I’ve finally completed my project - a whole year in the making - of reimagining all 10 of Kate Bush’s studio albums as collections of books. The image above is the The Red Shoes print. But the project began this time last year with Hounds of Love (below).
When I made this print, of my favourite Kate Bush album, I thought I’d leave it there and carry on making other prints of my favourite albums by various artists. But no, I couldn’t resist making a print of The Sensual World:
But then, why not make a print of The Kick Inside too? And so…
I think it was at this stage that I began to think about covering all of Kate Bush’s studio albums. I like sets of prints, I like the way they sit together or maybe don’t, I like noticing differences between prints in groups, and so a group of ten prints became an enticing prospect. Aerial was next:
I decided that I’d take the colour cues for these prints from each album’s artwork (Aerial's bright oranges, umbers and yellows being, I think, a particularly successful example). At the same time, I wanted them all to hold to a kind of central palette. What better way to test this than with perhaps the most grey/black album cover in the Kate Bush oeuvre, 50 Words For Snow:
Here I was able to keep in enough warmth (through the agedness of the books and the way sunlight on them over the years has in some ways warmed them) that it fitted in with the rest of the prints. Back to direct warmth, though, with Lionheart, which includes one spine that directly alludes to the pattern on the wallpaper in the background of the cover photograph (well, an approximation thereof anyway):
After this, it had to be Never For Ever:
The Red Shoes came next (but you’ve already seen that at the top of this post). Two more to do: Director’s Cut and The Dreaming. With Director’s Cut I wanted a set of colour rhythms that would echo the sprocket holes in the celluloid film seen in the cover photo, as well as its cold-warm-ness:
The last print was The Dreaming. How appropriate that, for an album that caused Kate Bush such problems in production, this print was an absolute devil to balance. I went through at least 10 proofs trying to get the close tones of the books I’d photographed to relate to the sepia-plus-orange-plus-green of the original album cover photo. But perseverance pays off:
…and the whole thing has a slight late-1930s look to me, which I like.
So there you are. A year’s work. The prints are available in the Standard Designs Etsy shop.