Hercules Editions is proud to have commissioned an exciting new project from poet / artists Sophie Herxheimer and Chris McCabe. The Practical Visionary is a collaged dialogue between them and their luminary inspiration, William Blake.
The project, which will take the form of a beautiful limited-edition book and also an exhibition (running at London's Poetry Café from 17th September to 27th October: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/poetry-cafe/) was begun by exchanging imaginary letters between Blake and the Citizens of London, and evolved through photographing timeless and fleeting details on Lambeth streets, to create 21st-century visions parallel to Blake’s mythology.
Puddles become a lake where Blake heard the wailing of unborn souls, and the centre of a wheel becomes the eye of Urizen, the personification of reason. These images are spliced together and expanded with glimpses of borrowed words and pages from a giant bible and a tiny nonconformist self-help book.
In Herxheimer and McCabe’s creative response to the work of this country’s most imaginative artist / poet, The Practical Visionary moves freely between Blake's world and ours, demonstrating why his voice is a powerful and necessary as ever.
In addition to the book and exhibition, we will also be creating a MP3 and a digital map (available on our website), allowing our audience to experience Blake's Lambeth for themselves, with Chris and Sophie as guides. In order to bring these ambitious plans for the project to fruition, we need the generous assistance of our readers. We are offering some exciting incentives to donors, including an opportunity to have your name listed in the book (a regular feature of all our publications; a way of making our readers integral to the project), a chance to receive an original collaged screen print on the pages of a Bible (pictured below) and to our most generous donors, an option to receive a limited edition set of etchings by Herxheimer and McCabe, made a stone's throw from the site of Blake's house and press on Hercules Road. The etchings (pictured below) are signed and numbered in an edition of 30.