July 2018

Liverpool Book Art
Frankenstein 2018 Book Art Exhibition

180408 FRN Frankenstein title page Gutenberg180405 FRN Frankenstein cover3C3A3208

To celebrate the 200 years since the first publication of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus’ in 1818, Liverpool Book Art commissioned artists to make books for the Frankenstein 2018 Book Art exhibition, held in the Liverpool Central Library.

I submitted two proposals ‘Spliced’ and ‘Blister’ to Simon Ryder, the curator for Liverpool Book Art.

Spliced

IMG_1198IMG_1217IMG_1204

Spliced is made from a photocopied facsimile of the 1818 edition of Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly, published by Project Gutenberg (2008), interleaved with photocopied pages sliced from the spine of James Whale’s Frankenstein [starring Boris Karloff], edited by Richard J. Anobile (Picador, 1974). This hybrid of the 1818 facsimile with a 1970’s photo-book creates a third book that I hope questions authorship and ownership.

Blister

hello CVANEM postcard (Tim Shore)IMG_2367

Blister taps into fears and anxiety about medication, medicine and science. Its laser cut pages reference the familiar blister packs of prescription medication, but the tablets are missing and just the shell of the packaging remains as a series of pages of diminishing size.

The concertina-folded pages reflect the unusual embedded narrative structure of the Frankenstein novel. The pages are ordered from big to small, and the dimensions follow the A Series Paper sizes where each page is half the size of the one preceding it. The page sequence reflects the framing structure of the narrative.

The first and largest page (A3 folded to A4) represents Captain Walton’s letters to his sister; the second (A4 folded to A5) is Victor Frankenstein’s story recounted in Captain Walton’s letters; the third is the Monster’s story embedded in Victor Frankenstein’s story; and the fourth and smallest page (A6 folded to A7) represents the history of the De Lacey family, which is detailed in the Monster’s story – the De Lacey’s are the family who the monster tries unsuccessfully to befriend.

The concertina format also suggests the long and detailed medication leaflets that are fiendishly folded and included in boxed medication.

The exhibition will tour to the Kirkby Centre in Knowsley later in the year.

Liverpool Book Arts
Frankenstein 2018
Liverpool Central Library
14 May to 9 August 2018
Kirkby Gallery, Knowsley
17 September 2018 to 26 January 2019

Exhibition photographs by Robin Clewley