The Spots That Never Went


The Spots That Never Went is a personal reflection on the devastation of AIDS and the lasting impact on a generation, presented in tabloid and broadsheet newspaper formats, assembled in a polypropylene pocket.

The Spots That Never Went is a Highly Commended Finalist of the 2019 Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing, presented by the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia (announced 14 March 2019).

Sarah Bodman from the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), UWE Bristol, writing for a-N, chose it as one of ten artists’ books of 2018. She writes, “It’s a brutally simple, heartbreaking thing – we need to read more books like this.”

The book was included in ‘Print: A Catalyst for Social Change’, Bury Art Museum, Moss Street, Bury BL9 0DR (9 February-27 April) and was part of Salon 18, Photofusion’s annual members’ show at 17a Electic Lane, London SW9 8LA (7 December 2018 to 12 January 2019).

The Spots That Never Went is presented in tabloid newspaper format, to link its content to the sensational reporting of AIDS by the tabloids in the 1980s/90s. Throughout, enlarged fragments of a half-toned scan of a colour Polaroid print converted to mono, are used to express distant, distorted memories. Opposite each image appears one line of text, a memory put down in print, always starting with the words, ‘I remember a time…’

Self-published artist book, 28pp, tabloid newspaper (289mm x 380mm, newspaper print, 55gsm); glued-on colour print copy of Polaroid Spectra positive print from scan (100mm x 100mm, matt photo paper, 120gsm); broadsheet newspaper, 4pp (350mm x 500mm, newspaper print 55gsm); archival crystal clear polypropylene pocket, black dot sticker, black board (A4, 415 gsm)

SOLD OUT. 2019 edition available November 2019.


The Spots That Never Went, tabloid newspaper spread

Roelof Bakker Sweat The Spots That Never Went Earl’s Court Notting Hill AIDS

The Spots That Never Went, ‘Sweat’, tabloid newspaper page

Roelof Bakker, The Spots That Never Went

The Spots That Never Went, artist’s book