This book was made in 2011 as part of Book Art Object – and is inspired by an extract from Jeanette Winterson’s Book – Art & Lies. Book Art Object was founded by Sara Bowen (Australia) and this project was a collaboration between 14 book artists. 9 in Australia, 1 in the US, 1 in Canada and 3 in the UK (each participant received a copy of all books made). The extract from the book below inspired me to start thinking about Nests as a place of safety.
300BC. The Ptolemies founded the great library at Alexandria. 400,000 volumes in vertiginous glory. The Alexandrians employed climbing boys much in the same way as the Victorians employed sweeps. Unnamed bipeds, light as dust, gripping with swollen fingers and toes, the nooks and juts of sheer-faced walls………Accordingly, the boys built themselves eyries in among the books, and were to be seen squatting and scowling at greater and greater heights around the library.
[Extract from – Jeanette Winterson from Art and Lies (London: Jonathon Cape, 1994 , pp. 4-6) Copyright © Jeanette Winterson, 1994, reproduced by permission of PFD www.pfd.co.uk]
The book is an edition of 15. The cover is made made with Rayon paper-backed book cloth which has been printed on my own inkjet printer using archival quality pigment inks. This was my first experience with printing on book cloth, there were a lot of screechy moments.
The silhouette image used on the Book Cloth, book-band and endpapers is from my photograph of a Blackbird in an Apple Tree. The book signature is entirely hand printed with my own hand cut rubber stamps (both images and text) on to Somerset Satin 300gsm paper.
The ink pads used are fade resistant dye inks (colours) and Archival Ink (black). The endpapers and book-band are made from Daler Rowney, Canford paper and card respectively.
The binding is pamphlet stitch sewn through the spine (16 pages in total). It measures 12 x 12 cm [4 3⁄4 x 4 3⁄4 inches approximately]
The text was made by scanning typewriter text, (which I typed on a Silver-Reed Silverette Manual Typewriter) enlarging it to twice its size (5mm approx), transferring it on to a rubber stamp using a pencil tracing method and then cutting the stamp. All of the bird images are drawings from my own photographs except for the Regent Bower Bird and Eider Duck, which were drawn from images found in various bird books.
You can see some of the work in progress for this book here.