Thursday, 3 September 2009

Anna and The Witch's Bottle

By Millie Findlay

A unique fusion of narrative, image and music, Anna and The Witch’s Bottle is a fairytale turned on its head, with echoes of Alice in Wonderland meets Aubrey Beardsley.

(Click any image to enlarge it)

The inaugural project of creative boutique Black Maps Press, Anna and The Witches Bottle represents an attempt to experiment with how narrative is communicated and appeals to the imagination through a multi-sensory experience. Not only are there beautiful words and images to shape the story, there is also a wonderful minimalist soundtrack provided by Martin Roman Rebelski of Doves.

Written by author Geoff Cox, (who is currently working on Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, starring Marilyn Manson as Lewis Carroll and model Lily Cole as Alice), Anna and The Witch’s Bottle is a modern fairytale turned on its head, at once whimsical and childish, but with a dark underbelly.

The book is illustrated by Rohan Daniel Eason, known for his collaborations in the fashion world, he recently created a pair of hand-inked gloves for Yoko Ono. His illustrations perfectly reflect the darkly idiosyncratic tone Geoff Cox’s narrative, filled with sad-faced dog waiters and a hut made of crabs.

Black Maps founder Stuart Suitor brought the three elements together to present an alternative to the standard children’s books currently on the market. "I was absolutely struck by the pedestrian nature of these modern children's books," says Stuart, who was reintroduced to children's literature whilst teaching English to children from ethnic backgrounds. "I found myself lamenting the strange, creepy, weird but entirely marvellous books I had read as a kid." This served as the catalyst to bring the three creative forces together in what would eventually become Anna and The Witch's Bottle.

"Whilst being music driven, Black Maps aims to expand the idea of a record label, including experimental film, private press literature, design commissions, textile works, events and beyond", affirms Stuart.

Anna and the Witch’s Bottle is to be released in a limited edition of only 300 copies this month, making it an immediate collectors item for fans of mellifluous beauty. This unique and magical book has all the makings of a future classic: this is children's literature like you have never seen/heard it before.

Anna and The Witch's Bottle Launches at The Pumphouse Gallery Summer Party in Battersea Park on 22nd of September 2009 with a special reading and preview event.

Copies of the book are available at the Black Maps website or at the following real-world portals: select Paul Smith stores, MySugarland, Howie and Belle, Merchant Archive, Galleri Kleerup, and, for the bargain price of £30. But hurry, only 300 copies are available!

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