‘I think I’m maybe a trivial person in a serious world…’
The home of Robin Ash in Eggbuckland, England overflows with album covers that most people would find ugly, distasteful and often both. His collection of kitschy and campy album art from decades past includes such imaginative, perhaps regrettable images as a person in a gorilla suit playing accordion, a pop-up nativity scene and, for unclear reasons, the Bee Gees dressed in medieval garb as one of them holds a black moulded jelly. Although Ash savours the silly in these images, his passion for their peculiar displays of creativity is clearly one of genuine embrace rather than ironic detachment. The short documentary Sometimes Surface follows Ash as he searches for the record that accompanies his all-time favourite album cover – the easy listening/big band group Ray Ellis and his Orchestra’s Ellis in Wonderland (1957), which, of course, features an appropriately punny set of down-the-rabbit-hole costumes. Through his portrait, the US director Paul Szynol captures Ash’s joy in collecting and his bone-dry sense of humour, giving a view of his quiet life and quaint hobby in a rapidly changing world.
Director: Paul Szynol
Flicker through the eclectic beauty and biological diversity of 2,400 leaves
Animals and humans
What happened when one woman raised an abandoned squirrel as her own
The female Abstract Expressionists of New York shook the world of art
At 14, Asal is excited about her engagement. Her relatives all have their own opinions
What’s the healthiest way to handle a creeping feeling that the world is ending?
From Roman pots to glass eyes, the shore of the river Thames teems with surprises
Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Pondering the peculiar one-sided intimacy of the client-therapist relationship
What it’s like to wear a prosthetic that ‘feels’
Fifty years ago, a train collided with Jack and Betty’s car. Here’s how they remember it