Anthony Burgess (1917–1933) was a writer and composer who is regarded as one of the leading novelists of the Twentieth Century. His works addressed many issues including censorship, multi-culturalism, individual freedom and sexual liberation.
Burgess would have celebrated his 100th birthday on 25 February 2017 and the International Anthony Burgess Foundation organised events throughout the year to celebrate this. In conjunction with Design Manchester the foundation hosted an exhibition of re-imagined book covers from Burgess’ extensive catalogue of works.
We were invited by Design Manchester and the IABF to re-imagine one of these covers. We chose Earthly Powers—On his eighty-first birthday, retired gay writer Kenneth Toomey is asked by the Archbishop of Malta to assist in the process of canonisation of Carlo Campanati, the late Pope Gregory XVII and his brother-in-law. Toomey subsequently works on his memoirs, which span the major part of the 20th century. The book deals with many issues, but perhaps most notable is Toomey’s battle to reconcile his sexuality with his religion. Hence the rainbow colours applied to the emblem of the papacy.