Devourings collects a variety of stories – each its own piece but bound to the next by a broader, unifying theme: being enveloped, devoured, by a moment, an encounter, a political situation, an emotion – which connect with absolute potency. Be they over a handful of paragraphs or a spread of pages, these short – and shorter – stories linger with a palpable resonance.
Devourings travels to many destinations, encompassing several scenarios and introducing myriad protagonists – and, frequently, antagonists. ‘Esthers’ follows a snaking murder plot set in 1940s Argentina; the malevolent machinations of ‘USS Passumpsic’ play out on a late-1950s Pacific. ‘The Lamb Opened The Fox’s Throat’ takes place in a fantastical ancient Arabia, a place of magic and little mercy. Geographically and chronologically divergent dramas are connected by a consistent, compelling tone.
Between the lines of dialogue: heat, dirt, desperation, realisation. Although imagined, these stories are sculpted as much by their stage as their players, landscape as significant a character as those who rise and fall before it. So the detail is always relevant: the texture of a city wall, the smell of the soil, the sweat cutting a strike across grimy skin. Mystery and myth, religion and science, war and love: the dramas’ cues come manifold. They each conclude consumed.
Devourings is James Vella’s first collection of short stories. British, of Maltese descent, and having spent substantial time in both territories, Vella’s fascination with travel – and the “dream travels” that real-world wanderings can stir in the imagination – has informed much of his writing.
Also a lyricist and accomplished musician, Vella has received critical acclaim for his songs. He lives in Brighton, where he works in the music industry. Vella’s debut novel will follow the release of Devourings’
Jake Blanchard’s third volume of Menagerie finally shows up just over a year after #2…
The concept this time is slightly different, not only do the artists create imagery based on the musicians music, but this time the musicians also create a track based on an image created by the artist.
Two exclusive new tracks from each of these artists: Ben Nash, Isengrind, C Joynes and Twinsistermoon. And exclusive new artwork by Jim Stoten, Simon Fowler, Adrianne Neil and Jake Blanchard. The sleeve is a collaboration between Jake and Jim and it is incredible!
The LP is pressed on heavyweight black virgin vinyl, packaged with a A5 12 page litho printed full colour booklet. Limited to 500 copies.
Lynsey Addario: At War By Elizabeth Rubin
A photojournalist looks at war up close, most recently focusing on women soldiers in Afghanistan.
Cameras for a Dark Time By Ariella Azoulay
Custom-built cameras reflect upon the medium and the ongoing conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Lucia Nimcova: On Sleeping and Waking By Clare Butcher
Nimcova investigates the role of the image in private and official life in Socialist Czechoslovakia.
Interview with Carole Naggar
The famed Parisian photographer discusses his life and career.
Fastnacht By Magdalene Keaney
An age-old Lenten tradition continues—in full regalia—in Germany’s southern villages.
Issue 16 features Parisian legend Invader as the cover artist. Our exclusive interview with the Rubik’s cube enthusiast provides a rare insight into this secretive street artist’s work.
We talk about people stealing his work, airlines classifying his tiles as ‘weapons’ and invader-shaped waffles. We also chat about his ‘cousin’ Mr Brainwash and how he narrowly avoiding arrest in LA during the Art in the Streets show.
Issue 16 also includes Ron English’s protege, the Australian wunderkind Kid Zoom, old-school mad scientist CHU, commercial assassins TrustoCorp, and weird and wonderful pictorial pirates The Dead Sea Mob.
But that’s not all, folks. We also talk to Cath Love and Will Barras, and include a photo feature on Obsession Of Colour.
Of course no issue of VNA would be complete without documenting actual work on city walls and it seemed appropriate that this issue should celebrate the streets of Paris, alongside those of London and Melbourne.