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Vera & John - a documentary photobook by Jason Wilde

£9,145

166

The Campaign & Me

My name is Jason Wilde and I am a photographer based in London, England. Since completing my MA Photography at the London College of Printing in 2002 I have continued to develop my photo-documentary practice.

This is a campaign to raise money to publish a documentary photography project into a photobook called 'Vera & John'. The project is about my mum and dad and is an authentic and unique social record of intimate family life in the London Borough of Camden.

Vera and John

Vera, the youngest of three girls, was born on July 7th 1940 in Somers Town in the London Borough of Camden. A few days after her 14th birthday she started her first full time job on a production line in a biscuit factory. Vera then went on to work in a needle factory, a lightbulb factory and after a short stint checking football pools, she juggled a number of part-time cleaning jobs with motherhood.

Vera - Somers Town - Age 14 - 1954
Vera - Somers Town - Age 14 - 1954

John, the second youngest of 9 children, was born on September 28th 1938 in Penrith, Cumbria. In 1942 his parents divorced and John was sent to a boys home where he stayed until 1953. In the same year John started full time employment cleaning steam engines for British Rail. At 21 he transferred from Carlisle to London where he was promoted to a railway Fireman, shovelling up to three tone of coal a day into a steam locomotives firebox. After five years as a Fireman John became a Train Driver, retiring in 2004 as a Train Driver / Train Driver Instructor.

John (with me) - Outside Polygon Buildings Somers Town - 1967
John (with me) - Outside Polygon Buildings Somers Town - 1967

Three years after they met in 1960 Vera and John married and moved into their first home in Somers Town; a 'two room gas & electric’ in Polygon Buildings that shared a doorless washroom housing three concrete sinks, three cold taps and three toilets, with five other homes on their landing. Their second home was on the same street as Polygon Buildings, while their third and current home is a stone’s throw from both, and is where their three children grew up. Vera & John are my Mum and Dad.

The Notes

The idea of making a project about my mum and dad came to me while visiting their home in 2005. With no one home I had a rummage through the fridge and food cupboards before making a nice cup of tea. Leaning against the wall next to the kettle was a note. I had been collecting notes since 2003 for a different project (called ‘Silly Arse Broke It’) and realised that this single note outlining that evenings dinner arrangements was a potential project.

Between 2005 and 2014 I collected 91 of these notes addressed to John (and the odd one to Sarah). These tender and sometimes abrupt messages outline Vera’s diverse roles as a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, mentor and hub of a complex and close-knit family. They also underscore John’s equally important and supportive roles, happy to let Vera take the lead and fill-in when needed.

The Paving Stones

The last year has seen me photograph over 4000 paving stones for use as backgrounds to the notes. The idea for paving stones came out of a desire to add a colour and graphic element to the notes, and to anchor Vera & John’s story to Camden.

Photographs of Camden Paving Stones
Photographs of Camden Paving Stones

The paving stones were photographed on streets that have a connection to Vera and John. These worn, dirty and colourful slabs of stone trace the experiences of five generations of my family in the London Borough of Camden, mapping the streets where our lives have played-out over the last 100 years.

'Vera & John' and Social History

Since the invention of photography our collective social history has been recorded on camera by countless photographers for all kinds of reasons. These photographic archives become windows into other times and places that help us understand ourselves and others.

Mornington Crescent, Camden, London, England. 2005-2104/2016
Mornington Crescent, Camden, London, England. 2005-2104/2016

By layering the photographs of notes over the photographs of paving stones, I have created a collection of still-life montages that offer a unique and intimate take on London’s working class culture. With its focus on the everyday, the ordinary, and the commonplace, I feel that a ‘Vera & John’ book would make a worthy addition to our collective visual and social history.

Why a Photobook

Apart from the fact that good photobooks can be beautiful objects and stand alone works of art, there are a number of other reasons why I want to publish a photobook.

