Public Works Office
Sussex Highway
Catalogue number:
Postal Project/Self-commissioned
Sussex Highway is an altered book project curated by Postal Project. Between 2008 and 2011 Andrew Gibbs produced eight works for Sussex Highway.
Pages 42/43: Original sin
India ink diluted with apple juice, collage

'Dr Sass, who was the parson of Cloister Seven in the seventeenth century, maintained that in paradise, until the time of the fall, the whole world was flat, the back-curtain of the Lord, and that it was the devil who invented a third dimension. Thus are the words "straight", "square", and "flat" the words of noblemen, but the apple was an orb, and the sin of our first parents, the attempt at getting around God.'
From The Monkey by Isak Dinesen
Pages 30/31: In that vast space by myself
Intenso signwriting paint, acrylic

'Walking from Bethnal Green to Liverpool Street I found myself traversing an open space - a kind of alien plaza in which I was the sole living thing. It seemed to me that the apparently empty and unidentifiable buildings were pervading the negative space between them with a supernatural and overwhelming melancholy. To prove later that this place wasn't a hallucination caused by inhaling car pollution, I took a quick pic with the crappy camera on my mobile and scurried away like an insect.'
Pages 2/3: See how they coast the downs
Ink, watercolour and pencil

The words are from Fly not so swift - a madrigal for four voices published in 1609 by John Wilbye:
Fly not so swift, my dear, behold me dying, / If not a smiling glance for all my crying, / Yet kill me with thy frowns. / The Satyrs o'er the lawns full nimbly dancing, / Frisk it apace to view thy beauty's glancing. / See how they coast the downs.
Pages 12/13: Our man in Havana XYZ
Ink and collage

In Graham Greene's novel, the comedy/tragedy begins with a coded message transmitted within a book - a code so laborious that even its intended recipients cannot successfully interpret its meaning. Here, I have constructed another uselessly difficult code embedded within a book. Every three characters in the text are used to give a set of XYZ coordinates that are then plotted as vectors in a 3D model. To decipher the code, the recipient would have to somehow reverse the process...
Pages 18/19: Walking as it seemed
Ink, acrylic, self-adhesive vinyl, poem:

walking as it seemed
alive as it seemed,
a ready acquiesence to
      terms and a couple
however, after all
agreed with him, and then
      noticed he had his bag
      and hit upon a brilliant
Pages 44/45: Future pasture
Acrylic, India ink, collage

The total area of rural land in the UK lost to urban use since 1945 is 735,000 hectares - an area the size of Greater London, Berkshire, Herefordshire and Oxfordshire combined.
Pages 46/47: Pigeons
Ink, acrylic, pencil, collage

London pigeons are miserable - diseased, filthy, deformed by the pollution, the unnatural diet, the toxic environment. London people have an ambivalent relationship with the pigeons they share a city with - they hate these wretched creatures - but recognise that there is sense of kinship. No it's not kinship, it's resignation to a shared plight. If London is doing this to the pigeons, what is it doing to the people?
Pages 50/51: Coronation Sussex

The Coronation Sussex is an extinct variety of chicken, originally bred to celebrate the planned coronation of King Edward VIII in 1936. In the event, Edward abdicated before the coronation took place, and the Coronation Sussex variety eventually died out.

The Coronation Sussex variety has no connection with the 'Coronation chicken' recipe, which was invented for the banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
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