Cars, prams and lamp posts

by Kitty Drake in September 2019
Art & design

I Work Around is the 49th in the series Pentagram Papers: slender little booklets published by the renowned design agency, celebrating work that has captured the attention of its creative team. It begins with four Sphinx-like lines, arranged like poetry in the middle of a small, black page: “Once there was a car,/ a lamp post,/ a door and an armchair,/ sitting by the road.” What follows is surprisingly literal: images of cars, lamp posts, doors and arm chairs, on roads. But these images are wonderful: in one, a seat belt peaks jauntily out of the bottom of a shut car-door, a tiny tongue; in another, a buggy dangles from a street post. Our favourite picture in the magazine is of a tree, its leaves pruned to spell out just one word: “JESUS”.

There’s a sort of visual poetry to the composition: cars move seamlessly into images of cars draped in material; followed by covered lamp-posts; followed, startlingly, by a photograph of a window, its net curtains whooshing open suddenly, like an eye. Flicking through you are reminded of the pleasure of looking, and juiciness of the everyday.

Featuring absolutely no words at all, the simplicity of this project is encapsulated by its cover art. A little black book of strange, beautiful, mundane things.

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