Powerful posters

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Clay & Gold is a new publisher which if its first title is anything to go by will continue to challenge and inspire.

Social Justice 2008 is a powerful portfolio that features 12 thought-provoking posters by world-renowned artist and designer Luba Lukova. This collection swiftly and ably showcases Lukova's masterful use of metaphors and symbols to express themes that include peace, war, ecology, immigration, privacy, health coverage, media, corruption, censorship, and Sudanese poverty. Her distinctive style and vigorous visual imagination distill issues such as these into deceptively simple, yet formidably brilliant images.

I first came across Lukova’s work in the form of illustrations she did for an annual report for Canadian Pen. I’ve looked for her work since then and was really excited when I found about this published portfolio. The portfolio gives her work a second life — both as artifacts that once already existed and by assigning each with a concept, notion or social issue that is intimately tied with our current state of affairs.

The posters are accompanied by an introduction from writer Margaret Scarsdale, and in it she summarizes the effectiveness of Lukova's work which, in its sparcity makes it easy to forget how much can be read from a well conceived visual metaphor, "[The] visual metaphor is not only a symbol of hope, it is an inexorable and urgent call for action: In a world full of duplicitous metaphors, it is time to take a critical look at the true face of the policies and procedures that shape our lives."

The company drew inspiration for its name from an ancient Sanskrit text which states “To the illumined mind, a clod of clay, a stone and gold are all the same.” This rings true for the philosophy behind our editions: value and beauty come not from materials…but from emotions and ideas.

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