Andy Sewell’s Favorite Book from 2020

As It Is by Rinko Kawauchi.   Published by Chose Commune.

This last year — as each day seems to reveal more clearly just how incapable the UK government and media are of dealing with the challenges we face — I’ve ended up spending a lot of time reading about and engaging in various ways politics and activism. When picking up a photobook I find myself looking for something that’s working in a different mode. Not escapism, but something that speaks to being in the world at this time in a way that's expansive and sustaining.

Rinko Kawauchi’s work has always done this for me. As It Is conveys a specific love, the love she has for her daughter, but it also contains space for me to bring my emotions and experiences to it. The book, perfectly designed and sequenced, speaks of what we hold and what we are held by. And of noticing what’s in front of us — its fragility, its strangeness, its beauty — and the meaning it’s easy to overlook.

Honorable Mentions:
Constructed Landscapes by Dafna Talmor 

Andy Sewell’s work explores the permeability of the boundaries that hold things apart and the fragility of the bonds locking them together. Known and Strange Things Pass, published by Skinnerboox, October 2020, looks at the cables carrying the Internet across the Atlantic and costal locations they link. Exploring, in these places where the digital network is concentrated, a literal and metaphorical entwining of worlds we think of as separate—the ocean and the Internet, the close and the distant, the physical and the virtual, what we think of as natural with the cultural and technological.

His work is found in collections including the V&A Museum, Columbia University Art Collection, The Museum of London, The MAST Collection, The National Media Museum, Eric Franck Collection, Martin Parr Collection, The Hyman Collection, The Tate Library. His first book The Heath was a winner of the International Photobook Award and is included in Martin Parr’s The Photobook: A History Vol. III. He has had solo shows in UK, France, USA, and China. Known and Strange Things Pass will open at Robert Morat Gallery in Berlin on 16th January 2021 and run until March.