Sunday, March 28, 2010

Debrina's latest update....Roots Beneath the Layers....

Before the chains of the well lead to ....
(note - since this photo, a skull has been added to the lower blue panel)

Lifting the shroud....

The tree....finished...pages turn to reveal the pages shown above...

Layers and...

Ok, lots of lovely photos, but I better fill you in now on my thought processes to date.  Last time I posted about this book, I talked a little about the Anglo Saxon belief in Yggdrasil - the World Tree.  This mythological construct comprised of three parts: Asgard - the Upperworld (Heaven), Misgard or Middle Earth (our subconscious existence) and Hel (Underworld) see my last posting for more detail on this.

When Rome invaded Britain, it also brought with it Christianity.  Christianity by-passed the Anglo Saxons for some time, however.  Then, during the early Dark Ages, it slowly began to break down the resistance of the upper echelons of society and many conversions took place. Incredibly, and maybe somewhat surprisingly, the Saxon belief system was not lost during the conversions; instead, it was assimilated and in a sense preserved.  In my pages (the first three you see) - I have tried to illustrate this assimilation and evolution.
These last photos, below, show how I have begun to look at these Anglo Saxon constructs in more detail...
So, the shroud photo to the left of the tree will develop more to reflect this....

Love Debs

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kim's final contribution to Lisa S. 'labyrinth' book

Or how to avoid importing a biohazard!

Further research into New Zealand's importation of living or once living items has caused me to reconsider my pages for Lisa's book.
On reflection I realised that in order for the book to continue on it's merry way without risk of rejection by customs I needed to rehash my piece in Lisa's book 'Labyrinth'. Determined to keep with my theme of exploration of natural labyrinths in nature, I opted for a little makeover and have finally finished it all!

Welcome to the labyrinth of the Tree.

A year in the life of a tree.

Spring and the unfurling of new leaves and the contrasting colour of new brown bark.

Of course the cabinet remains, but more of that later!

On to autumns golden decay and the inner structure of the leaf revealed.

Summers green dress...

the page spread.

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the living tree

and a pocket to place items gathered from nature.

The bones of the tree revealed by winters cold breath.

and the page opened out.

But, then there's the cabinet door...

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Where fossils have been created to display the wonderful natural labyrinths found in nature.

And you can still touch!

The full page spread as it appears in the book.

If you would like to read more about all the juicy creative details, jump on over to my blog.
I'd love to see you there.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lisa J's Final Contribution to Deb's Book: Through the Eye Glass

These are my final additions to Deb's book which is
now in the very capable and creative hands of Alicia.

On this page I've created a Victorian mourning theme...

Tin type photo in an old watch glass mounted on a bit of book cover.
Part of the fun of working this page was finding the right combination
of blacks and charcoalsso as to create layers and depth.

Optical lense with a steampunk style assemblage built on top
 to resemble pocketwatch. Time waits for no man...

A pleated pocket created from black silk and lace.

Black lampwork heart (not my work) with nails driven through
and wire assembled nest..which is my creation.

You can see the cream lace from my first page peeking out around the sides...

A side view which shows my first page on the back side.
This is going to be one very thick book when it is finally
bound but...probably not a challenge for the brilliantly talented Debrina!

for more details about the story behind the page.

Now it's my turn with Kim's book: Fragments, Vestiges and Remains so stay tuned.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

alicia's final contributions to kim's book: fragments, vestiges & remains

i am pleased to say that i have completed my additions to kim's book, fragments, vestiges and remains and it is currently en route to lisa j. you can read more about it on my blog:

around the glass door on page one (see this post for more details), i've added beeswax and acrylic to the copper tape edging i did to give it an aged look and make it a wee bit less coppery.

another view:

i LOVE how kim's glass bottles with scrolls in them work so well with my page too:

here is that page in its entirety:

it's not really this red in person, but i had a mishap with some red alcohol ink that i was using on a different project. as it turns out, i love it. phew!

the page was a bit top-heavy to i cut off the bottom and added a stitched and embroidered pieces of black linen to the top to even things out. i love the contrast in texture of the different fabrics:

at the very beginning, i wanted to find five elements that i could use one of each in everyone's book so there was that one, simple element that matched in each of my five book contributions. i found these elements in seth apter's etsy shop. thank you seth!

here is the whole completed second page in the book:

and the spread of both pages in the book, all ready to go:

i am just loving the side view of fragments, vestiges and remains!

i forgot to take photos of each of the books within the book: the diary pages behind the photo of della on the "white" page and the history of the portland underground under the trap door on the "black" page. maybe i can con one of the girls into taking some for me. assembling those were part of the most time consuming aspects of the book, but so much fun! the pages are aged with instant coffee and made to look very old. they look pretty darn cool if i do say so myself.

i now have deb's book and have already started in on it: though the eye glass. so check back soon as i'll have images to post.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Round 3 - Debrina's Contribution to Lisa J's book

I've chosen to play with Lisa's title, "Roots Beneath the Layers" to explore the shamanistic beliefs of my European ancestors.  I've chosen Yggdrasil - the World Tree - as my focus for this round.  I first learned about this cosmological structure in Brian Bate's "The Real Middle Earth". 

My pages fold up into a nice neat signature of 12 pieces (see above illustration).  3 is a universally magic number and Yggdrasil comprises of 3 parts.  I want to concentrate on each part separately, so with some witchery stitchery, I have constructed a 3 part layout to my segment of pages.

The first part is the upperworld - Asgard - where light, elvish beings, the gods, goddesses and the deities reside.  If this sounds reminiscent of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, you'd be correct.  Tolkien was fascinated by Saxon mythology and drew his inspiration from their cosmological and mythological constructs.

The book unfolds to reveal the rest of the tree...the underworld (the lower part of the tree is hinted at with the quote above - this is not stuck down yet; nor are these white pages finished...much more layering to do...).

The middle part of Yggdrasil is revealed.  Midgard is the real middle earth, the spiritual world of living beings, such as animals, plants and human beings.  I will be using the pages to the left of the tree to illustrate these realms as I am describing them here.

Finally, Yggdrasil is revealed in its entirety - Niflheim (Hel) are the roots of the tree.  Here is the Underworld, where Nidhogg the dragon sleeps and the dead reside.  Hel (Christian root word for Hell- scuse the pun) is the powerhouse of the subconscious; inhabited by underworld entities that we may fear but where we may also obtain our greatest source of potency.