BLACK MILK | Atlas of Orbicular Drawings

sound of BLACK MILK electroacoustic gong


Atlas and Catalogue – 11 Orbicular Drawings | Text – Cosmological Tone

Published to coincide with the exhibition NOW JULIAN SIMMONS

55 photographs, 5 diagrams, 12,000 words | Bespoke ultra-dark graphite silvered ink | 72 pages : 200gsm Fedrigoni paper | Matt-laminate softback : 290gsm Fedrigoni grey card | 30.6 x 23.7 cm
Privately Published : Julian Simmons 2015 | Limited Edition : 500 copies | Printing : The Five Castles Press UK
Artworks, Photographs, Text, Design, Layout : Julian Simmons
£20 excl. shipping


Short-run edition – limited copies still available from :

Lychee One, 38-50 Pritchards Road, London E2; Tues – Sat, 12 – 6pm

Lychee One, mail-order

ICA Bookshop, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH; Tues – Sun, 11am – 9pm

‘Looks great.  It covers life, the whole universe and everything.’  Mat Collishaw.

‘Black Milk really is something.  And something else.
As I read it I kept thinking of William Blake.  And then there he was.’  Angus Cook.

‘Terrific show – the technique alone is amazing, but the effects … I’ve just been reading up astro- and sub-atomic physics, so I was right at home there, and the eye as mediator between the two. Loved the paper-maker’s eyelash as well. It reminds me of the obscure story about Elizabeth the First and a comet over London.
ps. ‘the throb of the artery’! – I didn’t know that was Blake. Yeats pinched that line, what a rogue.’  Peter Walker.

…yes the eyelash! – of an Italian paper-maker – must have been wiping his or her brow after their partner revealed they were having an affair …or some such. Amazingly invisible before the drawing …the drawing revealing it detective-like, as if a message were blindly indented into a notepad. So yes within Yeats is Blake, and knocking about probably a few other poets also; always worth standing on the shoulders of the high-points of civilisation.


In this publication I hint at what may be seen from encouraging a sideways gaze.  While to an extent I appreciate the reasoning for photographically recording flat works flat on – as for many works this is the perpendicular in which they were made and intended to be subsequently viewed, but this isn’t how I approached considering or making these drawings.

These are drawings that positively seek and respond to being viewed from all acute and obtuse angles, and under changing angles of natural light; hence their curious nature from the side – they begin to protrude and sink.
Aesthetically they correspond to the not-flat not-3D undetermined dimensions of mental space – and it’s state of knowledge that fuels primitive imaginings.


Many moons ago I wrote a book entitled – NUMINOUS IMAGE AS COSMOLOGICAL MONOGRAPH; it exists in only three copies, and employed a printing method I would further develop for the limited edition large-format tome, PENETRALIA.

It recently struck me that many of it’s subjects on cosmological tone were feeding these current drawings.
With the request “I need 28 pages of text” I handed a copy over to Sarah Lucas …the extracts in this publication are those that she selected.


22 of 72 pages :

BLACK MILK p24-25 Julian Simmons

BLACK MILK p26-27 Julian Simmons

BLACK MILK p40-41 - Julian Simmons


Short-run edition, limited copies available from

Lychee One : 38-50 Pritchards Road, London E2; Tues – Sat, 12 – 6pm / & mail-order : BLACK MILK – JULIAN SIMMONS

ICA Bookshop : The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH; Tues – Sun, 11am – 9pm

£20 excl. shipping



There’s a particular antithesis in graphite – an electrically conductive semi-metal mineral, harshly active, glittering, the highest form of coal, and also something seductive, quiet, soft: all in all, alchemic. It was mined in quantity in Cumbria, where I explored those mines and heaped tips for many years. Viewed at an angle the silvered quality of it’s flat-plated matrix is revealed; there’s some of this ingredient in the ink mixed to print this publication – you may only just perceive it – in the unusual quality of the ink not being dead black, to be precise there’s 20% metallic mineral in there!



BLACK MILK Julian Simmons - Stephen O'Malley SUN O)))

BLACK MILK possessed by Stephen O’Malley  /  Dark Drone Doom Metal  >  Ideologic Organ  >  SUN O)))

nigrum lac    |    llaeth du    |    黒いミルク    |    黑奶    |    검은 우유    |    μαύρο γάλα    |    хар сүү    |    sort mælk     |    svart melk    |    schwarz milch    |    черный молоко    |    black milk