September 5, 2010

weaving text and image: book making

front cover of allah ma'alik

panoramic view of allah ma'alik, followed by individual pages

arizona sunset, black and white and colour editions

i've had a long summer in which i decided that since i can't find a place where i could learn book making, i would teach myself. the first book will be remade...neatly, as i didn't know that you could use printmaking paper in the inkjet printer. i tried to transfer the text using turpentine transfer but it didn't work out, so i over wrote with graphite on a couple of pages, then did the rest by hand. not very neat, but i will re make 'a saguaro sampler', possibly in black and white rather than colour.

the next two books were much more successful. the second book is called 'Allah Ma'alik' and was inspired by my distress over what has been going on over the last year and a half. the prints featured are power, carnage, hunger, and loss. this book is with artchowk in karachi. the third utilises my arizona rock and plant studies and my poem 'arizona sunset'. i've sent it to the williamsburg art house in new york as an entry for their competition called 'tri-fold.' there is a colour version as well as black and white. the prints are collagraphs, the coloured ones inked a la poupee, with additions of silk fibres, silver and copper leaf, tea washes and hand made paper fragments. the coloured version has a hard cover, while the black and white one is assembled on a long piece of pure silk. both have stiffened cloth covers, one cotton, the other silk; i've used my very precious bottle of gac 400.

all the books are variations on the accordion format. Allah Ma'alik is a unique bookwork. so much has gone into it that i don't think i would be able to reproduce it, particularly as i've used very free hand techniques to add to the plates, which are based on news photos (courtesy The News newspaper): smoke painting, burning and water color, as well as photo transfers.

this is the work that i want to continue with; integrating words with visual images. and i like the idea of very small editions, although i'd be ready to do up to 25 if the prints are more 'manageable' in the way of printing: i would perhaps avoid doing things like smoke painting, though i could do burnt edges. and photo transfers are also laborious if you are doing a larger edition.

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