John Devlin (St Edmund's, 1979)
Nova Cantabrigiensis is a utopian island in the middle of the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia. It is the invention of visionary outsider artist John Devlin, and was designed to recreate the atmosphere and architecture of Cambridge, England, which John considers to be the perfect city.
John came to study in Cambridge in 1979, and fell in love with its unique ambience. When mental illness forced him to return home to Canada after just one year, he became obsessed with discovering the secret to ‘the Cambridge essence’.
Over ten years, John created over 360 beautiful and unique illustrations, dream-like sketches of reimagined and reconfigured Cambridge buildings, drawn again and again in the pursuit of perfection.
The book Nova Cantabrigiensis is a beautifully designed, full colour artist book which reproduces thirty of John’s illustrations at their original size. The drawings are accompanied by an essay which offers insight into John’s life and work, and describes his mathematical and spiritual theories about architecture.
Nova Cantabrigiensis is published by Island Editions, a new London-based publisher of artist books and illustrated books which aims to promote the work of emerging and undiscovered artists. It is run by Lizzie Alice Robinson and Dylan Spencer-Davidson, who both also studied at Cambridge.
Publication date: 1 June 2011
Added: 29 June 2011
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