This wonderful book cover was found inside a set of very old encyclopaedias I bought. several years ago. I have been waiting to do something creative with it and this summer provided the opportunity to finally make use of it. I had initially thought about drawing on the cover but remained hesitant about changing its charm and character. I finally settled on retaining the original cover but making a new insert.
My attempts to find out about Mr Treen have been difficult - he remains elusive. The closest link was to a head gardener in Liverpool called William Treen. while the time line was accurate, there was not enough information to confirm if the two gentleman were related.
It is fascinating to think this simple brown cover has survived for over a hundred and fifty years. By way of an introduction I began with an imaginative letter addressed to Mr Treen inquiring about plans he may have held for the start of the a new year in 1878. Taking my cue from his title - Botany Book, I have created a new insert. The internal pages comprise of a mixture of drawings and plant specimens gathered from my own garden during the period of national lockdown March - June 2020.
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.