I feel like I have come full circle... and this ending is just a beginning.
I began the course with a love of working with paper and for the process of making books but with my heart firmly rooted in sculpture. The more I began to explore what a book is or could be the harder the concepts seemed grasp ... the possibilities seemed endless but sometimes confusing and I am still learning.
A turning point was finding a copy of “THE NEW ART OF MAKING BOOKS” by Ulises Carrión in it Carrion writes..
"WHAT A BOOK IS
A book is a sequence of spaces.
Each of these spaces is perceived at a different moment - a book is also a sequence of
moments. A book is not a case of words, nor a bag of words, nor a bearer of words......"
It was with these words echoing in the back of my mind that I worked on the final project. and what I once thought of as sculpture also became book.
‘Life,’ she said ‘is organised around what is hollow.’
Muslin dress, wooden hanger
She was taught from the cradle never to cry.
Found book, (altered.)
‘Nothing just vanishes, ‘ she’d read, ‘of everything that disappears there remain traces.’
Compact mirror, found words.
A last minute change of plan and the Ladybird book was substituted for the Motherhood book at the initial suggestion of the tutors. It was a tough decision as I had spent months working on it but when I thought about it for a time I realised it made more sense and looked so much better.
I sometimes struggle with the idea that even though something hasn't taken a lot of effort or time it is just as valid. I had seen the Ladybird book as just an experiment but once we started setting up our work I could see it worked much so better and provided the child element in the three pieces.
The dress was hung at a height to render the viewer at child height with the Ladybird book looking toward the dress. On the side wall, and completing the triangle, the mirror and cut mothers were hung at eye level in such a way that the dress could be seen in the reflection.
I always intended to show the cut or removed mothers with the book. My first thought was to use an 1960's feeding bottle that I had found but this seemed a bit obvious and clumsy...
The old powder compact seemed a better choice for several reasons. The similarity to the shape of a book being obvious but also the connection to the mother's role as precursor to the mirror for the developing child (D W Winnicott) but also as an artist constantly reflecting on what I do, see, think or feel. Thoughts of Alice in Wonderland and other dimensions also crossed my mind...so many connections.
I tested a book pillow of the kind often used to display rare books but it was immediately obvious that it wasn't suitable. I wanted the book to be handled but it just skidded about on the tyvek cover. I found photos of a drop spine or clamshell box with integrated book cradle... a tenuous link between cradle and motherhood book maybe but there you are.
The cradle was made first then the case built around the cradle and book. The cradle is fixed on one side of the case
The finished case both protects and supports the book.
I'm following my bliss.