On Saturday I got up early to visit Ffotogallery’s Book Arts Fayre, down in Penarth. I met a lot of interesting people, saw loads of great books and, of course, came home with a big stack of new titles to devour.
One which caught my eye immediately was Stuart Woodman’s “Now We Are 30”.
I had originally read about it here, decided I was definitely going to buy it, bookmarked it and completely forgot about it.
In this book, Stuart documents his 30th year using his Polaroid SX-70 and a bunch of film (which must be expired by now!). Although Stuart took one Polaroid every day, the book contains just a selection of these, arranged to form a loose narrative.
A couple things I particularly liked. First, there’s not much of an introduction or explanation for these images in the book itself. This allowed me to view the images not just as Stuart’s memories, but somehow my own too. I find the shot of the teddy bear taken through glass particularly mesmerising and keep returning to it.
Second, Stuart made the (controversial) decision to print the Polaroids at larger-than-life-size. I’m sure there’s a purist somewhere foaming at the mouth over this news, but to me it’s quite simple - once you copy and print a polaroid you’re no longer exhibiting the original object, so why not take the opportunity to increase the size and therefore the impact of the photo?
Finally, the book is exceptionally well made and a joy to hold and flick through. Don’t make the mistake I did and forget to buy it - do it now before it sells out as it surely will.