Don’t move – it’s an artist.

Poets, according to the Greek philosopher Plato, were too dangerous to be allowed in the ideal state. What if a modern democracy agreed with him? Confronting the Danger of Art is a booklet of poems and artwork which draws on Plato’s arguments against poetry in The Republic to inculcate an anti-art message. Styled on the pamphlets produced by the UK government in the 1970s/80s, such as the nuclear attack guide Protect and Survive, Confronting the Danger of Art introduces us to a world where art is considered on the same calculus of risk as nuclear war, and artists are hunted down by the police. More information at

Sidekick Books brought poet Ian McLachlan and artist Phil Cooper together and invited them to produce the first in a new series of illustrated poetry pamphlets. One aim of Sidekick’s project was to see if a more integrated composition could be achieved by letting poet and artist create a piece of work together from scratch, rather than poet or artist responding to a completed piece of work (a series of drawings that the poet must provide the words for, or a series of poems that the artist must illustrate), as has often occurred in similar ventures. Phil introduced an interest in 1970s/80s instructional videos, childhood, and the way the two interact in a didactic context. Ian then brought his classical background (he read Classics at university) to bear on these themes, producing a first draft of text which Phil illustrated using technical pen on paper. The sketches were scanned into Photoshop where colouring and final layout decisions took place, with Ian updating the text as the artwork came through. Artist and poet communicated via Zenbe Shareflow over the course of 2011 to produce Confronting the Danger of Art.

Phil Cooper is an artist and illustrator based in Norwich, UK. He has recently exhibited as part of the ShopArt! initiative in Norwich and is currently working on a graphic novel collaboration.

Ian McLachlan has had work published in numerous UK magazines, including The Rialto, Magma, and The Big Issue. He currently lives and works in North London.

Sidekick Books is a London-based publisher of exclusively collaborative poetry projects, including micro-anthologies and poet-illustrator team-ups. It is run at the behest of exiled alchemist Dr Fulminare, but most of the legwork is done by poets Kirsten Irving and Jon Stone, who kicked off the press with Coin Opera, a book of computer game poems, in winter 2009. Books can be bought from and currently all four micro-anthologies plus Birdbook (April 2011) are available for £20 (plus P&P).

Department for Public Safety

Providing information on how to keep you and your family safe from art.

Posted by admin on July 4th, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

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