ISBN 978 1 910010 25 9
252pp, 234 x 142
paperback with flaps
November 2020, £18.00


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Reviews and articles


“This is such a special sort of document. It is so rare that one person can write and think and draw brilliantly—and is precisely why idea, image and text here are so integrated. Forget the trudging obedience of art historical texts to their subject matter-cum-illustrations. This is like theory fiction crossed with a graphic novel; and other than Paul Klee’s notebooks, I can’t think of anything else quite like it.”
—Sally O’Reilly

“Peter Blegvad is like Gandhi spinning his wheel and turning raw fibre to wearable garments. Only Peter’s wheel is his brain and Imagine, Observe, Remember is the output. From a strand of inspiration to full blown ideas.”—Steven Heller

“‘Imagination, observation and memory act together to provide the subjective and objective data we need to navigate our various worlds’, declares Blegvad. And now we have a manual to not only help us gather that data but also to understand why we should.”
Rupert Loydell, ‘An Impossible Project’, International Times

“It’s a manual and a meditation. A tactile (through judicious use of different paper stocks), rather beautiful and mentally engaging confluence of nimbleness and heft.”
Chris Cutler, ReR website

Steven Heller interviews Peter Blegvad about Imagine, Observe, Remember
Design Observer





“Forty-five years ago, when I began doing comparative drawings of things imagined, observed, and remembered, I was an illustrator looking for a story to illustrate. Something with a beginning, middle and end. ‘Imagine, Observe, Remember’ is what I came up with. It began as a way to think about illustration. It became a way of using illustration to think about imagining, observing and remembering. It’s a kind of phenomenology project, a way to look at different ways of looking and seeing, using the means at my disposal, using myself as subject.”—Peter Blegvad


“When one looks into the darkness there is always something there.”—W. B. Yeats, The Secret Rose

When one looks into one’s own interior there is always mental imagery. Imagine, Observe, Remember looks at the looking we do with the mind’s eye, offering practical exercises for the development of this mysterious faculty. The book is also a memoir, a portrait of the artist as he develops his craft from what is possibly his first drawing to his current status of seasoned practitioner. It is furthermore a series of meditations, observations, quotes, images and instructions that will constitute a valuable resource for artists, writers, teachers and any reader who agrees that the uncharted wilderness within is worthy of exploration.

Over 250 illustrations in both colour and black and white, printed on four different paper stocks.


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Peter Blegvad is a musician, songwriter, graphic artist, writer, teacher and broadcaster. Born in New York, he lives in London with his wife, the painter Chloë Fremantle. He has been writing and recording music since the mid 1970s with Slapp Happy, Faust, Henry Cow, the Golden Palominos, John Zorn, Andy Partridge and others. His latest album, Go Figure (2017), and The Peter Blegvad Bandbox (2018) were both released on the ReR MegaCorp label. As a broadcaster, he created many dozens of ‘eartoons’ (audio cartoons) for BBC Radio 3, winning a Sony award in 2003. He won another in 2012 for Use It Or Lose It a radio play about dementia made with composer Iain Chambers. His comic strip, The Book of Leviathan, is published in the UK by Sort Of Books and is also available in Mandarin, Cantonese and French.

His life-long epistemological project, ‘Imagine, Observe, Remember’, was begun in 1975. Related works have been exhibited in Kunstverein Hannover and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2004); in the Kunsthalle Luzern (2007); in Extra City, Antwerp (2010); West Den Haag; Eigen & Art Lab, Berlin (2017); and elsewhere.

He taught creative writing at Warwick University, was Senior Tutor in Visual Writing at the RCA, and has taught at other institutions in the UK and abroad. In 2000 he was awarded the Ordre de la Grande Gidouille by the Collège de ’Pataphysique, Paris, and in 2011 was elected president of the London Institute of ’Pataphysics.

amateur.org.uk