A Series of Disappointments – Stephen Gill


Year: 2008
Edition: First
Pages: 78
Dimensions: 23.2 x 30 cm
Format: Hardcover

The betting slips illustrated in Stephen Gill’s A Series of Disappointments were discarded in Hackney in north-east London, in and around the many betting shops in the borough – 71 at the time of the book’s publication. Betting shops are classed as financial services, so if they move into premises previously occupied by banks or solicitors, they don’t have to apply for any special permit. The average number of betting shops in other London boroughs is 23.

Each of these papers began as hope and was shaped by loss and defeat, then cast aside. Their residual forms reveal a state of mind framed by nervous tension and grief. After the images were made, little autopsies were performed on the papers to reveal the failed bets held within.

The book is published in three different cover designs based on jockeys’ racing colours. It can be exhibited by removing the book block from the outer cover, expanding the pages and hanging the resulting chain of paper from nails or small hooks using the holes provided.

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