Saturday, 14 April 2018

15/52 'deep connections' .....

When thinking about the making of this book about connections I was thinking about threads and the Chinese thought that those who are destined to meet are connected by a red thread.  For me though, I feel like deep connections are more like bundles - concepts with more substance and weight.  

I think those bundles are filled with stories or our lives, those things that are most important to us or impact on us, a bundle full of emotions that are revealed over time, often just fragments of tales rather than the whole.  A complex weighty mix that connects two people.

I am sure I could work with greater depth on this subject but once again, time has been short this week and so though a book is made  an idea is created for exploration at a later date.  Maybe.

This book reads in both directions - I drew it in one way, and then when I stuck the ends down into the fold back covers from the accordion below, I embossed my mark on the end page before realising that I had the work upside down.  I actually like it both ways so have embossed my mark on both ends.  Simple solution.

Some books are just fun to play with and to photograph.  This is one of those where shadows and light play powerfully with the negative space.  I decided against sewing the two concertina layers together which means when the book is upright, you can 'read' the back of the page as well.  The background is an engraving print which I often use in this manner - as a layer upon which to build.  The artwork as such was done with French Conte crayon which is deliciously creamy and can be worked from rich darks to translucent.

The soft creamy yellow is from the lighting and not part of my work but it reminds me very much of Rosemary Gascoyne's pallet and is inspiring me to intentionally introduce some of this soft yellow to my work.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Susan. I enjoyed making this one.

  2. oh I love this meeting of the pristine white of the innocent new page to the well marked lines of the drawing/etching it reminds me of
    The Page
    by Margaret Atwood
    from Murder in the Dark Coach House Press 1983

    1. The Page waits, pretending to be blank. Is that its appeal, its blankness? What else is this smooth and white, this terrifyingly innocent? A snowfall, a glacier? It's a desert, totally arid, without life. But people venture into such places. Why? To see how much they can endure, how much dry light?

    2. I've said the page is white, and it is; white as wedding dresses, rare whales, seagulls, angels, ice & death.Some say like sunlight it contains all colours; others, that it's white because it's hot, it will burn out your optic nerves; that those who stare at the page too long will go blind.

    3. The page has no dimensions and no directions. There's no up or down except what you yourself mark, there's no thickness and weight but those you put there, north and south do not exist unless you're certain of them. The page is without vistas and without sounds, without centres or edges. Because of this you can become lost forever. Have you never seen the look of gratitude, the look of joy, on the faces of those who have managed to return from the page? Despite their faintness, their loss of blood, they fall on their knees, they push their hands into the earth, they clasp the bodies of those they love, or, in a pinch, any bodies they can get, with an urgency unknown to those who have never experienced the full horror of a journey into the page.

    4. If you decide to enter the page, take a knife and some matches, and something that will float. Take something you can hold onto, and a prism to split the light and a talisman that works, which should be hung on a chain around your neck; that's for getting back. It doesn't matter what kind of shoes, but your hands should be bare.You should never go into the page with gloves on. Such decisions, needless to say, should not be made lightly.
    There are those, of course, who enter the page without deciding, without meaning to. Some of these have charmed lives and no difficulty, but most never make it out at all. For them the page appears as a well, a lovely pool in which they catch sight of a face, their own but better. These unfortunates do not jump; rather they fall and the page closes over their heads without a sound, without a seam, and is immediately as whole and empty, as glassy, as enticing as before.

    5. The question about the page is; what is beneath it? It seems to have two dimensions, you can pick it up and turn it over and the back is the same as the front. Nothing, you say, disappointed.
    But you're looking in the wrong place, you were looking on the back instead of beneath. Beneath the page is another story. Beneath the page is everything that has ever happened, most of which you would rather not hear about.
    The page is not a pool but a skin, a skin is there to hold in and it can feel you touching it. Did you really think it would just lie there and do nothing?
    Touch the page at your peril: it is you who are blank and innocent, not the page. Nevertheless you want to know, nothing will stop you. You touch the page, it's as if you've drawn a knife across it, the page has been hurt now, a sinuous wound opens up, a thin incision. Darkness wells through.

    1. What a generous response to my work Mo - all that writing of Margaret Atwood’s .......... I remember years ago to steered me her way and I bought a few of her books. Her writing here, and your reflection too about the blank or pristine page, is so accurate. It is so intimidating and I much prefer to work on paper I have ‘mussed’ in some manner - either rusted or stained, and even pre printed. I particularly love it when Atwood writes “you were looking at the back instead of beneath”. How I envy someone who can speak/write so eloquently on ‘the page’. Thank you for sharing all that with me.

  3. More delicious markmaking, yum!Beautiful work,

  4. Big smile. Very glad you liked this work Jack.

  5. I appreciate your sharing your thoughts and process. The red line connection is interesting. There are people you run across to whom you feel a thread-like connection--tenuous, waiting to see what, if anything develops. And then there are those with whom you are instantly "bundled" - feeling as though they have always been in your life, at the periphery, while you work your way toward each other. What has been interesting to me in this technical world we live in, is that you can recognize these people, even over the internet. I'm here in Florida, and I met my "twin" sister in Ballarat during an online writer's workshop in which her late night hours and my early morning habit coincided.

    1. I agree with you Dianne, that you do not actually have to meet someone, or live nearby, to feel that connection - a bundling together of like minded people. The internet is certainly like that ... you post and post and before long realise you are part of a comforting ‘tribe’ of friends.

  6. Such a lovely book, with lots of lovely extras. I love that you can read it both ways; the fact you could come to that easily having made a'mistake' with the embossing. I like too the way the photographing and light has set off another train of thought and wondering. So much good comes of playing and making! Feeling lucky also that I am late to comment and got to read all of Mo and Margaret Atwood's words!

    1. Yes indeed - Mos’s comment and Margaret Atwood’s words ..... such a treasure to have now and re visit often. Steve too was quite enthralled with Atwood’s writing. And yes again to the way photographs of one’s work can throw a different look and hence spark new ideas for future work. My book a week project is certainly getting my creative juices going!


I appreciate your comments - thank you!