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Needing to fix (and then dry) the graphite rubbings I’d done at Brantwood – from the path that Ruskin walked and the seat he sat in – too smelly a job for inside, a sunny day but a bit windy so they pegged them to the hedge.

 

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Just had a wonderful weekend at Brantwood – Ruskin’s stunning home in the Lakes. ‘Spiritual Landscapes – the power of landscape to move us’. Led by the curator there, Howard Hull; thoroughly enjoyable, stimulating, enlightening and engaging weekend with a really lovely, interesting group.

brantwood leaf and fern 6 cropped

 

We’ve submitted another book to the second stage of The Frankenstein exhibition, in Kirkby Gallery, Knowsley, opening this month. This time we focused on the themes of Remorse and Revenge in the book – Frankenstein’s remorse and anguish at having created such a monster; the monster, rejected by Frankenstein and everyone he meets, seeks revenge. But in the end Frankenstein turns to revenging the deaths of his loved ones killed by the monster and the monster finally remorseful beside the bed of his dead creator.

 

The concertina of the book (pages from a lovely copy of Frankenstein) follows the development of the story – told by an explorer (Walton) sailing to the arctic (pop-up boat from a graphic novel edition of the book; the pages all icy white, the words whited out except every instance of revenge, remorse, anguish, repent and compassion); all written in letters to his sister (flying little envelopes addressed to her).

Maps of Frankenstein’s travels are included – Ingolstadt where Frankenstein studied; Geneva where he returns to his family; Chamonix where Frankenstein goes to grieve; Tilbury Docks, London and Edinburgh on his way to the Orkney Islands where he goes to create a companion for the monster.

The final page is a mesostic using the monster’s final speech. Under the concertina pages are little blotters, as Walton might have had on his desk as he wrote the letters telling the story told to him by the dying Frankenstein.

I’ve posted a video of the book here.

 

Fun in Switzerland

Can’t resist adding these pictures from my trip to Switzerland with Jan this June. Stayed in the lovely Berghaus Toni in Reideralp (run by my friend Linda’s cousin) before going to Zermat valley to walk across the suspension bridge near Randa (longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world, almost 500m long). When at Reideralp we did a ‘practice’ bridge (I’m scared of heights so needed to ‘warm up’ before tackling the longer bridge, but in fact the practice bridge was much scarier than the big one) – and half way across a goat started across from the other side! – Billy Goat Gruff and all that. It pushed past me then followed me back to the far side – and then proceeded to lick me! – obviously my sweaty arms and neck were tasty sources of salt for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Altogether a great holiday – so good to be amongst all those mountains –

 

We* submitted this book to the Frankenstein exhibition in Liverpool Central Library (200 years since the publication of Frankenstein) – the lovely Simon Ryder organises an exhibition to go with the Liverpool Artist’s Book Fair every other year (two years ago Clare and I submitted a book to the Shakespeare exhibition).

It was fascinating reading Frankenstein – and realising that I didn’t really know much about the book. This book/sculpture was inspired by the debate between William Lawrence’s materialism and John Abernathy’s spiritualised vitalism, which Mary Shelley would have been familiar with, and the ideas of the time about electricity, mechanisms and life. The ‘book’ is in the form of a modular origami heart (made from two copies of Frankenstein) with origami elements, electric wire and little cogs flying out from it, tumbles of electrical wire in the heart and the whole mounted on printed circuit boards and an old electrical connecting panel.

Simon displayed in in pride of place in the exhibition and it looked great.

*Rock – Tree – Landscape (Clare and I). I do the making but we bounce about ideas together for the designs of our books.

Visitor numbers were down this year, no doubt due to the snow from Siberia that hit Leeds a few days before, but we still had a good fair with most exhibitors getting through and putting on a great show.

Just gathering photos of the stall but here’s one of Becky (Leeds Creative Timebank) and Clare staffing the stall, taken by Ben Anson –

Artists book fair 2018 1

We’ve been having fun with slate (recycled Welsh roof slates) and labyrinths, Haiku and poems – and splashing about some lovely Pantone inks I got from the great Scrap store in Farsley. (All about labyrinths)

Cleaved, drilled, overlapped,

 enclosing warmth, facing storms.

 Wiped clean; a new day.