Friday, February 12, 2016

A Mock-Up or Two

Today I finished another artist book that I've been working on for my upcoming partnered solo exhibition "Big Smoke Little Smoke" opening on 5 March at the Grasslands Art Gallery at Tambo.

I was inspired by an artist book format I found in the book 'Playing with Paper' by Helen Hiebert.

My book is called 'Entomophobia'.  I used atlas pages to make envelopes then cut hexagon windows and inserted insect imagery printed on organza.  The book comes together with piano hinges and when installed, will be arranged in a closed hexagon.  The hexagon shapes are repeated in one of my other artworks for the exhibition, and refers to beehive combs.

When I make artist books I usually avoid making mock ups as I've always felt it drained my creativity and enthusiasm.  But this time, I knew that I needed to do some testing and playing before I made the actual book.  It was a good idea, as I had to make a couple of mock up books before I found the papers that would do the job.  Making the mock ups also allowed me to expend all of my 'frantic' creative energy on the test pieces, thus ensuring when I was working on my final piece I was calmly measuring, cutting and THINKING mindfully, not allowing my knife to get ahead of my brain!

The structure and images I have used in this book express the idea that humans have significantly changed the global landscape and thus impacted on insect populations.  The title of the book 'Entomophobia' alludes to our general attitude towards insects - an inconvenience and nuisance within our homes and gardens.  Perhaps we should be also considering the importance of insects in the natural world, where they are part of the food chain, help break down plant material and of course pollinate plants.

Cutting out hexagon windows in my handmade atlas envelopes

I printed my insect imagery onto organza sheets

The mock up artist books
The final book, side view

Top View, the concertina will be installed
closed like this in a hexagon pattern

Close up of one of the piano hinges,
using a bamboo skewer to secure it

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