Thursday, 12:10am
10 October 2013

A graphic tree-hug

Pulp!, a 1989 newspaper devoted to trees, drew attention to green issues through art, illustration, writing and photography

Pulp! was a one-off, large-format newspaper published in 1989 to raise awareness of pressing green issues.

Spread featuring Ian Archie Beck’s The Green Man (left) and other smaller reproductions of green men including a limewood carving by Jan Zalud, a Mummers costume by Anthony Denning and David Hockney’s feathered green man costume design for The Magic Flute, 1978.

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The initiative came from Common Ground, a small charity that was formed to promote green issues ‘with the help and inspiration of people in all branches of the arts.’ The three editors were Common Ground founders Angela King and Sue Clifford along with the late Roger Deakin (who among his many achievements wrote Waterlog).

Spread includes an image of Rael Isacowitz in 1982 as the Green Man in ‘The World Tree’ (left), a photograph taken by Annie Leibowitz of Adelle Lutz’s Fur Coat with Ear Muffs (right), and two of Andy Goldsworthy’s plant-based artworks, exhibited at the Natural History Museum 1989-1990.

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Their masterstroke was in hiring Pearce Marchbank (see ‘Time Out covers’ in Eye 44) as art director. Marchbank marshalled the contents within a robust four-and-a-half column grid, and uses the A3 (420 x 296mm) format to give plenty of space to this monochrome cornucopia of illustrations, artwork and photographs. Visual contributors include Adele Lutz, Glen Baxter, Mick Brownfield, Ian Pollock, Posy Simmons, Mel Calman (on the front cover) and a breathtaking image of ‘Daphne’, specially commissioned from Adrian George.

Adrian George, Daphne, 1989.

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Daphne detail

Spread featuring illustrations by Louis Hellman, The Tree as seen by … (top left) and Tim Hunkin, The Rudiments of Wisdom: Birds Nests, hollow places for holding eggs (bottom right).

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The 44-page newspaper has plenty of good reading, too – Pulp’s writers included Judith Williamson (see ‘Retro-sexism’ in Eye 48), Heathcote Williams, Richard Mabey, Germaine Greer and Monty Python’s Terry Jones. The half-column is used not only for substantial captions, but for illustrations, halftone photographs and small independent items – facts and figures relevant to Pulp’s main aim – to present ‘an entirely fresh view of trees, woods and humans through the eyes of writers, artists, illustrators, cartoonists and photographers.’

The left spread shows Andrew Haslam’s instructions for making paper sculpture.

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Haslam_paper engineering detail

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. 

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