Once again, on the run up to Christmas Miniclick are running our Photobook Advent Calendar, where we do a short review of a book we’ve enjoyed this year (mostly from people we’ve worked with at some point). So keep coming back for a daily post, concluding with a big announcement on Christmas Day about a new project we’re launching in 2015.
Kicking off the 2014 Photobook Advent Calendar is Glen Erler’s ‘Family Tree’, published by Kehrer. Glen did a talk for us way back in May, taking us through this incredibly sensitive body of work.
It’s possible this will be the largest book featuring on the daily posts in December. It’s a hefty 224 pages, larger than A4 with 106 colour photos. The breadth and depth of this huge body of work, in which Glen explores the connections between his family in the US, is impressive enough. The quality of the images, the atmosphere he creates, compounds this. Glen has been based in the UK for over 20 years, but has returned several times to his Californian home over time to complete this images. The distance from his family home and the members of his family that feature in the images, works to provide the viewer with a voyeuristic glimpse to another world, whilst the design and layout leaves sufficient space around the images for the mind to wander and join the narrative dots.
The last images in the book form a series titled ‘The Last Ten Days’, a fitting and very touching end to the book that documents Glen’s journey to the burial of his father. The final pages are given over to ‘Thoughts’, some of Glen’s notes on selected images from the book. Placing them at the back was a masterstroke that allows the reader to create their own story without the presence of text throughout (that’s not to say that ‘Thoughts’ isn’t important to the book – Glen’s notes are both warming and heart-wrenching at the same time).
‘Family Tree’ costs £40 and is available direct from Glen.