More Wild Africa

Italian-born photographer Alex Bernasconi is especially well known for his uncanny ability to capture animals in their true nature, and the pages of Wild Africa demonstrate how he is often rewarded for his patience with endearing and humorous images.

From a totally fresh perspective, with unique access to some of the remotest regions and species living beyond the confines of captivity, Wild Africa is a contemporary photographic record that takes you into the heart of one of the world's last natural paradises. The result of painstaking expeditions across the continent, Bernasconi's photographic document contains some of the most novel, surprising and spectacular images of Africa and its wildlife.

This is an off-road Africa, with moments of true beauty and natural delicacy that shows the full splendour of wildlife at one with the landscape, whilst preserving its raw immediacy. In the one thousand eight hundred images a week that Bernasconi takes of some of nature's finest and most endangered animals, wildlife photography is embodied at its most honest and creative.

The book demonstraties just how vital it is that we do what we can to preserve them.

Visit Bernasconi's website where you can see portfolios of his photography.


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Papadakis Publisher is an independent, family-owned publishing house located in London and Winterbourne, United Kingdom. Since 1971, Papadakis Publisher and its predecessor Academy Editions have published more than a thousand titles, mainly on art, architecture and the decorative arts. Founder Andreas Papadakis was the first to publish books by many international architects including Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind and Léon Krier. Victor Arwas’s Art Deco, first published in 1980, remains the standard work on the subject of art deco architecture.

“This was a publishing house run in the grand old maverick British tradition, whose personality, inspiration and whims were responsible for every aspect of its gloriously unique individuality,” wrote Hugh Cumming in a 2008 article about Papadakis.

Andreas was joined full time in 2001 by his daughter Alexandra, who had previously studied at the Architectural Association. Alexandra worked primarily on the New Architecture series as co-editor, as well as taking on the design work for all Papadakis books.

“My father Andreas Papadakis started Academy Editions and later developed as the market leader in architecture publishing,” says Alexandra. “He produced books and monographs on the rising stars of architecture, edited the highly acclaimed and influential magazine Architectural Design, and hosted seminars, conferences and exhibitions internationally.

“Andreas's story is particularly interesting: he was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, on June 17 1938 and began his career as a physicist. Coming to London in 1956, he did post-graduate studies at Imperial College followed by a PhD in Nuclear Physics at Brunel University.”

Sadly, Andreas Papadakis died after a short illness in June 2008. The following is from an obituary that appeared in the Daily Telegraph, written by Clive Aslet:

The future direction of his career, however, was set by happenstance. In the early 1960s he bought a house in Holland Street, near Imperial College in Kensington. It contained a shop, then in use as a dry cleaners. Since the planners would not allow him to incorporate this into the living space, he decided to run it as the Academy Bookshop. The idea was to sell scientific journals. But the reps who came to the shop brought samples of illustrated books, not academic papers. Near the Art Nouveau-ish fashion emporium of Biba, the shop attracted a clientele who often asked for books showing Aubrey Beardsley. Since none was on the market, Papadakis decided to publish one, having first assured himself that Beardsley’s drawings were out of copyright. A book of plates without text, it ran to many editions (one that was poorly bound being sold as “easy to turn into posters”), and remained in print until Papadakis sold his imprint, Academy Editions, in 1990.

In her father’s absence, Alexandra took over as Papadakis publishing director and continues to develop and expand the list. Visually striking in design and compelling in subject matter, Papadakis books have created a new industry standard with their impeccable photo reproductive quality. The environmental sensibility of their books is also evident.

“My education in publishing started from when I was very young,” says Alexandra. “I would be in my father's office after school until it was time to go home and so invariably spent many hours under the feet of editors, designers and unsuspecting authors delivering their manuscripts. I was frequently asked for an opinion -- and this came in especially handy when helping to judge an architectural doll's house competition at the age of 5!

“I had already made my publishing intentions clear while I was still at school and spent many weekends and holidays filing, organizing, scanning slides for lectures and sorting material that was coming in for new books. Such was the influence of the books my father produced, and the constant talk of books and editing in our home over breakfast, lunch, dinner and anything else, that I had no hesitation in wanting to study architecture, with the mind of returning to publishing from a specialist architecture angle.

