Responding to the artist’s work, the curator’s vision and the gallerist’s ambition with a book design that celebrates the practice of Imran Qureshi.
Qureshi is an internationally recognised contemporary artist, based in Lahore, Pakistan. We were invited by James Green, Director and Curator at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange in Cornwall and Tommaso Corvi-Mora of Corvi-Mora in London, to design a publication catalogue of his show.
In his practice Qureshi interrogates ideas of life and representations of death, as a reminder of the violence, on an almost daily occurrence, in his home country of Pakistan.
“The flowers that emerge from the red paint in my work represent the hope that — despite everything — the people somehow sustain for a better future.”
The ambition of the curator of the show was to capture a sense of the experience of the exhibition. The light was intensely low in part of the exhibition, conjuring up a deeply sober experience. We had to balance the curator’s vision of this, to represent the experience in the production of photographs, whilst responding to the gallerist’s desire for the images to ‘read’ in the context of a book.
We worked with the photographer, directing the photo shoot, to ensure we balanced the aesthetic ambitions for those stakeholders involved. Part of this process was an intense period of proofing images and testing paper stocks to get the right combination in the final outcome.
The design responds conceptually to the subject matter with the type choice of Times New Roman, in response to the topical nature of Qureshi’s practice. We matched this with a contemporary display face, inspired by Times New Roman, chosen for its sense of beauty and violence, qualities that have been used to describe Qureshi’s work.
The conceptual response to work in the book’s design is extended into the materiality of the production. A green cover stock is used to reference the colour of the Pakistani flag as well as the colour of the walls in Qureshi’s Penzance exhibition. The cover also features a subtle embossed pattern referencing the subtle brush strokes and organic elements in Qureshi’s work. The affect of this is to communicate the nuances of the subject in a sensitive and delicate manner in response to the subject of the catalogue.