Fulgur Anniversary

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Fourteen years ago Fulgur was born…

In a fascinating posting to the AOSgallery mailing list, Bazelek describes the founding of this most excellent of the many publishers that have tackled Austin Osman Spare’s work…
Fourteen years ago today (8 August 2004) Fulgur was born and although a few people know about how we came to be called Fulgur (and perhaps have looked the word up in the dictionary) I thought it might be of interest to post an account of the experience that I wrote many years ago.

“In 1992 I was living with my girlfriend Hayley Tong in a shabby ground floor apartment in a very grand Georgian Crescent – Park Crescent, Worthing. Gavin Semple had come down from London for the weekend and late on Saturday night (about 2.00am) we finished proof-reading the typescript that was to become our first book: Axiomata/The Witches’ Sabbath. After a hot day, the night was very close and still, so I opened the large sash windows that looked onto the little park in front of the house. We were discussing what we should call our publishing venture and were hovering between several options, one of which was Fulgur, but it was by no means a clear choice. After a few minutes conversation, something very strange happened. The typescript, the sheets of which had been neatly ordered and placed on the floor, suddenly jumped into life and blew across the room. Gavin and I looked at each other and saw the shared recognition of something significant. Although it was a very still night a sudden gust of wind had entered the room and carried Spare’s typescript with it. I leapt up and looked out of the window. In the little park opposite the tops of the trees began to sway and within minutes the lower branches were moving as if stirred by some great hand. I remarked to Gavin that a squall was coming and quick as a flash, Gavin scrawled a sigil onto a scrap of paper and leaning out of the window, let the wind snatch it away. Within minutes we were rewarded in full with a beautiful fork of lightning that streaked down from directly overhead with an almighty ominous crack. There then ensued one of the largest lightning storms in memory and certainly the most spectacular I have ever witnessed. By now, Gavin and I were standing outside, enjoying the full sensory spectacle. Despite it being nearly half past two in the morning, crowds could be seen gathering in the windows to watch the tumultuous sky. Having seen Gavin and I out in the park my neighbour Greg Swan joined us and rather decently brought a bottle of red wine with which we proposed a toast. So amid the huge warm rain droplets, under a sky crackling with energy and the air carrying that distinctive aroma of natural power, Fulgur was born.”

It seems a very long time ago now! There are a couple of other strange co-incidents I should perhaps mention. Unknown to me at the time, but Desmond Coke, one of Spare’s greatest patrons, lived and died not more than 300 yards from Park Crescent. His house must have been crammed with top quality AOS drawings for many years. Stranger still, August 8th is also the birthday for both Spare’s younger sister (Ellen) and his older brother (William). Anyway, no doubt Gavin and I will be raising our glasses over the weekend and you are all welcome to join us!

bazelek

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