Wednesday, October 21, 2009

a book of hours of sorts...

I've just finished another booky object – this time it's a simple concertina arrangement (with 12 pages)

well simple in form does not necessarily mean simple in the making... this one had me tearing my hair out!

The idea was simple enough – 12 pages for 12 photos taken of my work Ex libris (installed on the property on the site of a vanished school – just a few hundreds metres from the house and studio here at sams creek)

Ex Libris (9am)

I took a picture of the work on the hour – every hour - from dawn to dusk... and decided I would create a book from the photos of my books - as a sort of secular book of hours (in fact I'm titling the piece 'hora libri' which can be interpreted as 'hour book' or 'book of hours')

for the uninitiated – Books of Hours were personal prayerbooks of the devout and status-conscious society of the late medieval/early renaissance era – the most stunning examples included lavishly painted miniatures, exquisite calligraphy with illuminated capitals executed on vellum – the covers of some had precious gems embedded – all very bling bling!

(A great resource to read/see more about them is the John Hartman volume 'Books of Hours')

I played around with quite a few ideas for my 'book of hours' but concertina offered the best solution – this format offered a linear arrangement for my photos – and by choosing robust materials I envisaged that the piece may be displayed open – and upright – without support

and so off I set to making the piece

I've utilised old encyclopaedia covers (left over from making serpens volumen) to give the piece rigidity, covered with waxed buckram (all one piece – the hinges are integrated) – getting the very long single piece of buckram attached and smooth and lovely was EEEEEKKKK – and of course I forgot to put the internal buckram pieces on for the hinges before I attached the external cover (of course!) EEEEEEKKKK!! (note to reader – this is NOT the actual words uttered at the time.... I've given you the cleaned up family version of what was uttered) - so of course I had to gingerly remove the turn-over, quickly paste in the inner buckram hinges, then re-paste the covers and re-work.... (those corners were hard enough the first time around!)

finally it was looking good

On the inside of the structure I've used some of last years 'network' ink drawings – which work surprisingly well with the content and colours – and on top of these are the individual photos.

The piece stands wonderfully well without support (success!)

I like it arranged as a star – so that the circularity as opposed to linear nature of time is hinted at.

I'm planning on making another 2 concertina 'hora libri' – so that there's an edition of 3 - but I suspect each in the edition will be a bit different...

1 comment:

  1. This looks great - I know how difficult it is to get all that buckram down perfectly and having a few problems along the way must have really had you cursing. But you'd never know to look at the finished product. Very elegant.


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