M-A (A Space Between) #1
This new, large-format publication is a gorgeous piece of print, presenting a series of spiral-bound, full-bleed black and white photographs from known and emerging talent.
The A3 magazine is the first work from a new Bath multidisciplinary studio and publisher of the same name, co-founded by British designer Joe Richards and French designer Manon Duhamel.
Built around the themes ‘Birth, Life, Death, Afterlife,’ its 110 pages set a compelling visual mood, a single narrative built from the work of 30 photographers. The following five images try to convey that mood.
Joe Richards opens the issue with a brief intro and explanation for the project. His typewritten words suit the off-white sugar paper and feel honest and direct.
The rest of the pages run without text: pure imagery, edge to edge, the large format and spiral binding allowing the reader to flick quickly through the images while also letting each spread sit flat as the pages turn. Sometimes images run across the spread (below), sometimes not, as above.
Despite the many different contributors, the colour and texture of the sugar paper brings them together, and when an image does run across a spread, the page size overwhelms the physical barrier of the spiral binding.
I first viewed M-A (A Space Between) on my screen; I was less impressed than when I saw the real thing. Sometimes typography and design can look better on screen than in print, but in this case the images create a subtle mood that is as much a result of the physical production as the image curation. The fog and blur of the these two images are enhanced by the off-white paper and the way the rich black ink enhances the slight texture of the paper.
The series of images are so strong as a set that to select sections is deceptive; but this spread struck me as symbolic of the mix. On the left, a still life by Lara Angelil and on the right an archive fashion shot by Ilker Aykol.
Overall, it’s hugely refreshing to be presented with such an unexplained run of images, a visual narrative to which the viewer can attach their own meaning.
We love magazines that communicate and explain fact and opinion; M-A (A Space Between) is a beautiful reminder that a magazine can just as successfully address the abstract.