Swatches: a sequence

two chapter sections from Swatches: a sequence, published by Acts of Language, December 2009



ill-deriving from unglazed feelings.

linen-chests absentee as doomed spirit

(figures aggrieved)

Com-position brother rebels,

cathartic troops

easier tactic complex castling

much more coy settlement

The Leaf Color Chart is a series of panels with colors based on the wavelength characteristics of rice leaves. The spectral data were transferred into color-matching computer software and pigment formulations were developed utilizing light and heat-stable colorants. The color panels are constructed of acrylic plastic that withstands high temperatures. Ribbing was added to the individual color panels to reduce glare.

Damaged boxes fluffed with this drooping affirmative mix regal opacity as neither group’s laundry is exhumed from under a foundry stone, bruised fixture woven of matty excisions, cloth keeping ghost’s suit diamonded rustle expresses his malignancy for this one. The next plantation leaves an awkward company or empty numbers in maximum for an envious merchant whose dandified removal by relaxing hoods herds legacy but is gone in ether.

Consigned by fate to surroundings pasted with frantic ciphers, a magnum opus of the flocking firm, these scatter like mercury as you attempt to catch a character in the dazzle.



Contact printing and Taking Pictures,

CLIPS. and Seconds

give (intense whites)

Bath waters careful Temperature

Reduction in Air by 15 parts

(time about strength Minor,)

motion in January,

The developer used is a solution which will both develop the photoresist image and cause any exposed metal surface to change to a predetermined color. The development process proceeds until the predetermined color is exposed whereupon the process ceases. The preferred metal is copper and the preferred developer is an aqueous solution of sodium sulphide and ammonium polysulfide.

Flimsy adjustment fits everyone in offset snippets of first transfer to smaller ocean level garments. Oxygen and neon under less red sheets travel rustily forcing images into overlock for bright filtered movement through runnels ordered in series having developed into longer journeys of rivers. A cooler beginning is exchanged as hourly needs run etiolate edges veiny with flaws.

Acting in concert to slow the ultimate outcome, the complete loss in blackness and time as a continuum rippled by events recognised through precise majority observation.


A note on the book:

The making of this book was begun in early 2000 in London and has developed in stages over the past nine years. I was given a book (one of a number salvaged from the bargain bin outside a second-hand bookshop off Charing Cross Road) on breeding tropical fish that offered an early prompt. The fish remain incidental, though their classification into types and the grainy black and white illustrations that accompanied the directions for managing them offered a form for the first element of each section. A set of fragmentary texts generated at this stage in the process was left to one side, and then revisited about two years later to develop another layer of writing. Ideas around how information is ordered and how sensory data is processed, and with reference to fabric and clothing as patterned or textured, coalesced into short passages of prose. These sections were revised on and off, and in time a third supplementary element was added to each section. In the last reworking and reordering of the alphabetic sequence a fourth part, an associatively linked quotation, was included. The final material was then worked on in collaboration with graphic designer Kevin Mount who developed the design and layout.

comment by Simon Perril:

Mark Leahy carefully turns out his Swatches, ‘white goods’ that dazzle Reckitt’s Blue as they are ‘hired by the day’. This is a sequence fascinated by fabrics, tailoring, classifications and colour charts; taxonomic systems with their discrete, neatly distributed supermarket shelves of distinction. Here, the materials won’t sit still, rather ‘scatter like mercury as you attempt to catch a character in the dazzle.’ These are poems as impressions a fabric holds; ‘cloth keeping ghosts’ suit diamonded’. Sample this, and let Leahy make his mark ‘like noon sunshine driving through nail holes in a galvanised roof’.