Synopses & Reviews
A seagull swoops across a packet of Senior Service, a seaman from HMS Hero poses in a lifebelt cameo on twenty Player's, a laughing cavalier puffs away at a Passing Cloud. And a Jeeves-style butler offers us a Kensitas on a silver tray. Welcome to the vanished world of cigarette pack art. Peter Ashley has delved into his own and other collections of packs to show us what an incredible art gallery of design they once offered, and creates a series of still lifes to show how much a part of daily life they were - Gold Flakes on a picnic, Park Drive on a workbench. He finds the stories to go with them too: the influence of Du Mauriers on a crooked tycoon, the Battle of Britain pilots throwing packets of Weights after free-falling Messerschmitts. And of course the packets dropped into literature: Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, John Betjeman, Will Self - all have contributed to cigarette culture without disapproving shakes of the head. The Cigarette Papers is a joyful, witty and ultimately beautiful recollection of old friends who will probably never be seen again.