  • ‘Vera & John’ is a personal story that is best suited to the intimacy that comes with a photobook. 
  • A 'Vera & John' photobook will make this project part of our collective visual and social histories. 
  • In an age where most of our images are low quality digital, impermanent and easily deletable, an expertly printed photobook, with the emphasis on fine details and vibrant colours, is THE way to appreciate this project.
  • A photobook enables me to develop Vera and John’s story and extend the meanings of the individual photographs through a refined and ordered image edit.
  • A photobook allows the layers of meaning to unfold and the viewer time and space to properly get to know the work. 
  • It is essential that all sectors of society can access and have a say in the stories that are recorded, collected and archived. 

Why Back This Project

By contributing money to this project you are helping to make 'Vera & John' into a book and part of our collective visual and social history. In return for your contributions each backer becomes the owner of a beautiful book that is a small piece of our social history.

In addition, over the last decade I have been working on a variety of projects that focus on London's rapidly shifting social landscape. Along with a number of solo exhibitions and selection into photography festivals, several of my photographs from these projects have been exhibited in the Tate Modern, the National Portrait Gallery and in the Museum of London. A 'Vera & John' photobook will build on the success of these important career milestones.  Link to full bio

The Book Format

The ‘Vera & John’ photobook will consist of 30 images on 60 pages. The size will be 250mm x 320mm while the binding will be softcover. A successful fundraising campaign will enable me to print 500 copies. The below mock-up images show the 'Vera & John book design. Link to book edit images.

Front/Back cover visualisation
Front/Back cover visualisation

 

Cover detail visualisation
Cover detail visualisation

 

Double page spread visualisation
Double page spread visualisation
  

Technical Specifications

  • TPS: 250 x 320 mm portrait Binding: Paperback section sewn with a printed laminated cover with front and back flaps
  • Extent: 60pp printed as: Litho 4 colour process + varnish seal on 170 Silk coated paper
  • Cover: 300 gsm artboard C2S Printed Litho 4 colour process + Gloss Lamination on outer cover

The Rewards 

'Chicken & Chips & Peas' reward print choice: This link is to the 30 images that you can choose your reward print from.

'Mince Onions & Dumplings' reward print choice: This link is to the 51 images that you can choose your reward print from.

'Mince Onions & Dumplings' and the three Work-In-Progress Dummies.

1st Dummy: ‘10 x 8 inch Blurb’ (She Does Love A Spud) - ‘She Does Love A Spud’ is the original working title for this project. This 35 image edit (Vera & John book 30 image edit) reflects my early ideas for the project with the notes layered over blue/black backgrounds.

1st Dummy - 'She Does Love A Spud'
1st Dummy - 'She Does Love A Spud'

 

2nd dummy - ‘Original A4 Prints in a Clear Pocket File' - This is a 47 image edit (Vera & John book 30 image edit) and includes a previous front and back cover design.

2nd Dummy with original prints in a clear pocket file
2nd Dummy with original prints in a clear pocket file

3rd Dummy: ‘10 x 8 inch Blurb’ (Vera & John)' - This 38 image edit (Vera & John book 30 image edit) includes a previous front and back cover design and a work in progress version of the text. 

3rd Dummy - 'Vera & John'
3rd Dummy - 'Vera & John'

These three ‘work-in-progress’ dummy books illustrate the key stages from initial book idea to final book design. All three dummies are original one off's.

'Fried Potatoes, Cold Beef, Grilled Tomatoes and Beans’ and the full set of 30 Images. This link is to the 30 project images that will be printed as part of this reward.

'Steak & Chips' and the four Reward Prints

Charrington Street, Camden, London, England. 2005-2104/2016
Charrington Street, Camden, London, England. 2005-2104/2016

 

Phoenix Road, Camden, London, England. 2005-2104/2016
Phoenix Road, Camden, London, England. 2005-2104/2016

 

Bridgeway Street, Camden, London, England. 2005-2104/2016
Bridgeway Street, Camden, London, England. 2005-2104/2016

 

Chalton Street, Camden, London, England. 2005-2104/2016
Chalton Street, Camden, London, England. 2005-2104/2016

 

Thank You

Thank you very much for your interest in my project and for your contributions. They are very much appreciated.

