“Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance” Carl Sandberg.
This book of drawings was created following research into the lost libraries of Norwich: sadly many having met their end through fire. One report which described the destruction of the City Library ( 1994) stated
"Make no mistake this was a tragedy" (James Anthony).
Over 150 thousand books were burnt and many irreplaceable historical documents were lost. The smell of burning filled the city once more as hot ash fell to the ground. This quote is written over and over throughout the book. In doing so the words become lost as letterforms become illegible, dissolving into the dark shadows, broken and disintegrating in a chaotic dance across the page. Legibility gives way in favour of abstract marks. Clusters of small letters dissolve and float randomly, waiting to settle once more. Fleeting moments captured across the pages: suspended remnants of what was and perhaps what can still be. After all fragments that survive these tragic fires often become the nucleus around which new libraries are restored.
I have chosen a double gate fold structure to bind the pages. It sympathetically mirrors this sense of chaos by allowing the pages to open in numerous combinations. It disrupts the usual sequence of linear narratives and offers instead an interactive circular reading experience. The reader is presented with choice - they are the ones who piece this story back together - they decide how this 'story' will unfold. A glimpse into some of those combinations can be seen below.
Reverberations Double Gate Fold Washi Paper, Sumi Ink, Gold Leaf, Arches Velin, Thread. Open L 151cm x H 34cm Closed L38.5cm. x H 34cm