In February 2007 I completed a 14-month long research fellowship at the British Library. The Pearson Creative Research Fellowship enables one artist or writer each year to research within the BL collections and to present these findings to groups of learners in the form of workshops.
|As part of the culmination of the fellowship, each fellow creates a piece of work to represent their time spent at the British Library. I published Homeward Bound or An Exercise in Collecting Beginnings and created three prints, each in an edition of 30, which were exhibited in the Ritblat Gallery at the Library.||Throughout my time at the Library, I searched out domestic and everyday objects and rituals, and these findings have formed the basis for ‘Homeward Bound’. My research threw up diverse subject matter: from Victorian mourning jewellery and electric tablecloths, to ghosts of stockings, teardrop-embroidered handkerchiefs and skull-stitched dresses. And these various items, alongside my own textual and visual reactions to them required a suitable container for them to be immortalized in. As a result, Homeward Bound was born.||The publication is inspired by a chapbook, a seventeenth
century cheap novel, sold unstitched and unbound, to be constructed at
home on the kitchen table. Homeward Bound is therefore loose-leaf, containing
pages of all sizes and stocks. There is no inherent order – this
is decided by the reader.
||Ghosts of Stockings is a small booklet of photomontages created after seeing the satirist George Cruikshank's illustrations for a humorous and critical essay about spirit rapping from 1863. Cruikshank remained unconvinced that it was possible for mediums to contact the dead, believing that if there were ghosts, then there must also be a whole parallel world of ghost tailors, ghost washerwomen and indeed ghosts of stockings.The photomontages contained within the pages mimic this idea, removing the bodies from a series of old, discarded photos, leaving just the items of clothing.||The cover, printed in fluorescent ink, if left out in the sun, will discolour and fade over time.||A large sheet (440 x 580 mm) into which text is perforated. The typeface was designed to function as if one was cutting the letters in a line with a pair of scissors from one side of the sheet of paper to the other. The piece was inspired by an old English custom dictating that if a person should give a sharp object (scissors, a brooch or a razor for example) as a gift to a friend, in return the friend must pay a nominal sum to avoid ‘cutting love’. ‘Cutting love’ was believed to bring bad luck, the loss of a friendship or even death. This poster however cannot harm the reader with paper cuts, as when torn, the words leave only rough edges.|
|Homeward Bound, front jacket with introduction poster||Inside front jacket||Loose-leaf contents||Loose-leaf contents||Ghosts of Stockings, one of a series of photo-montages||Ghosts of Stockings booklet, wrap-around jacket||Use Me Well, perforated text poster|