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Rock, Bird, Butterfly

by Hannah Lowe

Hercules Editions is pleased to announce the publication of Rock, Bird, Butterfly by Hannah Lowe

A fire unpeels the walls of a stately home to reveal stunning hand-painted Chinese wallpaper, a ‘luxury good’ of empire. Here begins Hannah Lowe’s search to understand what this wallpaper, which still graces many of this country’s great houses, can tell us about Britain’s historical trade with China, the fashion for chinoiserie, and the little-known painting workshops in which the wallpaper was meticulously produced. The poems in Rock, Bird, Butterfly also recall the Chinese aesthetics of Lowe’s childhood home, considering how material cultures travel and what their journeys tell us of the past.

 

The book is introduced by Chinese wallpaper expert Clare Taylor, and also includes an afterword by the author.

Continuing Hannah's exploration of the Chinese diaspora in Europe, Rock, Bird, Butterfly is being published simultaneously with Old Friends, a collection on the theme of London's first Chinatown, Limehouse. 

“Lowe's collection brings Chinese wallpaper’s little-known stories into our own time, a time in which its designs have been commodified, used for a whole range of products including the notebook covers she is drawn to ‘not because I’m part Chinese – I just like the look of things Chinese’.”

Clare Taylor in her introduction

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