In a wonderful and utterly meaningless synchronicity, I hit my 100th post on this blog just as I launch my debut novel, Randall, published by the indie darlings of the UK literary scene, Galley Beggar Press.
Photo by Kit Caless, Influx Press
We launched the book on the Tamesis Dock, a delightful boat-pub on the Albert Embankment. The book’s not officially published until 19 June, but there was the small matter of a World Cup to avoid.
The evening was a blast – thank you to everyone who came – and I had a good opportunity to realise that it’s been nearly thirty years since I’ve seriously given my signature some serious practice.
I occupied myself during the day by laying a treasure trail of sorts around London, leaving specially inscribed copies of the book at auspicious spots, as in offering to the departed ghosts of the YBAs. Here they are:
1/12 Outside the entrance to the Cromwell Industrial Estate, Lee, site of the 2004 Momart fire that destroyed a reported £50m worth of art. Should really have been the last stop off, but logistics dictated.
2/12 Hoxton Square, spiritual home of the YBAs, due not least to the presence of the White Cube gallery from 2000-2012
3/12 44a Charlotte Road, Hoxton: former site of Factual Nonsense, hugely important YBA gallery run by the late Joshua Compston
4/12 Brick Lane – close to where Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas situated their ‘Shop’
5/12 The Golden Heart pub, Shoreditch, favourite YBA watering hole, run by Sandra Esquilant. She wasn’t there on the day, but I left her a copy as well.
6/12 outside Cannon St station, where Vincent would have worked at LIFFE. Note the anti-homeless – or anyone, really – spikes
7/12 Goldsmiths College, New Cross. Alma mater of the YBAs and a far nicer place now than it was then.
8/12 98a Boundary Road, NW8, former site of the Saatchi Gallery
9/12 Piss-stinking telephone box with 41 Dean Street in the background, onetime home (upstairs) to the legendary drinking club the Colony Room
10/12 The Royal Academy, site of the seminal Sensation exhibition, in 1997
11/12 The White Cube, Duke Street, St James’s, just around the corner from the location of the original White Cube gallery – i.e. full in the traditional gallery heartland, before it moved out east.
12/12 Tate Britain, the Tate Gallery as was, where Vincent has his ‘Rothko experience’, pp103-108
From there it was on to the boat, and the party, and the signing…
The author with Sam Jordison and Elly Millar, co-directors of Galley Beggar Press