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The Bitter Cup

The Bitter Cup

Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan

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Title: The Bitter Cup
Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan
Dimensions: 130mm x 206mm
13 x 20.6cm; 120pp; soft cover with dust jacket; b/w with one colour image
1000 copies

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The Bitter Cup is a novelistic response to the archive of paintings and sketch books left behind by Lil Neilson upon her death in 1998, and the encounter experienced by Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan of this work, the landscape and their formative art experiences. Neilson’s work is framed in a fiction, which locates itself in the historical moment that the landscape of Scottish art was radically transformed – through a process that was dubbed ‘the Glasgow Miracle’. The story moves between a fictional coastal village in the East, and a mystical recollection of Glasgow, in the West, in this period. A single image, A Place for 4 Women, a painting by Lil Neilson set against the watchie garden and the sea, interrupts the text and acts as a premonition of the stories that follows. Evie, the main protagonist, is positioned in this shift, articulating the conflicts and antagonisms, desires and sexuality of her own, and the authors’ imaginary.

Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan have been working together in a collaborative art practice since meeting on the MFA programme at Glasgow School of Art.

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