Gawain

 

My first Artists book, produced in 1997 and Winner of the 1997 Society of Bookbinders Competition for the Complete Book.

Produced as a response to seeing the opera by Harrison Birtwistle, using words from the libretto by the poet David Harsent. The opera , first performed in 1991 at Covent Garden, was closely based on the medieval story of Gawain and the Green Knight, bringing out the drama in a raw and contemporary way.

I set myself the task of producing and printing all the images and books within a year and a day.

The Book is printed in red, green and black, presenting Gawain and the Knight as alter egos, and in keeping with the theme it is made from very natural materials. There are 19 woodcut images on hand-made Nepalese lokta paper, approx size 16 x 20”; and the accompanying text is also cut out of wood. It is bound in thick, green, cow-hide embossed with woodcut designs.
The hides are untrimmed, half a cow per volume , making each of the twenty books unique.
42 pages.
20 copies
Copy available to view on request at the V&A National Art Library

A further miniature edition of around 60 was made in 1998, with all the images re-cut, and printed as a concertina book, with computer generated text, and hand-made paper covered covers. The books measuring 14×18 cm/ 5”x7”, were boxed in dark green covered solander boxes with a gold embossed image, lined with green and gold marbled paper. ( box size 6”x8” )