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GIFT BOOKS & POPULAR CULTURE

PUBLISHER
Four Corners Books

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 10.25 x 11 in. / 304 pgs / 300 color / 20 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2015 p. 59   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781909829022 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $60.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

TERRITORY
NA ME

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Preview our FALL 2024 catalog, featuring more than 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.
  

FOUR CORNERS BOOKS

The Art of Smallfilms

The Work of Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin

Edited by Jonny Truck, Richard Embray. Introduction by Stewart Lee. Foreword by Daniel Postgate.

The Art of Smallfilms

Postgate & Firmin produced some of the best-loved British children’s television of the 1960s and '70s, including Bagpuss, The Clangers and Ivor the Engine

Working from a cowshed on a farm in Kent, Oliver Postgate (1925–2008) and Peter Firmin (born 1928) produced some of the best-loved British children's animated television of the 1960s and 1970s. Their iconic productions include Bagpuss (originally aired in 1974), The Clangers (1969–74), Ivor The Engine (1975–77), Pogles' Wood (1966–68) and Noggin The Nog (1959–65). Postgate and Firmin worked together from 1959 through the 1980s, creating popular, beloved characters that appealed to children and their parents alike, like the whistling, mousy Clangers (knitted by Firmin's wife Joan in bright pink wool) in outer space, the saggy, baggy cloth cat Bagpuss and the mild-mannered Viking boy Prince Noggin. Firmin painted the backdrops and created the models, and Postgate wrote scripts, did the stop-motion filming and frequently recorded the kindly, avuncular narration. This book, which includes a preface by Postgate's son Daniel, presents the Smallfilms archive: the puppets and cutouts from these shows (including some of the characters who didn't quite make the cut), along with insights into how they were created. The emphatically handmade models and painstakingly drawn illustrations that came to life in the Smallfilms productions are captured here in attentive, detailed photographs. The archive is presented like "a collection of artifacts in an exhibition detailing some much-admired twentieth-century art movement, like Fluxus or Dada," as acclaimed English stand-up comedian Stewart Lee notes in his introduction. The Art of Smallfilms, full of pipe cleaners, cotton balls, wire and ping-pong balls, celebrates the imagination and ingenuity of two artists who shaped a generation's childhood.

Featured image, of The Pogles, is reproduced from The Art of Smallfilms.

The Art of Smallfilms

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/19/2015

The Art of Smallfilms

The Art of Smallfilms

Featured image is from The Clangers, Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate's psychedelic UK animated television show of the late 60s and early 70s about "a small tribe or extended family of civil mouse-like persons living their peaceful lives on, in and around a small, undistinguished moon." It is reproduced from Four Corners Books' remarkable new archive of The Art of Smallfilms, in which English comedian, writer, director and musician Stewart Lee writes, "It's difficult, if you are of a certain age and political bent, not to talk about Smallfilms without sounding reactionary. This book makes me naively nostalgic for a world before free market doctrines and focus groups, when a publicly funded body gave two indefatigable eccentrics and, we now realize, avatars of a distinctly British folk art, license to pursue their particular, and quietly subversive, ideas, unencumbered by crass commercial expectations. Whole series of Smallfilms were green lit because someone in an ashtray-filled office somewhere saw an eight-page book of pasted up scripts and scraps of sketches and decided it was worth commissioning. This would not and could not happen now. And the social circumstances and value systems that shaped those paper and scissors, arts and crafts cowshed visionaries of another era, Firmin and Postgate, are long gone." continue to blog


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