If you have been following me through this last year of lockdown you will see that recycling the everyday left overs has slowly become an even bigger part of my practice. This began through necessity but now is just an utter delight to take the ordinary and elevate it to something else.
Predominantly this has happened through paper making which you can see more about specifically here. But I realised it was well and truly time to share some of the books that have come from all this papermaking. I will add, I am still very much in the exploratory stages of this adventure with the papers to see what they are capable of and how light fast the colours are, so I am armed with knowledge for future projects. It has so far been a very rewarding process and a little bit like playing with magic. I am known now for not throwing anything away but squirrelling everything away just in case! My recycling bins have definitly had much less use in recent times.
Wherever I travel I will always gravitate towards flea markets or charity shops. Part of my practice is the searching out of photographs, postcards, stamps, documents and books from the place I am visiting then I will expolore the history of what I find. Iceland was no exception.Reykjavik has a flea market in the old Harbour close to where I was staying. A couple of hours rumaging brough up some proper treasures. This particular book began with a black and white cigarette card of a place called Siglufjörður. It is the most northern town in Iceland and also the name of the northern coastline.
I drew a map of Iceland and used a zine fold to fold it down to the size of the picture card and stitched the card on the front and a description on the back. The envelope case came from a first day cover from the flea market too.
Amazingly with all that’s going on in the world I had the opportunity to go to Iceland. I got to stay in a flat underneath a little museum in the old harbour area of Reykjavik for a couple of weeks to explore, draw and make some books. I explored outside of Reykjavik a bit and the thing that struck me the most was the colour. There is so much colour everywhere from houses to landscape. I have so enjoyed soaking up these colours partly because they are so different to home. Will post later some of my watercolour experiments. For now these two books were made from pages of Icelandic poetry, abstract marks using colours I’d seen on my road trips and a paper bag from a very good bread shop (I am going on my friends say so here as I am coeliac and couldn’t try any, although the smell was amazing!) So here they are my little nod to ‘A Sense of Place’ in Iceland.
Appologies its taken me longer than planned to post these drawings! Anyway here you go four more drawings from out of the windows during lockdown, I am about half way through the book I made to house these drawings so the next round will be room aspects I think and possibly out of the front door, stay tuned….
This book is also about Kochi. I began and ended my trip there so had collected many bits and bobs. But this book was particularly inspired by my new rubbish collecting friend Maggie (mentioned in a previous post). She gave me her plane ticket from Delhi to Kochi because I had told her how much I loved things that are stamped. Her ticket had three stamps all different shapes and colours so that was my starting point.
The rest is made up from tickets, newspaper cuttings and scraps of lottery tickets. The lottery seems to be a big thing in India, maybe its just the same all over the world. Most places I travelled through had stalls selling tickets. I started noticing little piles of torn up tickets at regular intervals which spoke to me about hope and then the crushing disappointment that can follow. We can often hang our hopes on something that turns out to be not what we thought or expected. I wanted to use these tiny pieces of paper and make them back into something good. They also have a lovely stamped bit so my aesthetic needs were met to!
I had found the matchbox cover but it was missing the draw/box bit so I needed to construct one to fit perfectly inside. Finally I used a section of a small map on the back of a flyer for a restaurant I had been recommended but never went to because on my first night in Kochi I discovered the most delicious aubergine and yogurt curry and ate it two nights running and subsequently dreamed of having it again on my return!
Having spent the last few weeks learning and playing with folds I have become more and more sculptural with my book experiments. I love making something that is small and simple but folds out into extravagant shapes. See what you think…
So I decided it was finally time to enter the world of YouTube. It seems a good place to collect all my little videos and will act as a kind of archive for my work. If you use YouTube please subscribe to my channel and I will endeavour to keep you entertained with folding things, books and in due course some ‘how to’ workshops…