Sometimes when reading an artists' book there comes the delight of knowing that the experience is far greater than the sum of its parts. I hope that makes sense - it does to me but then I have just had the experience.
What I mean is that this book essentially exists of five etchings done by me with gorgeous quotes which Fiona and I chose on 'silence', added to the etchings with Fiona's calligraphy. I remember saying to Fiona when we started making this book, that I didn't want it to feel like 'bits of calligraphy'. Works of calligraphy can be very beautiful in their own right, but I wanted this last of our collaborative books to look and feel 'booklike'.
Until this work was finally made I did not love it. Partly this was due to the fact that this was a more typical collaboration where I was responsible for the artwork (and how does one represent 'silence'!) and Fiona the calligraphy. Previously we have explored 'collaboration' in a much more involved and intimate way and this last book left us feeling a little disconnected until finally bringing it together in this very soft and gentle, quiet book.
Each page is wrapped in tengujo paper and the act of revealing each work is slow and meditative. The light plays a large part in the reading of this book and because of the manner of its presentation you cannot rush the reading. Now that it is made and I can experience it as a whole, it reminds me why I love making artists' books and will keep making them. The slow reveal, the feel of the gorgeous soft papers ..... definitely more than the sum of its parts.
And here you can see some of the pages and details. I used only sugar lift with this work as I wanted to keep everything very soft and fluid. Lines are partially inked, delicately wiped. I had hoped that there would be enough definition in the uninked lines to be embossed but they were too faint so I had to make embossing plates for the etchings once they had dried. The embossing added the lift that the marks needed. It is hard to show that photographically.
I think it is hard to find anything more beautiful in combination that the softness of an etched mark and the crispness of an embossed line. It is a perfect partnership.
With infinite possibilities, Fiona had to decide how to write these beautiful quotes. Couldn't have been more perfect really.
As a complete departure from the unique nature of all our other collaborative books, Fiona and I decided to edition these books, an edition of 10 and a further edition of 10 of each of the prints separately. These will be for sale at the Noosa Regional Gallery or beforehand.