World Book Day and exactly two years since Fiona and I started our collaboration. We were celebrating that milestone today as well as celebrating the completion of our latest artists' books - birds, eggs, nests, feathers.
Not sure quite what we were thinking when we chose that title (and decided that our books would be collaborative in title only) but I do remember we thought it would challenge us. And it did. I have posted already on the struggles I encountered with finding a way to make a book out of the images I had etched. Finally I found that my comfort zone was where my book took shape, revealing glimpses of the story rather than having everything divulged at once. Bringing more of the mark making elements of suggestion, rather than using all the work I had done with the etchings. I am pleased to have the etching plates, and to have done the work, but I am so very happy to have found a way to produce a book that felt like me, telling a story in the manner I would chose rather than having the work I did towards it dominate and dictate. In the end our books are more collaborative than we had thought as we both worked into the others' book, I with a couple of images and Fiona with her beautiful calligraphy. Fiona - the words you found to help you express your book have given my book validation. Thank you.
The results of our books will be shown more intimately in the next post. As is our custom, we brought the books together today for their first meeting. Fiona had seen my completed book as she wrote in it for me and though I had seen parts of her book and had done the work for her 'wings' and 'nests' pages, I had not seen the complete book. What joy it was to sit down with it nestled in my hand and turn each page, marvelling at its quietness and gentleness. You will see those details tomorrow but let me tell you, viewing these books on the internet is really nothing at all like holding them closely and sticking your nose into each little detail ....
Artists' book are incredibly difficult to photograph effectively, especially trying to photograph two together. It is always a challenge in itself. The first few images are of our two books and the following images are of our collection of collaborative books. We have had an amazing journey in this venture and have grown in strength as book artists. I have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated Fiona's support, encouragement and her contributions into 'my' books and I am pretty certain she too will say that the understanding of each others' work and our respect for it, has been what has made this such an amazing collaboration.