On Saturday, 20 September, many of Cape Town's bibliophiles spent a cloudless spring day at the city's annual Open Book Festival. But a number of them also came to Warren Editions, a professional printing studio, for the launch of Aerodrome's inaugural journal.
"This has been 100% a team effort," editor Alexander Matthews said, turning to creative director Djameela Dollie Daniels and the rest of his colleagues. The guests, many wearing skinny jeans and round spectacle frames, washed down the strawberries and cheesecake with sparkling wine. "Thank you all for being a part of this celebration!"
Aerodrome launched in July 2013 because its creators felt that there weren't enough great interviews with authors and others who work with words. "There weren't enough intelligent and engaging reviews of books - books you wouldn't necessarily see arranged in pyramids at the front of chain bookshops," Matthews explains. "And there weren't enough platforms out there for thought-provoking creative writing."
A richly satisfying read
Their goal was to show the power that thoughtful editing and beautiful design can have in delivering a richly satisfying read. And as much as the Aerodrome team love the freedom and flexibility of digital - where anyone can be a publisher - they also love print. "We love the way that, when bound, a stack of pages becomes something greater than the sum of its parts," Matthews says, "an object to be treasured, held, and displayed."
Morné Visagie, a graduate of Michaelis School of Fine Art and ranked as one of the leading Young African Artists by Business Day Wanted in 2013, created each of the 300 dust jackets by hand. "A lot of my earlier work has involved working with colour - in an attempt both to define it and to gain an understanding of what goes into its creation," he explains. "The print contemplates landscape and horizon, exploring the elements that, at their most distilled, intersect and construct both."
The 80-page journal includes features, interviews, original short fiction, poetry, and reviews. A small number of copies will be available at several independent bookshops in Cape Town (from 1 October) at The Book Lounge, Kalk Bay Books, Bibliophilia and Blank Books; in Durban (from 15 October) at Ike Books; and in Johannesburg (from 1 November) at Fourthwall Books and Love Books. Email az.oc.emordorea@lanruoj
or go to www.aerodrome.co.za