Lethologica Press are currently most taken with artist Nigel Heyler’s CrayVox. Existing as an atlas-cookbook, the book evocatively charts time spent last year by the artist deep amidst the briny fishing world of the Houtman Abrohlos Islands.
Nigel’s explorations of the Islands emerge in beautifully rendered maps, paired with local crayfish recipes and Chinese calligraphy. This playful combination subtley works to tease out cultural, geographical and industrial aspects to the Islands, nodding to the crucial key linkages with Asia – the main export market.
The book is part of a wider project of the same name, undertaken for the recent IASKA Space(D) Biennale, seeing the artist track the exportation of crayfish, journeying from the Abroholhas to the fish markets, auctions, kitchens and dining rooms of Southeast Asia. The resulting exhibition at the Fremantle Arts Centre, featured the placement of a life-size crayfish boat hull in the gallery, providing the body for an audio-portrait of the experience.
The focusing upon, and representing of, a place as mediated through it’s integral industry is one that offers an intriguing journey for the reader. The resulting experience of CrayVox is one of pleasure, wonder and dislocation, as Nigel evokes this little pocket of the world in such a way as to reference the slippery, two-way nature of experiencing, and trying to ‘know’, a place.