One of the pleasures of second-hand bookshops is handling much worn and weathered books: reading their wear and tear as a text, evidence of a hidden narrative. The aged quality of a book we love becomes an integral part of its meaning. It’s not just words on a page, it’s the book as an object that embodies the evidence of its own life in its blemishes, scuffs, tears and marks. It is both a source of intellectual knowledge and sensual experience.

Danny Aldred’s homage to this quality of books as things with aesthetic value encompasses photographs, publications and installed projected works. He is an artist with a background in Graphic Arts, experienced in digital technologies and familiar with the fluid reality of on-line communication. For many years he has collected and collated images of text from everyday life: torn posters, graffiti, discarded paper and the remnants of everyday communication, unloved and left in bin or on curb side. With a forensic eye he has winnowed his collections, structuring meaning and association from fragments of colour, texture and language. Riffing on his knowledge of and admiration for historical abstract art, he has sought to expand a personal graphic language into the broader context of contemporary art practice.

With these book works he has achieved a highly refined conceptual practice that is nevertheless grounded in a precise and beautiful ‘found’ aesthetic: that of aging book covers. What is remarkable about these images is how through serendipity or accident, they often seem to be in accord with the actual content of the books photographed. It’s as if the written content of the book has somehow seeped into the very fabric of the thing itself.
Nick Stewart, January 2012.