Get To Know: GLORIA
GLORIA is an intercontinental publishing platform that focusses on the publication of art and photography books. We sat down with founders Katie Kerr and Alice Connew and asked them some questions:
Tell us about your publishing platform.
KK: GLORIA is an intercontinental publishing platform focussed on the production of art and photography books. It started when Alice, a photographer based in Berlin, and I, a designer based in Tāmaki Makaurau, were discussing the possibilities of the artist-made book.
Individually, we were both initiating research-led projects that were ripe for publication, but sat outside traditional publishing models. Instead of collaborating with the external parties that are typically involved in the publishing process — editors, publishers, printers, distributors, marketers — we had a desire to experiment with a multidisciplinary approach that embraced the full arch of book-making. The ‘artist’ (or whatever we call ourselves) is heavily involved in every step, meaning we can produce objects that are a true expression of our intention.
What are you reading?
AC: I’ve got a stack of books on the go, it’s a problem! Normally I’m a one-book-at-a-time kind of person but as there’s so many I want to read that this self-imposed limit wasn’t working out for me. I’ve got The Struggle Without End by Ranginui Walker, Quixotte by Salman Rushdie, Photowork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice edited by Sasha Wolf and I’m also re-reading His Dark Materials as I wanted a refresher before watching the tv series.
Katie and I, along with artist Megan Archer, have a Book Club chat on Whatsapp and are regularly updating each other with what we’re reading. It only encourages the list to grow larger!
KK: I’m the same, I have several on the go... Right now I’m reading Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, Dominic Hoey’s I Thought You’d Be Famous and David Reinfurt’s A New Program for Graphic Design. I just finished Barbarian Days by William Finnegan.
I have a newborn so in the dozy early hours I’m making my way through some series — I started with Elena Ferrante’s beautiful Neapolitan novels and now I’m taking on Harry Potter. My dreams are filled with magic and witchcraft.
What are you watching?
AC: Tim and I have been watching Peaky Blinders, which is alright. It came highly recommended from multiple sources but it hasn’t lived up to expectations unfortunately. Quite a few lazy plot holes and weak story arcs but an easy show to sit in front of during the cold Autumn nights here in Berlin.
KK: I’m watching the series High Maintenance by Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair. It started as a web series and got picked up by HBO. It’s brilliant and bonkers.
What are you listening to?
AC: The album on repeat is Ghosteen, Nick Cave’s latest, which is devastatingly beautiful. And podcast-wise I can’t get enough of Dolly’s America. If you’re not a Dolly Parton fan you will be by the end of the first episode.
KK: Also Ghosteen. Angel Olsen’s All Mirrors, Kim Gordon’s No Home Record, The Kinks’ Lola vs. Powerman... I’ve had Tinariwen’s new album Amadjar on repeat, it seems my daughter is particularly soothed by Tichumaren guitar music!
In terms of podcasts, I recently listened to a great interview with Shirley Manson speaking her truth on Debbie Milman’s Design Matters.
Favourite book of all time?
AC: What a question! A few books that resonated deeply with me recently have included two of Olivia Laing’s titles: The Lonely City and To The River. Laing has a seamless way with words and weaves together multiple narratives effortlessly. Angela Saini’s Inferior was equal parts shocking and galvanising. A must read for sure. Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life left me crying for days after I finished it. I read an interview with Yanagihara afterwards where she talked about how she doesn’t cry or get all that emotional which made me marvel at how she can incite such dramatic waves from her readers. Perhaps it’s a survival technique for her. Whatever it is, I think she’s great.
I also have a Harry Potter tattoo which is quite nerdy but might give an appropriate answer to this question — ha!
KK: Is it cliché to say Just Kids by Patti Smith? This book came along at ‘crossroads’ moment in my early twenties, so it holds a special place in my heart. Alice and I are big fans of Patti — we once serendipitously met her after a gig in Berlin, and we named GLORIA after a song from Horses, hoping to evoke some of her relentless creative energy in our own work. I’m enthralled by the everyday romance of Patti’s books, and I’m so looking forward to reading Year of the Monkey.
Who are some of your favourite local artists/writers/publishers?
AC: Local Berlin? I’m slightly biased as she’s a dear friend, but Daniela Elorza’s paintings are just stunning. And I’ve met Alex who is one half of Zoopark Publishing at several book fairs around the city. They’re consistently making work which is always inspiring.
KK: I also might be biased as they are friends, but Pipi Press are two young wahine running a riso press that hopes to “publish critical and hopeful content which encompasses the poetic and political” — so what’s not to love? Cait Johnson and Gabi Lardies work out of my studio Strange Haven, so I have been lucky to witness the evolution of Pipi Press over the last year. They’ve recently published their first book, In Common, a smart and elegant publication which has contributions from a range of writers and artists on the commons.
Favourite thing in the Strange Goods store?
AC: I haven’t had the chance to visit yet! But, I am coming to NZ for two months this summer and am looking forward to wiling away some time in store.
KK: This is a ridiculously hard question. I guess it could be judged by the weight of the books I’ve already purchased since the store’s been open... it’s incredibly dangerous for my bank account having Stranges Goods in my studio!
My ‘favourites’ change all the time but currently there are some excellent photobooks by local photographers in store. I love Megan Archer’s riso prints of her surrealist collages. Jewels by Chloe Rose Taylor. My Bad News Books tee.
Check out our GLORIA titles HERE.