I like creative people because they go that extra mile, even if it makes them look a little obsessed and, dare I say it, crazy. It doesn’t matter, it’s being created and that’s it, which is exactly the kind of attitude that pushes the boundaries of what we conceive possible. I love this idea that through not accepting what is presented to you, new and exciting projects are instantly given life. Take this project documented in the film below as a prime example, Peter Dean an avid enthusiast of the Beatles couldn’t find a reproduction of the Pablo Fanque Circus poster that inspired Mr Lennon to write “Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite”. Instead of accepting a lower quality of production Peter took it upon himself to track down those with the skills to create this to its original specifications.
As you will soon see in the film below this led him to a very talented gentleman named Andy English who ply’s his trade as a wood engraver creating breathtaking illustrations that are ready to hit the print press. After careful research the pair set about recreating templates for the various sections of the poster, each of these are hand-carved to precision and look almost mirror image to those that John Lennon previously laid his eyes on in 1967. Although sadly skills like these are now few and far between, it was lucky that he was able to track him down because without the skill of Andy, Peter really wouldn’t have been able to produce the quality he needed, a digital print just wouldn’t cut the mustard.
Talking of printing, once they had perfected the illustrations Peter turned his attention to the type set which needed to be put together by hand to really achieve what he wanted. He put his trust in London based letterpress expert Graham Bignell who has been working in the craft since 1981 when he opened his own London based studio. He also happens to be an expert in the conservation, preservation, and restoration of historical and iconic posters, prints, drawings and water colours so in many respects he was tailor made for this particular project. They perfected the poster letter by letter and line by line until they were happy with the overall result, concluding a remarkable amount of collaboration and admiration for a piece of art that was created lovingly in 1843 would you believe.
In the context of British music this is perhaps one of the most significant pieces of art to inspire one of the countries most celebrated musicians of all time. It’s rather fitting that Peter has gone to such lengths to recreate its original aesthetic and feel, in doing so he has also highlighted the importance of these age old crafts, and their ability to out perform their digital counter parts. For those wishing to learn more about those featured within the film I will leave the relevant links below, in the meantime press play and see what you think for yourself.