Finishing touches done, and work is ready to be shown at Turn the Page Artist Book Fair next week.
Here is a preview!
All is Unfolding
To breathe here;
toeing a line between 'two eternities'
the past and the present.
There is nothing like a deadline to make you finish work. The never ending question of whether something is complete has to be put to one side. Decisions have to be made!
'What Lies Beneath' will be new work for this years Turn the Page. I feel the cylindrical shape is suggestive of scientific core samples used by geologists. By examining 'what lies beneath' scientists can identify the numerous elements stored in rock, ice and earth. They also reveal the ancient history of the planet.
I have used this as a reference point and particularly like the ambiguousness of the title - it can refer to the practical and everyday as well as the mired emotions that we all experience. Familiar themes regarding the Arctic are explored alongside 'fiery' aspects of earths molten core.
'Infiltrating the System' is an annual bookmark project co ordinated by Sarah Bodman. (www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/bkmks13/index.html ) My contribution for 2016 pays homage to the men of the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition. The Karluk was one of the last old historic wooden ships. The vessel sailed North in August 1913 at a similar time Shackelton's Endurance went to the south. Both vessels met a similar fate and involved strenuous journeys of seven hundred miles in order to be rescued. The Endurance story ended happily and is well documented while the Karluk ended tragically and has been neglected until recently.
The Ice Master by Jennifer Niven is a story of adventure, betrayal and survival. Ill prepared and in a rush to be underway, serious reservations were raised about the Karluk's sea worthiness. the crew were young and largely inexperienced. Expedition leader Stefansson was ambitious, and ignored these issues at great cost. Soon after setting out the ship became trapped in ice (August 1913). The men were to spend the next year trying to survive extreme conditions before finally being rescued in September 1914.
Extreme circumstances bring out the best and the worst in men. It is a remarkable story of survival.
" We were drifting, drifting - we knew not to what haven, in the silent, icy fastness of the North"
Ernest Chafe, Messroom boy, age 19.
Diary entry Bjarne Mamen, Assistant Topographer age 22.
"Yes, the time goes, 1913 is gone and will never return. New Years Eve is quiet for us... but I have chosen this life myself and will have to be content with it. Well, I am content although it looks dark many a time ; the perils threaten one continuously and one has to be wide awake and vigilant, but I hope everything will be well and ...that the new year of 1914 will bring us better luck than the last one did"
While the new year did bring eventual rescue for some of the men, Mamen was among those that did not return home. Sadly he died. His words are so touching. Those that did come home returned to find a world at war.
I am also part of Bookscapes Collective.
Bookscapes is a group of six artists that have developed a group practice specialising in site specific interventions and exhibitions.