Antonia Glücksman exhibits at TU : PLEI / 20-25 JULY

Antonia Glücksman, 2021

Antonia Glücksman is a German-Canadian designer, writer and illustrator based in Cornwall, UK.

Her work is research-led, often drawing on archival sources and collective memory to reveal the hidden poetry in mundane objects and everyday surroundings. Using drawing, collage and photographic processes, she aims to create books that are haptic and visual landscapes for the text to inhabit.

Antonia has illustrated and designed the Guillemot titles Words for Worlds Upended and Buried Gods Metal Prophets as well as the cover for Lucy Burnett’s One Step Sideways and 13 Down.

More of her work can be seen on her website here.


Exhibiting artists:

Antonia Glücksman

Zoe Heath

Hannah Mathison

Andrew Morrison

CF Sherratt

John Stadnicki

TU : PLEI is an invitation to engage with the ludic self then to share the experience with others.

TU : PLEI is an art exhibition which brings together drawing, painting, photography, collage, prints, sculpture, installation and montage from artists with a perceptive and individual interpretation on contemporary playfulness.

The exhibition TU : PLEI will be open 20-25 July 2021 at Stroud Brewery, 9am-5pm.

While writing Buried Gods Metal Prophets I often looked back at my childhood games and wondered what they meant then, whether time has given them a different meaning or not. It might have. But surely when the Guillemot Press editors worked on the manuscript, there were moments when my siblings’ chasing in the backyard or ‘soldier-soldier’-game felt untouched and sacred. Precious and private.

At first, sacred to me, later just sweet reminders that childhood play and joy are universal experiences. A child’s laughter and falls and bruises and tears have a collective ‘sameness’ yet our experiences give them unique meaning. A bit like different interpretations of what ‘freedom’ and ‘enjoyment’ are all about. A bit like what being human is all about. After all, war and tragedy, love and disappointment, growth, learning, failure and success are human experiences that repeat themselves despite topological or temporal differences.

Alongside the artwork, I will be reading from Buried Gods Metal Prophets on Thursday 22nd July 6pm. FREE entry! All welcome!

‘Buried Gods Metal Prophets’ 2021

Buried Gods Metal Prophets is published by the Guillemot Press, edited by Luke Thompson and Sarah Cave.

Illustrations and design: Antonia Glücksman.

The book is available here.

© Maria Stadnicka, July 2021

TU-PLEI / ART EXHIBITION / 20-25 JULY

Image © Antonia Glücksman, Design © Andrew Morrison

Exhibiting artists: Antonia Glücksman, Zoe Heath, Hannah Mathison, Andrew Morrison, CF Sherratt, John Stadnicki.

The exhibition will be open 20-25 July 2021 at Stroud Brewery.

TU-PLEI is an invitation to engage with the ludic self then to share the experience with others.

TU-PLEI is an art exhibition which brings together drawing, painting, photography, collage, prints, sculpture, installation and montage from artists with a perceptive and individual interpretation on contemporary playfulness.

While writing Buried Gods Metal Prophets I often looked back at my childhood games and wondered what they meant then, whether time has given them a different meaning or not. It might have. But surely when the Guillemot Press editors worked on the manuscript, there were moments when my siblings’ chasing in the backyard or ‘soldier-soldier’-game felt untouched and sacred. Precious and private.

At first, sacred to me, later just sweet reminders that childhood play and joy are universal experiences. A child’s laughter and falls and bruises and tears have a collective ‘sameness’ yet our experiences give them unique meaning. A bit like different interpretations of what ‘freedom’ and ‘enjoyment’ are all about. A bit like what being human is all about. After all, war and tragedy, love and disappointment, growth, learning, failure and success are human experiences that repeat themselves despite topological or temporal differences.

Alongside the artwork, I will be reading from Buried Gods Metal Prophets on Thursday 22nd July 6pm. FREE entry! All welcome!

‘Buried Gods Metal Prophets’ 2021

Buried Gods Metal Prophets published by the Guillemot Press, edited by Luke Thompson and Sarah Cave and illustrated by Antonia Glücksman is available here.

