Booker Prize Binding
In this novel, there is an overwhelming sense of place, particularly the woods surrounding the lakes and the two houses on the lakeside. There is a melancholic beauty in the colours of the woods; in the frozen winter and the verdant summer. There is also poignancy in the leftovers of what was once industry and family dwellings; a broken down, patchwork of tarpaulin and what's left of buildings that have been used for firewood in the coldest months. Linda's mother sits in semi-darkness, sewing. The dogs brood outside as the sun goes down. On the other side of the lake a little boy builds a city where no one lives, whilst his mother cooks and worries. There are paths that wind around the landscape and the narrative, and paths that reach into each of the houses, touching and linking people and events that unfold or have already been revealed. The winding progress of the storyline and the fractured lives of the characters emerge through sewn fragments and threads.
Who mothers who?
At the heart of my consideration of the novel was; what Linda wants, what she is and what she isn't and, what Patra is and what she can't be.
by Lewis Carroll
Artist's Editions 2006
Illustrated by Jon Lord and signed by the artist
Edition Number: 206/220
317 x 206 x 25mm
Leather binding using three-part construction (tongue in slot). Natural goatskin dyed and painted with acrylic. Machine embroidery on boards and spine. Hand-painted paper doublures. Painted and machined embroidered endpapers.
There are ten 'sailors' on the ship who are hunting the Snark: A Bellman, A Boots, A maker of Bonnets and Hoods, A Baker, A Banker, A Barrister, A Broker, A Billiard-Marker, A Butcher and a Beaver. In this binding, each one is represented by a different compass rose. The compass rose usually includes the cardinal points North, South, East and West but these compasses are rendered useless as they have no such directional indicators. The sailors in the poem are delighted when the Bellman produces an ocean chart to direct them to where they will find the Snark. This map, from the original suite of drawings by Henry Holland, is famously blank and therefore of no use at all. The directionless compasses are my interpretation of that.
by Natalie d'Arbeloff
Printed by Nicolas McDowall of The Old Stile Press, 1999
The basic form of the book is an un-sewn concertina with a false spine constructed in two sections to allow the book to open without restriction to the folded pages. Either end of the concertina fold is sewn onto made endpapers with a leather joint fixed to the boards. The inner spine, which is visible when the book is opened, is lined with machine embroidered cloth and finished with leather head and tail pieces. The outer spine is constructed from layered and shaped millboard and covered in embroidered red satin with leather onlays painted with ink and acrylic paint. The head caps are made from resist-dyed leather. The artwork on the boards is created using dyed, pared leather and cloth panels which fit together to form a base upon which a collage of dyed and pared leather onlays, machine sewing, embroidery, gold leaf and ink is added to create the design.
The design of The Revelations of Saint John the Divine is based loosely on events referred to in the text itself, coupled with the aim to convey a sense of chaos in the cosmos. However, whilst not intending to be too literal, it is difficult to be unmoved by the fantastical imagery which inhabits this vision; The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun, the stars falling from the sky like figs blown from a tree, the Whore of Babylon and the despair of the bottomless pit.
by Sue Doggett
An investigation into the relationship between technology, women's suffrage and the popularity of spiritualism in the C19th century. The pages are designed to flow out of the book suggesting electrical currents or ectoplasm emanating from a body. Digitally composed collages printed on Zerkall paper.
During the Nineteenth Century, women's fight for independence was not only played out in a political arena. Dissenting voices became audible through an altogether different channel as the Ether became a battle ground.
The invention of the telegraph almost simultaneously spawned a method for communicating with the dead through the invention of a 'spirit telegraph'. It has been suggested that there was a connection between female telephonists and mediums because of the 'feminine' characteristics which made them ideal channellers for the messages of others; passivity, a sympathetic ear and a 'susceptibility to automatism'. This docile image of what a Victorian woman should be was often used to conceal an ulterior motive. Women used a variety of means by which to get their voices heard, and the Spiritualistic Medium was one of them. The Mediums became performers and orators in a very public arena normally denied to women and even though subject to extreme scrutiny, they were often able to speak out about social issues and injustices. The disembodied voice of the medium could be seen as an alternative form of political activism and as such, it was subject to much oppressive reaction. There were claims made and claims refuted, scientific experiments applied and faith tested, fakery and the genuinely inexplicable, in equal measure. Fortune and fame were gained and just as easily lost. Whatever one’s personal beliefs about the subject of Spiritualism, in this period of extreme science and extreme belief, women were at the heart of a rapidly changing society in which opportunities for gaining a voice emerged.