dogtown ** Available now! **
Beth Hopkins & Andrew Spragg

Publication date November 2018


£7.50 Including P&P (Uk)


dogtown is a groundbreaking collaborative artbook between Beth Hopkins and Andrew Spragg. It has been painstakingly constructed from scraps of material, stuck and stitched together as though a world is being formed or held together by that production. The language is a fragile and distressed lyric, and the question of how to survive the dissonance permeates the environment. This erratic language is sewn into the cloth, seemingly controlled, but when given access to what’s beneath, we find flamboyant and elaborate loops, an indecipherable language, an excessive encounter with materiality.

Andrea Brady – If Olson’s Dogtown is a fabrication of mythic masculinity, the Dogtown made together by Hopkins and Spragg is a work of salvaging – patches and patterns, reports from travellers exploring the unselvaged edges of the polis: ‘a stitching town an embroidered / point haunted by this flight’. The uneasy labour of embroidery, with all it recollects about gender, patience, function and adornment, slows the text down, making visible the work that is hidden on ‘wrong’ side of the art object, remaking the geometry of letters. Wistful remnants, arterial drawings and unheeded instructions are assembled here into a book of unsettling beauty: an ‘urgent production / slow over loved / for this litter / for this version’.

Verity Spott – ‘there or here is some / time in which / we feel alone / sad and hostile – / to what / and who / is loved...’ This is the beginning of a “Draft Song to Dogtown”. It seems to me that this book represents a series of yearnings and distrusts that mingle into one another in the mind(s) hinting at a kind of ‘No Space’. These poems feel like rituals for entry, towards new worlds whist trailing the flotsam of subjective pain and recovery. They tell a story through sound / language / image of sequenced approaches to a new kind of life, one which will undoubtedly become clearer as the flotsam falls from the song ‘to what / and who / is loved’.

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