Night Life

Illustration © Atlanta Wiggs in International Times, June 2021

Ward 4B

During a heatwave, visitors are 
forbidden beyond the reception desk. 
 
Breathing machines run on batteries
after midnight nurses rush out 
 
on cigarette break. There is 
a sudden drop in humidity         
 
with the scream of a new-born 
dug out of the womb by hand.
 
Outside the hospital, a man walks
between candles like into a forest 
 
delivering flowers to the maternity. 
Alley cats rummage through garbage, 
 
wish him good luck. Staff change shifts
back at depot for deep-cleaning.
 
Summer rainwater washes away 
night traffic blood puddles.

© Maria Stadnicka, June 2021, published in International Times on 26 June 2021.

TU-PLEI / ART EXHIBITION / 20-25 JULY

Image © Antonia Glücksman, Design © Andrew Morrison

While writing Buried Gods Metal Prophets I often looked back at my childhood games and wondered what they meant then, whether time has given them a different meaning or not. It might have. But surely when the Guillemot Press editors worked on the manuscript, there were moments when my siblings’ chasing in the backyard or ‘soldier-soldier’-game felt untouched and sacred. Precious and private.

At first, sacred to me, later just sweet reminders that childhood play and joy are universal experiences. A child’s laughter and falls and bruises and tears have a collective ‘sameness’ yet our experiences give them unique meaning. A bit like different interpretations of what ‘freedom’ and ‘enjoyment’ are all about. A bit like what being human is all about. After all, war and tragedy, love and disappointment, growth, learning, failure and success are human experiences that repeat themselves despite topological or temporal differences.

TU-PLEI is an invitation to engage with the ludic self then to share the experience with others.

TU-PLEI is an art exhibition which brings together drawing, painting, photography, collage, prints, sculpture, installation and montage from artists with a perceptive and individual interpretation on contemporary playfulness.

Artists: Antonia Glücksman, Zoe Heath, Hannah Mathison, Mark Mawer, Andrew Morrison, CF Sherratt, Maria Stadnicka, John Stadnicki.

Alongside the artwork, there will be poetry from Buried Gods Metal Prophets. FREE entry!

‘Buried Gods Metal Prophets’ 2021

Buried Gods Metal Prophets published by the Guillemot Press, edited by Luke Thompson and Sarah Cave and illustrated by Antonia Glücksman is available here.

The exhibition will be open 20-25 July 2021 at Stroud Brewery.

Tree Chopping

Photography: © MStadnicka, MMXIV ‘Late O’

(after Rainer Maria Rilke)


River bank meadows have
all the time in the world.


Their pulse slows to a teardrop 
before any changes in weather. 


It turns to cement, turns to
salt mixed with root clumps,


for winter seeps through layers
of sunset under glass ceiling.


Our tree chopping season grows 
heavy with chalk, a burial site for


the things we once loved that
have fallen and broken in to pieces. 



© Maria Stadnicka, June 2021, Stroud.

Hermit Age

Photograph: ‘Cafe in Sofia’ © JStadnicki

During supper at our usual tavern 

it reeks of furniture polish. At six o’clock 

waiters dust the old piano then serve

wine out of bleached carafes. 

Two past seven. Room temperature 

eighteen Celsius. Twenty-three guests 

order the same main course. 

Those seated by the piano need 

face coverings. They ask for salt 

and spare cutlery. Twenty past seven.

The kitchen door opens 

four times in twelve minutes. 

There is a power cut when guest B 

finishes the lamb chops.

The waiters bring out fire-safe candles. 

Guests A and C reach for matches. 

No-one speaks. 

© Maria Stadnicka June 2021

Excerpt from the sequence Hermit Age.

TU-PLEI

A while ago, as I was writing Buried Gods Metal Prophets I often looked back at my childhood games and wondered what they meant then. Whether time has given them a different meaning or not. It might have. And surely while the Guillemot editors worked on the manuscript, there were moments when my siblings’ chasing in the backyard or ‘soldier-soldier’-game felt untouched and sacred. Precious and private.

