The multiple disasters of 2020 and the resulting rise of mutual aid groups during Covid-19 lockdown led me to the writings of William Morris. In his lecture The Origins of Ornamental Art
, 1872 he presents six conditions to create a livable world based on his belief in the twin values of art and socialism. To paraphrase Morris - without art, work is alienation and without work, art is elitism. Morris describes the six conditions,
I will now sum up these conditions briefly: first, extinction of poverty; second, leisure; third, avoidance of wasteful work; fourth, care of the beauty of the earth; fifth, education according to capacity, and sixth, abolition of class distinctions-real, mind you, not formal.
With limited access to an art studio I resorted to paper cut as a simple straight forward means to create imagery. The book includes quotes from Pieter Kropotkin and David Graeber and images for each of the six categories with the text by Morris. The paper cut images were used as the basis for the screenprints making up this book.
Wm. Morris: The Six Conditions for a Popular Art, or a Happy Life
Conceived, drawn, & screenprinted by
Art Hazelwood, Point Richmond, CA
Book binding & design by Asa Nakata, Daly City, CA
2022, Twenty-eight screenprinted pages, plus cover printed front and back, screenprint artist book, blizzard binding, book size 9 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 1”, spreads printed bleed two color 9 3/8 x 6 inches, $450
"In these days, then, in which man has obtained so much domination over the forces of
nature, in which so much of what passes for wealth produced, in which Society taken
as a whole either is or could be so rich: in these days what are the conditions of life for
the working classes, that is to say for most men which would produce beauty and
happiness for the world?" - William Morris, from The Origins of Ornamental Art, 1872
A simple and inspiring introduction to William Morris can be found in this exhibition description https://exhibitions.lib.umd.edu/williammorris
The writings of William Morris are easily accesible - many of them online for download https://morrissociety.org/william-morris/resources/digital-resources/