Rathfarnham Castle - Dublin

Happenstance is the first book to be published by Northern Star Books a Belfast-based company dedicated to the production of limited edition, letterpress-printed, hand-bound books that bring together writing and art.

Happenstance is a collaboration between painter Brian Ballard and writer Ciaran Carson who has responded to a selection of the artists work that spans a period of over 20 years.

It describes not only how the artist works but also illustrates how the paintings themselves grow in resonance as their imagery, colour and composition combine with the personality of the viewer to produce new narratives and emotions.

The paintings have been hand-printed using a four-colour silk-screen process in which screens of cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink are overlaid to create the full-colour image.

The painter, Brian Ballard and the printmaker, Jessica Hollywood have collaborated during the printing process to make sure that the prints are faithful to the mood and spirit of the original works while allowing the prints to have an identity as works of art in their own right.

The book, signed by author and artist, is published in an edition of only 30 copies. 25 of which are being made available for sale. Its dimensions are 560mm x 380mm. It is printed on Somerset Velvet 100% cotton acid-free paper. It is printed by Jessica Hollywood, Seacourt Print Workshop. Text is set by Hand and Eye, London in 12pt and 14pt Baskerville. It is 1/4 bound in blue calf leather by Liam McLaughlin of Finebind, Belfast.

We believe that we do not know what we are doing until it happens. This is what it means to be a writer. You are doomed to a life of anxiety because, if you know what you are doing, then it will not be any good. Each time you do it, it must be fresh.

Ciaran Carson (Writer)

A book is still a wonderful thing. We are not Luddites but there is something about producing a book slowly and carefully that has a peace and serenity too often missing from our lives.

Michael ONeill (Publisher)

Cadogan Contemporary Exhibition- London

Royal Ulster Academy - Belfast - 2015

Happenstance Book

Brian Ballard 1964-2020 All rights reserved

Ciaran Carson 2015 All rights reserved