Amber Fresh and Nick Allbrook have collaborated with words and pictures (respectively) on a book called The Vine which will be launched with performances from Allbrook, Rabbit Island and Ben Witt this Sunday, April 12, at Mojo’s from 5-10pm ($10 entry). BOB GORDON chats with Amber Fresh.
What’s the background to The Vine? Was the book planned or did it just begin to happen?
It just began to happen, and in the words of another friend, we “let it happen.” We send things to each other often, so this was one of those times. It just turned out very special, so we decided to make copies for other people to enjoy it – we’re both very in love with books as objects and as vital companions through life.
At what point did you realise that Nick could make an invaluable contribution?
Everything Nick does is dipped in gold and magic, so that was a given.
I wrote the story when I was living in the backyard for a bit to give Nick a motivation to do some more art. I think I’d recently been drawing while listening to his music. Nick took it with him and added ink illustrations over time… he’s kind of a genius.
What’s the story in a nutshell?
It’s a very short mystical allegory involving a vine, a small dog, a boy and a girl.
Could this be the first of many?
Oui. We made a calendar in between, another story/drawing collaboration, while we waited for the stars to align for The Vine. Now we’re dreaming about the next book, which is going to be called, The Biggest Scarf I Ever Saw.
How’s the launch on Sunday looking?
So good! We got the books yesterday and they’re lovely as. Benjamin Witt’s playing because we love him. Nick and I were talking the other day about how Ben’s like a hi-vis rainjacket – everything around pales against the brightness. Luminaries Matt Aitken, Prague and Tristan Fidler will also be serving soft serves if the machine behaves, so it’s gonna be sweet. Everyone’s scared about playing because our parents might be there… but if music’s not scary you’re not doing it right!