Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fiona's Paper Wrestling book

Well, the books should have arrived at their various new homes by now so it seems safe to sit and show some photos and talk a bit about it. I am also blogging this same story pretty much over at my own blog - it just seemed easier that way but apologies of you are reading it twice!

Reflecting on the journey, this book has been a constant thought companion for nearly a year; with sketches made here and there, ideas and options tested and trialled. At times I thought I would never settle on an approach and get started; but bit by bit, I narrowed down the options and made decisions.

These are some mid-process drafts...

The book is a response to Claire Beynon’s poem, rather than a rendition of it. If I had chosen a rendition I would have used the whole poem throughout the book and made it the focus. By highlighting particular lines or phrases I created my own personal reading of the poem in a calligraphic way.

There were certain words or phrases that jumped out at me, and told me the underlying story of the poem in a way, and I chose these words/phrases to include in my book.

I am fond of squares and chose to work within the square format. This choice was supported by the covers I found in a funny little art shop which then set the format and colour scheme for the rest of it. Sometimes I need a little push from outside to stop exploring and make the decision, then continue to explore within the new boundaries.

I wanted to give the reader some opportunity to wrestle with paper in the process of reading the book. I also knew I needed/wanted to include Claire’s complete poem somehow in the book; and so the idea of having it held within a Japanese tato on the title page came into being.

Choosing which of these little pockets to use was a fun time in itself; and I had the odd disaster here and there as I trialled them in a remote Aboriginal community where I had no ruler or measuring tool; and the squares are actually formed from rectangular pieces of paper which require specific dimensions and proportions - none of which I could easily or readily achieve!

I did one original calligraphic version of the phrase or line I highlighted and then scanned each of them individually. I had hoped to be able to print the scans direct onto the pages but I ran out of time to master the set up of the pages in the software properly; so they are individually attached to each page. In the end, I like the hand-made and crafted nature of their attachment.

Here is my first test page of can see a couple of rejects already!

Here are some images of the pages..

I knew I had to do a simple binding if I was producing an edition, so used a three-hole pamphlet binding and the beads on the outside just added a tiny decorative element.

The whole process was enjoyable, frustrating, perplexing and wonderful all at once and I can’t wait to do it all again!

Thanks to all the folk with whom I have exchanged books - I love the collection that is growing; and seeing, feeling and playing with all the different interpretations is a joy.

1 comment:

ronnie said...

I love reading about artists processes