At first, sacred to me, and later just sweet reminders that childhood play and joy are universal experiences. A child’s laughter and falls and bruises and tears have a collective ‘sameness’ yet our experiences give them unique meaning. A bit like different interpretations of what ‘freedom’ and ‘enjoyment’ are all about. A bit like what being human is all about. After all, war and tragedy, love and disappointment, growth, learning, failure and success are human experiences that repeat themselves despite topological or temporal differences.

TU-PLEI is not just an invitation ‘to play’. It is an invitation to engage with the ludic self then to share the experience with others. TU-PLEI is an exhibition which brings together painting, photography, collage, prints, sculpture and montage from artists with a perceptive and individual interpretation on contemporary playfulness.

Alongside their artwork, there will be poetry from Buried Gods Metal Prophets. FREE entry!

‘Buried Gods Metal Prophets’ 2021

Buried Gods Metal Prophets published by the Guillemot Press, edited by Luke Thompson and Sarah Cave and illustrated by Antonia Glücksman is available here.

The exhibition will be open 20-25 July 2021 at Stroud Brewery.

Water Sequence

From Buried Gods Metal Prophets, published by Guillemot Press, 2021.

© Maria Stadnicka, May 2021.

Buried Gods Metal Prophets (2021) published by the Guillemot Press. Editors: Luke Thompson and Sarah Cave. Designer and illustrator: Antonia Glücksman.

Production Lines

From Samsara (2012) directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Magidson.

Samsara is an American non-narrative documentary originally released at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. It was shot in 70mm format, filmed in 25 countries and completed over a period of 5 years.

Maria Stadnicka, May 2021

A Heart Failure

© JStadnicki, Stroud, 2021

At the end of 2020, for the first time in 70 years, Unicef pledged £25,000 to support the community project School Food Matters aimed to provide food to children from 25 British schools over the Christmas holiday. At the time, 3.3 million children were registered for free school meals, an increase of 17% from 2019.

The revelation provoked the public’s consternation and the petition “End Child Food Poverty” initiated by the footballer Marcus Rashford gathered more than 1.1 million signatures. By the time the MPs started debating the petition in Parliament, Rashford had raised £20 million and was already distributing food parcels.

Unicef, UN agency responsible for providing humanitarian aid to children worldwide, said the coronavirus pandemic was the most urgent crisis affecting children since the second world war. The British government’s reluctance to extend the free meals programme led to a significant dip in Boris Johnson’s popularity as the government response to child food poverty was described as “a lot of clothes pegs without a washing line” (BBC, 2020). 

Coming to think of it, free school meals is not the only failed governmental strategy yet it is bruising the national vanity the hardest. We are used to applauding Unicef’s interventions in third-world countries not to witnessing the sixth world economy’s inability to feed its own children in a pandemic. Nothing hurts more than being told you are a bad parent, that you care more about haircuts, the next holiday abroad, the pub opening hours, than about your children’s lunch at school. Being told you are bad at parenting is one thing but admitting it willingly is something else altogether. It’s not about recognising a systemic failure, it is simply admitting that your heart is failing.

Britain, your heart is failing. The core which supports your social systems needs an infusion of compassion and empathy; it needs radical intervention beyond statistical progress, beyond doctrine, beyond sneaky text messages exchanged between “the high and the mighty.”

This intervention won’t be generated by an individual tick in black ink smeared on voting ballots next week. I wish it was that simple. Passing the responsibility higher up the power chain has led to a tacit collective culpability which feels comfortable justifying the existence of food banks. Exercising democracy at a voting station will not transform our society since one million signatures on the petition initiated by Marcus Ashford has done nothing to eradicate child poverty in Britain. It gave us all a pat on the back, the illusion of possibility, as we returned to our post-lockdown revenge spending spree.

And that’s that. Things are almost back to normal while our collective actions give the measure of our collective consciousness. Since the lockdown ended, searches on ebay for ‘high heels’ surged 53% overnight, according to EBay Ads UK. Meanwhile searches for ‘clutch bag’ made by shoppers rose 55% and the sale of ‘hoop earrings’ and ‘fake eyelashes’ increased by 25%. In a couple of months, the summer holiday will mark the end of free school meals and the beginning of a national barbeque season. 

© Maria Stadnicka, April 2021.