The Night Diana Died/I Remember A Time (Princess)Roelof Bakker
A box set containing two hand-made A5 artist’s books each addressing an event connected to Princess Diana, published 31 August 2022, the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death. Both books remember Diana as a positive role model, (gay) activist, humanitarian and subverter of the tabloid press.
With the book The Night Diana Died, Roelof Bakker explores storytelling in a book combining photography, writing and tactile form. Bakker looks back on the night of Princess Diana’s fatal accident in 1997 when he made his DJ debut playing gay disco classics at a friend’s birthday party. By referencing and listing song titles and artists from his 1997 playlist including ‘La Vie en Rose’ by Grace Jones and ‘Spacer’ by Sheila and B Devotion, he celebrates Diana’s spirit of kindness and her rarely acknowledged sense of fun and adventure.
I Remember A Time (Princess) contains one sentence and one reappropriated photograph. The book responds to the lie spread by the 1980s tabloid press that AIDS can be passed on by every day social contact. Diana crushed this lie by inviting the tabloids to photograph her holding hands with a man living with AIDS-related illness, the printed photograph a significant moment in changing perceptions about the disease. To emphasise the message of human touch as activism, the book uses four different paper stocks.
The Night Diana Died/I Remember A Time (Princess) published by Negative Press London. Black cardboard box with foil blocked text to exterior. Two A5 hand-bound books: The Night Diana Died, 24pp; I Remember A Time (Princess), 16pp. Tracing paper, parche marque, cupcycled paper, gay pride rainbow paper, linen thread. A5 insert, 1pp, tracing paper. Foil blocking by Fraser Carr Mills. Spotify playlist ‘Diana’s Disco’. Edition of 5, 2 artist‘s proofs
I Think of You
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I Think of You combines short texts, each named after an area in London, with colourful images of Brutalist structures.
In Martin Crawley’s poetry, humorous observations complement painful memories of casual encounters and of friends living with and dying of AIDS. This is the second Negative Press publication by the London-born and Bow-based artist after Placing Stones, published in 2015.
Published 3 September 2021, paperback, perfect-bound, 148mm x 210mm, 40pp, 12 texts, 23 drawings in colour.
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A visual response to research carried out for an article in which Bakker revisits a George Rodger photograph recorded at Belsen concentration camp, a photograph which Bakker first encountered as a child over forty years ago.
In the 2020 article for the European Journal of Life Writing (see https://ejlw.eu/article/view/36907/34435), Bakker discovers a world outside the photograph’s frame, towards a future unknown at the time of exposure.
In the book, black squares symbolise a negative yet to be developed. Only part of the George Rodger photograph is shown alongside brief quotes by photographer George Rodger, the boy he photographed, Sieg Maandag and by Roelof Bakker, each commenting on an aspect of their connection to the photograph. A factual caption supplies the missing visual information, the book exploring ways of presenting and discussing unimaginable horror without showing it.
Published 14 July 2020, paperback, 210mm x 210mm, 28pp, saddle-stitched.
More info at https://rbakker.com/Unprocessed
The Spots That Never Went
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The Spots That Never Went is a personal reflection on the devastation of AIDS and the lasting impact on a generation, presented as a tabloid newspaper with tip on colour print and a broadsheet supplement both contained inside a clear archival polypropylene pocket with black dot sticker to exterior.
A solo exhibition which takes the book as a starting point to making new work exploring storytelling using image and text, form and live performance, took place at Photofusion, London SW9, 21 October to 3 December 2021. This show followed on from a Gay History Month 2020 exhibition at Cambridge Artworks, Cambridge CB4 3EF. https://rbakker.com/The-Spots-That-Never-Went
Bakker contributed ‘A Silent Reading‘ of The Spots That Never Went to the Derek Jarman Stormy Weather Symposium at Manchester Art Gallery 8 April 2022, as part of a collaborative performance with author Darryl Peers.
The book was Highly Commended Finalist 2019 Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing, presented by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, announced at the 2019 Melbourne Art Book Fair https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2019/03/18/129965/amsterdam-based-publisher-wins-ngv-art-and-design-book-prize/.
Sarah Bodman picked it as one of ten artists’ books of 2018. She writes, “It’s a brutally simple, heartbreaking thing – we need to read more books like this.” https://www.a-n.co.uk/news/artists-books-2018-10-of-the-best-from-irreverent-fun-to-brutal-heartbreak/
The book was included in the group show, Print: A Catalyst for Social Change, Bury Art Museum, Bury BL9 0DR (2019) and was selected for Salon 18, Photofusion’s annual members’ show at London SW9 8LA (2019).
Second edition, £15. Free UK postage. Ships worldwide.
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28pp tabloid newspaper (289mm x 380mm); glued-on colour print (100mm x 100mm); 4pp broadsheet newspaper, (350mm x 500mm); archival pocket, sticker, board.
Printed Lies is a reproduction in book form of the 2016 Vote Leave campaign video, Which NHS will you vote for? Screengrabs from the video were assembled for a book exposing both explicit and implicit lies, that were integral to success of the Vote Leave campaign. In a brief essay accompanying the book. Bakker writes, ‘When I watched the Vote Leave campaign video, Which NHS will you vote for? on the BBC in May 2016, it made for uncomfortable viewing. I sensed the importance of turning the video into a physical record with its own ISBN number, a book to be kept in perpetuity at the British Library.’
Reviewing Printed Lies for The New European, Steve Anglesey calls Printed Lies “a devastating work” and writes, “I’m not sure I’ve read a more compelling illustration of why Leave won than Printed Lies.”