“Nearing the end of my final year at architecture school, I had a telephone call from my father to say that a designer had left, leaving a book unfinished, and that it was up to me to see it to press. It was the first of one of many steep learning curves, but the book was finished, on time to hand to H.M the Queen at the opening of the new Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace. From then on, I took over the design of the New Architecture magazine series, as well as all of the books.

“The office was very small in those early days - namely myself and my father and we would sit side-by-side at a desk in his apartment, he on the telephone to authors and collaborators and me working on the designs. Every so often he would lean over and suggest that I move an image or enlarge it, but he was generous in letting me develop a style for our books that was individual to me.”

Because of their sense of style and attention to detail, Papadakis attracted the attention of an author and artist from the Royal Botanic Gardens who were making electron microscope images of plants. “I could see at once the visual potential in the stunning detail of the images, not to mention the fascinating story told by the scientist of their evolution and adaptations,” recalls Alexandra. “We worked directly with the authors to develop a highly individual style for the books – namely the deep black backgrounds and colored text which allowed a maximum impact for the images.”

The resulting books, entitled Seeds, Pollen and Fruit garnered accolades including IPPY gold medals in 2006 for Outstanding Books of the Year. This led to an expansion of titles into the subjects of nature, natural history, science, as well as their developed list in architecture and the decorative arts.

In 2009, Where Have all the Flowers Gone was awarded a silver IPPY medal and Fruit was awarded the special prize of the jury at the prestigious Gourmand Awards, held at La Comédie Française. Further IPPY medals have been awarded to Why the Cheetah Cheats, Butterflies: Messages from Psyche and most notably, Wild Africa, which won the Photography category gold medal in the 2011 IPPY Awards. (We’ve seen many photographic surveys of African wildlife over the years, and the vivid and exciting Wild Africa totally blew us away, and impressed the IPPY judges as the best we’ve ever seen.)

Alexandra on the future of Papadakis: “The future holds many promises, but a certainty is that we will continue to develop our list of innovative and beautiful books, constantly maintaining and improving our quality and keeping our readers surprised and engaged. We are a small but very dedicated team who work on each detail of every book that we publish. The team is key to developing and expanding Papadakis in the future and consists of talented individuals who have a genuine love of books. Our designer is based in New York, having worked for my father in the mid-80s, and it was he who taught me all about design when I first started working in the publishing house.

 “We are particularly excited about our forthcoming titles for 2012/2013 which include Tea Time – a lavish book on London's best afternoon teas, which will be out for the Queen's Golden Jubilee and the London Olympics; 100 Plants that (Almost) Changed the World by Chris Beardshaw which is full of witty stories about many familiar and favourite plants – where they came from and how they were introduced to our everyday lives; and Nanotechnology - The Science of our Future by Peter Forbes and Tom Grimsey (which like Seeds is another artist/scientist collaboration).

“I always consider myself to be extremely fortunate, having benefitted from working with and learning from my hugely supportive father, who was also not afraid to let me make my own (numerous) mistakes along the way. I work together with some of the most fascinating people in the world and each book opens my eyes to new ideas and understandings. There is not one minute that I regret doing what I do and I know that I share the same joy in seeing the arrival of advance copies off the press with every other publisher.”

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Wild Africa

by Alex Bernasconi
From a totally fresh perspective, world-renowned photographer Alex Bernasconi provides a spectacular tour across a magnificent continent. This is off-road, seldom-seen Africa.
270 page hardcover; $49.95
ISBN-13: 978-1554077724

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Fair World: A History of World's Fairs and Expositions from London to Shanghai 1851-2010

by Paul Greenhalgh
The great World's Fairs and Expositions staged around the world since the mid-nineteenth century were among the largest and most dramatic cultural events ever staged, and this book mimics their glory with its lavish illustrations and design. Over 40 expositions from around the world are studied in detail, with many more described and illustrated, with previously unseen material, including original photographs and postcards from the earliest fairs.

282 page hardcover; $60.00
ISBN-13: 978-1906506094