The Artists Book (for the Millennium)

2000 –  This was made as part of an exhibition to celebrate and record the Millennium – each of twenty centuries illustrated by a piece of art especially commissioned by the Star Gallery. Carolyn Trant was allotted the Twentieth Century.

… “The Twentieth Century is the most difficult to encapsulate because change has accelerated so rapidly and there has been no time for the dust to settle. I decided I had to subdivide it into decades, which suggested a sequential format and as a maker of Bookworks , a large, faux, ‘coffee-table’ art book seemed appropriate.

I took on the challenge of reproducing or illustrating the work of ten artists as woodcuts… Artists have always copied each other’s work and still do – Picasso for example reworked Velasquez and Manet – so I was working within a tradition as well as commenting on a new phenomenon, the Art Book. I had to work at great speed.

My choice of ten artists was bound to controversial – how could such a choice possibly be made? I went for an autobiographical one that reflected my life and influences. I represented a variety of the arts, not just painting, Unlike other books I have made, the text is handwritten.

The pages were encased in a binding of burnt ephemera and rubbish; in 2000, photographs from the war in Kosovo as well as those showing how large numbers of people scratch a living from gigantic rubbish tips around the world, made this seems a fitting image for our extraordinary polarised and fractured century.”

The book sold and is somewhere in the USA and sadly I have no photo of the cover.