Secret River by
book is bound with a linen hinge inside and outside the laminated boards.
It has a hollow back, goatskin leather spine and tie-dyed pigskin sides.
The design has an inlay of red goatskin and onlaid native dyed goatskin to
the board edges; these have been transfer printed with Suminagashi and further
inked. There is black tooling. The endpapers are made from marbled paper
and the book edges are transfer printed.
Bound by David Sellars
This is the story of a Thames bargeman
who, along with his family, is deported to New South Wales. The two rivers
are the main link, the Thames and the
Hawkesbury. Water, of course, is the driving force for the imagery, coupled
with the influence of Aboriginal art. I began to sift through my collection
and uncovered a pigskin that had been tie-dyed, it was perfect for me. The
murky green-grey, with what looked like sunlit glints reminded me of the
days fishing on British rivers that I have enjoyed, I can’t speak for
the Hawkesbury as I have not visited Australia. I did work for a period at
Rotherhithe and that leather felt and looked right, I believe it gives a
good representation. The piece I used for the front board was chosen for
the central area that hints at a figure in the water. The spine and fore-edges
of the boards are another link with water but the colour was chosen to create
a relationship with the Aborigines - ochre featuring so strongly in their
native art. However, this artwork is not Aboriginal, I just felt that it
works, it also derives from what I believe is a sympathetic space. The markings
on the ochre panels are created by floating ink on water, an Oriental process
that creates the suggestion of figuration that evolves on the surface of
the water. The endpapers are hand-marbled papers, created on seaweed size
by my wife Jill who is very skilled at this art form. The edges of the text
block were created to link the fore-edge imagery but are meant to hint at
sailing ship rigging. I wanted to add another colour to the brew and decided
that because of the blood that was shed on the rivers I had the license to
link the rivers in red, the front board the Thames at Rotherhithe, the Hawkesbury
on the back.