MY LIFE UNFOLDS SIDE1. MY LIFE UNFOLDS SIDE 2 EXHIBITION NATIONAL LIBRARY ARTIST'S BOOKS..... BLAUGUSTINE
MY LIFE UNFOLDS
2012 Accordion book. Oil-based inks and mixed media on primed paper. 33cm x 11.7cm closed; about 2metres long unfolded.
Created between March and June 2012 in response to an invitation by Mary Husted to participate in the exhibition she curated,
Open Books: sixteen artists and the Chinese folded book. Each of the artists was given one or more blank Chinese sketchbooks and
invited to fill them in any way they chose. The exhibition opened at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth on 30th June 2012.
Finding the right medium for the message is one of my primary concerns but sometimes the medium itself triggers the message.
It was only when I saw this particular blank book that I decided to try and condense my whole life on both sides of its twenty-six folds,
focusing only on intense experiences which, even if in the past, are still present to me.
The long sequence of narrow upright panels reminded me of walls so I used the technique of monoprinting from stencils to build
compositions which aimed to echo the monumentality of ancient frescoes, on a small scale. To create a mural-like base, I roughly
brushed both sides of the paper with burnt-umber gesso. I drew, then cut out of thin card all the stencils for one panel at a time,
inking them with oil-based relief-printing inks. The separate pieces were printed face down by vigorously rubbing the back with a
wooden spoon. Each stencil was re-inked and re-printed several times in order to achieve colour intensity and texture. Printing
through my etching press would have damaged the book's binding so I used the spoon method throughout.
Example of stencils. Stencil inked in blue oil-based relief -printing ink. Stencil face down ready to be rubbed with spoon. THE BOOK UNFOLDED: Side One Side Two