Risks and challenges

There are three people working to making 'Vera & John' into a book.

The Graphic Designer: Vladimir Valente has a number of years as a senior designer with print and production experience independently and alongside renowned London design studios.

The Printer: Graphicom - specialise in high quality Litho printing and book binding with many years experience printing books for photographers, museums and art galleries.

Me: As a photo artist I have many years experience of funding and producing photography projects that have been used for a variety of media - from print publications to personal exhibitions. The commercial side of my practice has also seen me collaborate with a number of creatives across different fields, including printers and graphic designers.

Between the three of us we are very confident we can make 'Vera & John' into a beautiful book.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 25

    ‘Banoffee Pie’

    Early Bird Offer.

    One copy of the book ‘Vera & John’ - signed by Jason Wilde - at a special 'first come first served' price.

    Strictly limited to the first 100 backers.

    Plus an invite to the book launch and any future exhibitions.

    All UK shipping costs are included in the price.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 38

    ‘Shepherds Pie’

    One copy of the book ‘Vera & John’.

    Be amongst the first in the world to receive a First Edition copy of ‘Vera & John’ - fresh from the printers.

    Plus an invite to the book launch and any future exhibitions.

    All UK shipping costs are included in the price.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About US$ 51

    ‘Pie & Mash’

    One copy of the book 'Vera & John' - signed by Vera & John & Jason.

    Plus an invite to the book launch and any future exhibitions.

    All UK shipping costs are included in the price.

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    17 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About US$ 63

    ‘Pineapple & Custard’

    For a special discounted price.

    Two copies of the book ‘Vera & John’ one for you and one for a friend.

    Plus an invite to the book launch and any future exhibitions.

    All UK shipping costs are included in the price.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £80 or more About US$ 101

    'Steak & Chips'

    One copy of the book ‘Vera & John’ signed by Vera & John & Jason.

    Plus one 210 x 297 mm limited ‘Kickstarter Satin’ edition Giclee print of your choice from the 4 ‘Reward Prints’ (see 'The Rewards' section on the left).

    The Giclee prints will be printed on Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta Satin paper and signed, titled and numbered on the reverse by Jason Wilde, and enclosed in a archival sleeve.

    So that’s one book plus one print!

    Plus an invite to the book launch and any future exhibitions.

    Strictly limited to the first 50 backers.

    All UK shipping costs are included in the price.

    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 6 backers
    £
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 127

    'Chicken & Chips & Peas'

    One copy of the book 'Vera & John’ signed by Vera & John & Jason

    Plus one 210 x 297 mm limited ‘Kickstarter Satin’ edition Giclee print of your choice from the 30 image book edit (see link to images in 'The Rewards' section on the left). The Giclee prints will be printed on Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta Satin paper and signed, titled and numbered on the reverse by Jason Wilde, and enclosed in a archival sleeve.

    Plus six 148mm x 105mm (A6) postcards. Each postcard is printed with a different image from 'Vera & John' on the front while the image title will be printed along the bottom edge on the reverse. The postcards are printed on 330gsm paper and are enclosed in a brown recycled envelope.

    So that’s one book, plus one print, plus six postcards!

    Plus an invite to the book launch and any future exhibitions.

    Strictly limited to the first 30 backers.

    All uk shipping costs are included in the price.

    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 10 backers
    £
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £850 or more About US$ 1,076

    'Mince & Onion & Dumplings'

    This unique and very special reward, only available to one backer, is made up of four elements; the book, the prints, the postcards and the dummy books.

