Coracle Press: 133 Fruit Labels


Coracle Press

133 Fruit Labels, 2018

Erica Van Horn

Number of pages: 56

Dimensions: 5.75 x 4 cm


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‘Coracle Press: 133 Fruit Labels’ by Erica Van Horn is a delightful book containing a collection of peeled off individual fruit labels. The book also acts as a playful way of engaging with French.


“It is not a new thing for me to play with the tiny labels found on fruit. I think my whole family fiddles with them. My father was never happy until all labels were removed from any fruit which came into the house. He took them off and he threw them away. It was a form of tidying. It might have just been fussing. “I too remove labels from fruit but increasingly I have been doing it in order to save the labels. I began to line them up on a gridded card and then I wrote the name of the fruit in French. I was able to do this as a way to trick myself into believing that it was a vocabulary-building exercise. The only two fruit words I did not already know were those for Persimmon and Pomegranate. Now that I know these words are KAKI and GRENADE, I am no longer learning any new fruit words. But I am still collecting the labels. Vegetables do not have stickers on them. There is no chance that my learning will extend in that direction. “I began by writing out four fruit words on a card along with four labels. Now I have extended to six words and six sticky labels per card. I very much like how busy the cards are looking. I do not think I can add more to the cards. The fullness is just enough. I cannot stop looking and peeling and coming home with labels, so I have to continue making the cards.”

Erica Van Horn, 2018

About Coracle Press

Coracle Press is a small and completely individual publishing press which has been operating for over 35 years..  Writer and artist Erica Van Horn and poet, artist and editor Simon Cutts, direct it now from a small farm between the hills of South Tipperary, Ireland. They have been there since 1996. However, they began in London in the nineteen seventies, as publisher, gallery,
and a space for books. Their last London book shop project project was ‘workfortheeyetodo’  in the mid-nineteen nineties. They also had a Norfolk connection. They worked out of a studio in Docking and between 1989-2012, printing many of their works from a printer, Crome and Akers, based in King’s Lynn.

From their remote spot in Ireland, they continue as printer-publisher, editor of
spaces. They describe their practice as ’employing many of the devices and formats of hypothetical
publishing inherent in the small press’.  Their books have both critical and playful
dimensions. But they are also steeped in poetry – they call it a residue of poetry – concerned with the mechanisms of the book as a manifestation of the poem
itself. They are also mindful of their many collaborations  with other artists and writers, which evade any clear category.

Being open to new ideas and approaches marks all their projects. Limiting their scope or over-categorising their content or defining their range does not interest them.
The books themselves are not so concerned with craft tradition,
limited-ness of edition, hand-made paper or elaboration of binding. While each one has its unique character and appearance, what they want to achieve is the plain and simple case-bound book, the sewn paperback. They are working constantly at extending the category of ephemera. Making quirky visions, askance views, eccentric perceptions widely available is what they are all about.

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