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Defence Pages

June 21, 2015

Yesterday at The Dove I was reminded of another outdoor book. In 2003 Bron and her book-arts students at the Dove made a collaborative book on the fence at the back of the print studio. It coincided with the invasion of Iraq, and soon we were referring to it as Defence Pages. Some of us were involved in anti-war activities, and the shared making of this art-work in a peaceful rural haven gave us relief from the daily awfulness of the news. We lost ourselves in painting, swapping pages, sloshing on white emulsion and doing more painting, swapping again, cutting up and reassembling until we were satisfied with the pages. Then we attached them to the fence and wove in grasses and horsetails and strips of calico and an old bird’s-nest.

That was three years before I bought my first digital camera, so I have no photos to upload. Several of us made books documenting the making and subsequent weathering of these pages. Here are a few scans of my book, a zigzag of 48 pages. I re-used card that had been printed on one side, and stitched it at each fold with raffia onto spiraea twigs. The lettering too is stitched with raffia. When closed, the book is 4.5 inches deep and 6.5 inches wide and fits into a shoe-box. Open, it can stretch to almost 30 feet. Click on the pictures to see them full-size.

First two pages

First two pages

Pages 19-20

Pages 19-20

Pages 29-30

Pages 29-30

Pages 31-32

Pages 31-32

Pages 45-46

Pages 45-46

Last two pages

Last two pages

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