Quietly Sure - Like the Keeper of a Great Secret
Little Otsu, publisher (2008)
Softcover, 88 pages, 6.75” x 5”
Review by Rob Clough, from High-Low.
QUIETLY SURE--LIKE THE KEEPER OF A GREAT SECRET, by Jo Dery. This is another beautiful book from Little Otsu: well-crafted, well-designed and lovely to look at. Dery's art has a slightly immersive quality (not unlike Theo Ellsworth's approach) but also makes the reader look at the page perhaps more than read it. There's a loose narrative about a series of creatures searching for meaning or solutions to their woes, all of which wind up eventually crossing over into each other. There are actually some quite clever narrative touches to be found that coalesce after a couple of readings that evoke a certain wistfulness. Dery has the rare skill of being able to modulate the story's emotional content purely through her use of decorative flourishes. A shadow here, a lonely tree there and a set of background designs all serve to move the reader's feelings rather than just one's eye. This is a book about seeking what's missing in one's life: sight, a true home, knowledge, and how finding them is sometimes a matter of letting them find you. This is a book that in many ways is incredibly slight and manipulative by turns, yet is ultimately redeemed by an almost palpable sincerity that matches the artist's skill.
Available from Little Otsu.