    The Book: One copy of the book 'Vera & John’ signed by Vera & John & Jason

    The Prints: One 210 x 297 mm limited ‘Kickstarter Satin’ edition Giclee print of your choice from the 51 image full project edit (see link to images in 'The Rewards' section on the left). The Giclee prints will be printed on Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta Satin paper and signed, titled and numbered on the reverse by Jason Wilde, and enclosed in a archival sleeve.

    The Postcards: Six 148mm x 105mm (A6) postcards. Each postcard is printed with a different image from 'Vera & John' on the front while the image title will be printed along the bottom edge on the reverse. The postcards are printed on 330gsm paper and are enclosed in a brown recycled envelope.

    The Dummy Books: Three original dummy books illustrating the key stages from initial book idea to final book design. All three dummies are complete originals. They are all one-offs. Please see 'Mince & Onion & Dumplings' reward photos of the dummies on the left.

    The three dummy books are:
    1st dummy – ‘10 x 8 inch Blurb’ (She Does Love A Spud)
    2nd dummy - ‘Original A4 Prints’
    3rd dummy – ‘10 x 8 inch Blurb’ (Vera & John)

    1st dummy – ‘10 x 8 inch Blurb’ (She Does Love A Spud) printed and bound. ‘She Does Love A Spud’ is the original working title for this project. This 35 image edit (Vera & John book 30 image edit) reflects my early ideas for the project with the notes layered over blue/black backgrounds. The dummy book includes a previous front and back cover design and a work in progress version of the text. Printed through the online print-on-demand company Blurb, the book is softcover bound on Glossy 300 gm paper while the images inside are printed on Premium Lustre paper.

    2nd dummy - ‘Original A4 Prints’ in a clear pocket file. This is a A4 unbound dummy with a 47 image edit (Vera & John book 30 image edit) that includes a previous front and back cover design. The 47 original one off Giclee prints (49 original prints including front and back cover images) are printed on A4 Fotospeed Lustre paper with ‘all printers marks’ (crop marks, bleed marks, registration marks, colour bars and page information). The one-off Giclee prints and are placed in a A4 clear pocket file and come with a previous front and back cover design. Using the A4 clear pocket file allowed me to move prints around and try out different edits within a defined ‘book’ structure. 9 of the images in this longer edit have different backgrounds than their counterpart images in the final edit.

    3rd dummy – ‘10 x 8 inch Blurb’ (Vera & John). This 38 image edit (Vera & John book 30 image edit) includes a previous front and back cover design and a work in progress version of the text. Printed through the online print-on-demand company Blurb, the book is softcover bound on Glossy 300 gm paper while the 38 images inside are printed on Proline uncoated paper. 14 of the images in this edit have different backgrounds than their counterpart images in the final edit.

    So that’s one book, plus one print, plus six postcards, plus three original book dummies.

    Plus an invite to the book launch and any future exhibitions.

    This offer is only available to one backer!

    All uk shipping costs are included in the price.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    £
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About US$ 1,266

    Fried Spuds-Cold Beef-Grilled Toms-Beans

    One copy of the book ‘Vera & John’ signed by Vera & John & Jason.

    Plus a full set of 30 210 x 297 mm limited ‘Kickstarter Fibre Base’ edition Giclee prints of all the images that appear in the ‘Vera & John’ book (see link to images in 'The Rewards' section on the left). The 30 Giclee prints will be printed on Hahnemuhle Baryta FB paper and signed, titled and numbered on the reverse by Jason Wilde, and enclosed in a archival sleeve. The 30 Giclee archival prints will also be placed in archival sleeves and packaged inside a archival clamshell print box.

    Plus six 148mm x 105mm (A6) postcards. Each postcard is printed with a different image from 'Vera & John' on the front while the image title will be printed along the bottom edge on the reverse. The postcards are printed on 330gsm paper and are enclosed in a brown recycled envelope.

    So that’s one book, plus 30 boxed prints, plus six postcards.

    Plus an invite to the book launch and any future exhibitions.

    Strictly limited to the first 5 backers.

    All uk shipping costs are included in the price.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    £
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Funding period

- (30 days)