Saturday, 6:00pm
11 July 2015

Noted #68

Landscapes, beards and hats in Copenhagen; Tree of Codes; World Illustration Awards; New Horizons; Tom Gauld’s Endless Journey

Here are a few things that caught our attention in recent weeks.

49 landscapes, 73 beards and the Skinned Head of a Young Bull, designed and published by Designbolaget in Copenhagen, is an infographic-style book based on the analysis of 112 paintings from the collection at the Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Denmark. The book was published in connection with the ‘Mix It Up!’ exhibition (May 2015 at SMK) which asked artists and designers to reinterpret historical works spanning a 700-year period, all of which are now in the public domain. 49 landscapes, 73 beards and the Skinned Head of a Young Bull reduces the works to single features – such as canvas sizes, male versus female creators, number of hats, prevalence of animals, percentage of occupied versus non-occupied hands and directions of gazes – which act as a means for comparing them.

Spread from 49 landscapes, 73 beards and the Skinned Head of a Young Bull.
Top: Grahame Baker Smith’s 150th anniversary stamps commemorating Alice In Wonderland, commissioned by Royal Mail – one of 165 shortlisted entries for the World Illustration Awards 2015.


From the 112 selected paintings, there were 73 bearded faces, 191 faces without beards and 367 hats.


Designed and published by Designbolaget.


Choreographer Wayne McGregor’s Tree of Codes, a contemporary ballet commissioned by Manchester International Festival, is a collaboration between McGregor, artist Olafur Eliasson and remix artist / composer Jamie xx. It is performed by dancers from Company Wayne McGregor and Paris Opera Ballet and is an exciting extension of publishing. Eliasson’s stage design draws from Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Tree of Codes (Visual Editions, 2011) and references Sara de Bondt’s innovative book design with transparent layered scenery and the use of several reflective surfaces that show both the front and back of the dancers while reflecting an image of the audience onto the stage. Jamie xx also drew directly from the books and used its die-cut pages to dictate the rhythm of the score. The final premiere performance of Tree of Codes was on Friday 10 July 2015, at Manchester Opera House.

Preview film showing Tree of Codes rehearsals with Paris Opera Ballet and Company Wayne McGregor in June 2015 including interviews with McGregor, Marie- Agnès Gillot (Paris Opera Ballet) and James Pett (Company Wayne McGregor). Film produced by Soup co.

Production photograph by Ravi Deepres.


The World Illustration Awards 2015 have announced their shortlist which includes works by Pieter van Eenogge, Olivier Kugler, Malika Favre, Grahame Baker Smith, Jean Julien and Andrew Rae. The 24-strong judging panel – including David Pearson, Emily Ford (Macmillan) and Marion Deuchars – selected 165 illustrations from the 2000 submissions. The winning submissions from the sixteen categories will be exhibited at Somerset House in October 2015. (See ‘Stripes and teasers’ and ‘Neighbourhood watch’ on the Eye blog).

One of six illustrated posters by Malika Favre for the BAFTAs 2015.


In 2012, Dutch artist Bruno van den Elshout took one photograph of the horizon-line at the North Sea beach in The Hague every hour for the entire year – a total of 8785 images. The New Horizons project aimed to explore ‘space and tranquillity, to travel beyond the predominating issues of ordinary life’ and was inspired by his two-year-old son Lasse’s observations of a boat floating in the space between sea and sky.

Van den Elshout teamed with photo technician Roelof de Vries to design the all-weather camera housing and system which allowed the images to automatically upload to the New Horizons website. The collection was exhibited at Panorama Mesdag museum in The Hague (10 November 2014 — 8 March 2015) and is available as a truncated collection of postcards (below). The New Horizons book (published in December 2014) was designed by Rob van Hoesel and benefits from a flat binding method. It has been awarded several design awards including being selected for the Best Designed Books of The Netherlands and the Bronze Medal for Most Beautiful Books in the World 2015.

Bruno van den Elshout’s New Horizons set of postcards.


Seven of the 8785 photographs taken of the North Sea beach in The Hague, 2012.


The postcard pack was designed by Rob van Hoessel.


Illustrator Tom Gauld recently created a myriorama, meaning ‘many thousand views’, made up of twelve picture cards that can be arranged in any order to form a kind of wordless book with 479,001,600 possible variations. Endless Journey makes reference to Laurence Sterne’s writings: for example a sign for Coxwold, where Sterne wrote The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy; a dead donkey mentioned in A Sentimental Journey; and a guide post to mark the meeting of three roads from Tristram Shandy, among many others.

Endless Journey is available to purchase (Laurence Sterne Trust, £10) and is currently on display alongside rare nineteenth century myriorama in ‘Sentimental Landscapes’ at Shandy Hall in York.

See ‘Man of letters’ in Eye 85 and ‘Gentle giant’ in Eye 83. Also see ‘A nose for type’, a review of Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman published by Visual Editions, in Eye 77.

One of 479,001,600 possible variations on Tom Gauld’s myriorama Endless Journey.


Detail of Tom Gauld’s Endless Journey.


Die-cut slipcase for Gauld’s twelve picture cards. Design: Brighten the Corners.


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 and single issues.