Published 21 November 2017, ISBN 978-0-9573828-4-8, paperback, perfect-bound, 132mm x 197mm, 76 pp.
Contact info(at)neg-press.com for copies
How Many Hopes Lie Buried Here Mother
Hopes is a bundle of postcards with folded insert addressing the lost hopes and dreams of fallen soldiers and anyone affected by their death. Close-up photographs show every age from eighteen to fifty on World War I and World War II headstones at war cemeteries tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Jan Woolf writing for No Glory In War, “(The work) doesn’t aestheticise war, but it does personalise it, as the artist invites us to reflect on the hopes and dreams any of us may have had at twenty-two – thirty-three – fifty… ”
The work is dedicated to Canadian World War I soldier, teenager James Carter Irwin (1898-1916) and his mother Jennie Carter Irwin (1871-1925). Mrs Irwin supplied the text for the epitath that appears on her son’s headstone at Nunhead Cemetery, London, her question also the title of this book.
Launched at Nunhead Cemetery on 31 July 2016 at the grave of James on the centenary of his death. Exhibition at The Library, Dutch Church, London EC2N 2HA in 2016 with Bakker contributing a Remembrance Day speech on 13 November 2016. A paper about the background of the project was part of Dialogues of the Dead on 24 May 2018 at King’s College, London.
Published 31 July 2016, hand-finished book, fold-out sleeve, thirty-three postcards, glued-in leaflet, black elastic band, 148.5mm x 105mm x 18mm, £20. SOLD OUT
Nicholas Royle (text) and David Gledhill (paintings)
In this collaborative publication mixing paintings and fiction, David Gledhill and Nicholas Royle explore ideas around photography, surveillance and observation from the perspective of a young girl during the Stasi period, the visual aspect of the work investigating the boundaries of photography and painting.
The project began when David Gledhill obtained a 1950s East German family album from a Frankfurt flea market and subsequently turned these domestic snapshots into large-scale oil paintings. Nicholas Royle then contributed fiction inspired by the family album paintings. Michael Caines writing on the Times Literary Supplement blog (30 April 2016), called the book “an eccentric form of ekphrasis.”
Published 10 May 2016, ISBN 978-0-9573828-3-1, paperback, perfect bound, 148.5mm x 210mm, 48 pp with 23 colour paintings. SOLD OUT
Martin Crawley (author, drawings), John Douglas Millar (afterword)
Placing Stones is a book about friendship and remembrance. In the first publication by London-born artist Martin Crawley, haunting words complement gentle pencil drawings of stones, reproduced here at their physical size. Writer/poet John Douglas Millar contributes a moving afterword.
Adrian Slatcher reviewing Placing Stones for Sabotage Reviews on 4 August 2015 writes, “Crawley has created a highly satisfying object that though personal to the artist/poet is surely also intriguing to the accidental reader; a bit like the wanderer who comes across a dedication in an overgrown churchyard.”
Published 17 February 2015, ISBN 978-0-9573828-2-4, paperback, PUR bound, 120mm x 180mm, 40 pp with 15 drawings, £9.99
Copies available, please contact info(at)neg-press.com
Roelof Bakker (photographer), Jane Wildgoose (author)
Strong Room is a collaboration between artists Roelof Bakker and Jane Wildgoose. Photographs of traces of past human activity are used as inspiration for writing about the loss of the tangible experience and the lack of physical presence in the digital world. The historical and academic importance of paper-based archives are explored as well as their potential to prompt the imagination and evoke memories.
Strong Room was included in Kaleid 2014, an exhibition of fifty new European artists’ books and in F Book Show, an exhibition of new photography books from the UK, 72 Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. Bakker and Wildgoose contributed the article, ‘Strong Room: Material Memories and the Digital Record’ for the European Journal of Life Writing, Vol 7 (2018). Photographs from the Strong Room series won First Prize (Gold) at the London Photographic Association Still Life 5 competition.
Published 21 January 2014, ISBN 978-0-9573828-1-7, saddle-stitched paperback with 28 colour photographs, foldback clip, 210mm x 148.5mm, 48 pp. SOLD OUT
More info at https://rbakker.com/Strong-Room
Still, Short Stories Inspired by Photographs of Vacated Spaces
Edited by Roelof Bakker
Twenty-six international authors contribute to a book of twenty six short stories accompanied by the photographs that supplied the inspiration for the writing. The book is part of a project exploring and responding to vacated interior spaces at Hornsey Town Hall in north London. See www.rbakker.com/still
Contributing writers are Richard Beard, Andrew Blackman, SJ Butler, Myriam Frey, SL Grey, Tania Hershman, James Higgerson, Justin Hill, Nicholas Hogg, Ava Homa, Aamer Hussein, Nina Killham, Deborah Klaassen, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Claire Massey, Jan Van Mersbergen, Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende, James Miller, Mark Piggott, Mary Rechner, David Rose, Nicholas Royle, Preeta Samarasan, Jan Woolf, Evie Wyld and Xu Xi.
Bookshop Foyles hosted an exhibition and a Negative Press London/Foyles short story competition was won by Yorkshire writer AJ Ashworth. Still was runner-up for Best Mixed Anthology at the Saboteur Awards 2013.
Published 26 September 2012, ISBN 978-0-9573828-0-0, paperback with 26 colour photographs, 210mm x 148.5mm, 190 pp. SOLD OUT
For more information, visit https://rbakker.com/Still