalonia
Postcard photos of this Ionian holiday island that are redolent of virtually anywhere in Greece. An affectionate portrait of all that is “Greek”.
Digitally printed on mi-teintes 160gsm card
18.5cm x 11cm

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book VI, The Camargue
Eight postcards have fragments of an original cork relief print inspired by a modern stained-glass window in the 13th century church of Aigues-Mortes, a town that offers an entry point into the Camargue. The book celebrates an extraordinary walled town, built on a grid-plan by Louis IX of France in the mid 13th century as the embarkation port for the crusades of 1248 & 1270.
18.5 x 11.0cm
De luxe edition with original prints on ino shi 52gsm Japanese paper £65
Facsimile edition £30

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book V, Hydra, Spetses & Aegina
Eight postcards with original drawings inspired by a journey through Greece’s Saronic Islands. Book five in a series.
Digitally printed with archival inks on mi-teintes 160gsm card.
Size 18.5 x 11.0cm

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book IV, Lanzarote
This edition documents eight places in Lanzarote through original blind embossed prints of ring-pulls from drinks’ cans picked up at the relevant location. There is also a booklet with more conventional “tourist” information on these places.
Embossed postcards & " tag" sleeve on “mi-teintes” paper.
Booklet printed on 120gsm Somerset book paper
18.0 x 10.6cm.

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book III, Provence
Original drawings inspired by visiting galleries and museums dedicated to the many famous artist who worked in this part of southern France.
Digitally printed with archival inks on mi-teintes 160gsm card.
Size 18.5 x 11.0cm

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book II, Dubrovnik
Eight postcards from an imaginary exchange between the artist and Pheidias, widely held to be the greatest Classical Greek sculptor, who lived from about 480BC – 430BC. The eight postcards comprising the book are those from Pheidias, because, naturally, I no longer have my own postcards to him. The dialogue discusses changes in aesthetic appreciation over the past 2500 years.
Postcard images are photographs of Dubrovnik’s best sights.
Digital prints on JPP Simili Japon 225gsm
Size 18.5 x 11.0cm

A Contemporary Grand Tour, book I, Rome
Eight original postcards sent by the artist from Rome to eight book artists attending a workshop at the Sidney Nolan Trust on 6 June 2008. Subsequently compiled into an artist’s book in the format of a “luggage tag” sleeve.
18.0 x 10.6cm