THE GIVING LIGHT
“Gavin Corbett’s new book of photography, The Giving Light, is, of course, a beautiful object in itself, with its little metallic gold sun beaming out lovingly from the front cover. But Corbett, best known as a novelist, also brings a novelist’s eye to his photographs, which are somehow both entirely mundane and wholly remarkable. A stripe of sunlight lines a brick wall. A face glows silently through a bus window. Familiar things come to the surface of our attention in this volume, making us look again. The photographs are accompanied by enigmatic fragments of text: ‘Here is a person who has lived a full and responsible life in the world of decisions and affairs’. It’s a book worth spending time with.”
“The Giving Light by Gavin Corbett is rather a different sort of collection of stories – a photo book of pictures taken on film cameras in multiple cities of the world over the past several years. Seemingly innocent and familiar scenes become absurd on closer inspection, and a thin line of text runs from page to page beneath the pictures, adding odd flashes of enlightenment, as opposed to any particular context.”
“The Giving Light is a book of photographs (referred to in some quarters as a photo-novel) by Irish writer (and photographer I guess) Gavin Corbett. Again, this is a book that dwells in the margins. Its gaze is turned to the graffiti brick walls and chalked, cracked pavements of the urban; to the edge of a suburban lawn, where clipped grass meets scrubland; to waste ground; to objects discarded; to the supposedly inconsequential. This is a book with its own ghosts: people caught side-on in a particular moment of time; figures on distant pavements. And Corbett is another artist seeking the light. The angles of light in this book, the titular light, are by turns generous, dying, reverent, divine, fallen, falling, radiant, opaque …”
The book is a gorgeous object too, with plenty of white space (for pondering) around the photographs, and the intricate hand-stitching and thick paper that leave a person happy just to hold a thing and to feel the turn in its pages.
The author declares that no other credence is to be given to the contents of this volume than that given to human authority, especially in relation to supernatural gifts and graces where the Church has not intervened by her judgement.
Author: Gavin Corbett
Extent: 64pp, CMYK + Metallic Gold
Trim: 198mm x 138mm, portrait
Format: Thread sewn; paperback with french flaps & cloth covered hardback
ISBN: 978 0 9569493 4 9 (paper — edition of 250)
ISBN: 978 0 9569493 3 2 (cloth — edition of 50)
Published: November 2017
Book design: Niall McCormack
Printed and bound in Ireland