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Z.Review: The Routes We Wander
title: The Routes We Wander (issue 2)
creator: Lee Taylor
date: July 26, 2012
web: Lee Taylor Illustration
A 24-hour zine project wherein a gifted handmade notebook is turned into a plein air sketch log. The cover is a little deceptive, looking like a bleak 1980s cover, but not entirely tangent from the contents. Inside, the pages are on location sketches of Himley Hall (in the West Midlands) accompanied by floating islands of text that progress from musings on outdoor sketching to the guilt of a lost friendship.
In its very portable quarter page size, I found myself visually walking through the grounds of Himley: peering at the estate from afar, walking onto an open area of moored sail boats, stopping at a cluster of fences, all in a gladly solitary exploration.
The latter half of the zine begins to broach a subject that I find recurringly familiar: lost connections and friendships. I’m not quite sure how pervasive this is, as I’ve met people who have somehow managed to hold onto friends from grammar school into adulthood. I like to think it’s the former and not the latter that is more common, but my experience might be the result of my constant moving. So I wonder where the majority norm lies.
This last bit has nothing to do with the intention of the zine, but by the end, it’s that one irritating but ever-so-true retort that nagged at me, of how “it goes both ways.” In truth, I do think that most friendships die in their course if they do reach some sort of willing deviation. And even if you pick back up on the friendship, unless you’re both very forgiving (and willingly forgetful), it can’t ever exist again in its familiar cadence. That former bond never mends the same, resulting in some kind of palpable misstep that no one wants to talk about.
Favorite detail of authenticity: The processing code printed on the back of the photo print that is the cover of the original gifted sketchbook.