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  • Dee Lister

Behind the scenes of a zine, part one

22 August 2022

My new art zine Glimmers is out now in the store.

I wrote the following words the night before the first World Anthotype Day and release of my new zine Glimmers:

I am sat in my garden enjoying the darkening cool of twilight felt keenly after a sweltering August. There’s a flit of angular black overhead as a bat sails seamlessly by gathering up their unfortunate dinner. Sunset was a startle of colour on passing low to mid clouds, with a relish of yellow orange then pink drawing the day to a close.

I’m feeling reflective and tired, but also quietly contented. It’s been a busy month as tomorrow (this was Saturday 20th August) marks the end of my first project that culminated in an art object people can hold in their hands. What a joy to arrive at this place! Creating and making a vision come true.

It’s appropriate to ponder this now since the project was born as the sun rose one autumn morning and it’s time for the sun to set eleven months later. It was September back then, with autumn creeping round the corners and calling in the night at an earlier hour, as well making sunrise walks more doable.

A song came to me during that 6am walk at a reservoir not far from home. It was a love letter to the earth. The light shone sumptuous pastels that unfolded into vibrant skies. Enlivened and emboldened by the spacious colourful canvas surrounding me an idea burst into being!

I envisioned sharing images and words to convey my harmony attuning to nature during sun rise, initially as an exhibition though without a grant this would be costly, so I decided to make a zine. They’re such lovely and affordable art pieces to have and it appealed to me that they have a more handcrafted homey touch.

With the passing of the seasons and many more joyful evenings watching or walking at sunset, sometimes with my camera in tow, I broadened the zine’s horizons to bring in both bookend to our days. In other words, anthotypes were included that used photos taken at sunrise and sunset.

The zine’s laid out so the sequence of different coloured anthotypes begin and end mirroring one another, with a little artistic license in the middle with a pink sun print. In total I made over 30 anthotypes and selected 12 for the zine with this intention of conveying an earthy rhythm through the content.

I hope you enjoy the palette on offer, with dark and cerulean blueberry blues speaking to twilight skies. Bright citrusy turmeric emulsion yellows are reminiscent of the sun. Whilst my personal favourite, the rose and punchy pinks made from beetroot are an ode to the gift of reflected light just before or after the sun meets or falls below the horizon.

There’s also a blackberry purple near the end, since in my experience this beautiful colour tends to embellish magic hour, the time just before twilight settles in. I'm revealing a bookish obsession with what happens in the sky, but this is also my way of living a slow and mindful life.

Seeing and feeling the light as it changes offers me glimmers, which the zine was named after. Glimmers are moments of calm and serenity as Deb Dana calls them in a book called Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection (2018).

Deb Dana wrote about glimmers within the context of living with trauma, which's something I've written about in the past as it weaves a thread through some artmaking (see article here). But the concept unites us all when we seek out those things that bring us everyday joy.

For me sunrise awakens my optimism, opening me up in a way nothing else does. Sunset nudges me into knowing the next day will come if I only surrender to the deep of the night, just as I'm doing now sat writing this blog post.

To buy Glimmers zine (costing £5 + p&p) please visit the store here.

Images from 2021's sunrise walk when the project began:


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