The Old Stile Press, 2006.

Designed and printed by Nicolas McDowall at The Old Stile Press.

Published in an edition of 190 standard copies and 10 specials.


This book, which I really should have picked up before now, is a fascinating example of a ‘responsive’ production. The standard process of having Peter Reddick create works to ‘illustrate’ Philip Gross’s text is represented, but also turned on its head, with several of Philip’s poems being written to ‘illustrate’ Peter’s engravings.

The wood engravings in The Abstract Garden are of the more modern style that Peter Reddick started to produce in his later years. I really like this departure from his usual work, and think that many of the engravings printed here show Reddick at his very best. As for the writing, the poems are equally fine. I don’t own a great deal of Philip Gross’s poetry, but that which I do have – this volume included – is superb.

This very well designed and finely printed edition is an exceptional collaboration where all parties involved have brought out the very best in each other. As a final note, I’d like to say that I love the slipcase. The deep rust cloth is a gorgeous choice of colour, and the printed label featuring the Peter Reddick engraving is the perfect finishing touch.





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