September 23, 2021

Photobook research

The books below were presented as inspiration as part of a Domestika course Experimental Embroidery Techniques on Paper by Gimena Romero. The course and some of the books are in Portuguese/Spanish hence the subtitles. I took the course as I am very interested in using other materials and techniques to alter images however I had not until now considered how these same techniques could be used in the creation of the photobook itself.

In the book above what most interested me was the use of layering to add meaning to what was underneath. I’ve been experimenting with semi-opaque paper as a way to alter or add to images so using this technique in a book format I found particularly interesting. I’d like to further look at paper qualities such as texture and opacity to hide/reveal the image underneath and perhaps use an image to hide/reveal another image layered beneath it. I also like how the page with the bird tells a story of it’s own, on one side it looks to be escaping her mouth and as the page is turned it appears to be looking back at the girl in conversation. A very clever use of visual storytelling.

I like how the elements here use visual metaphor to add an element of visual poetry to the written poetry in the book. You have to untie the string which fastens the book titled Tied Feet and the images (printed on both sides) are like “learning secrets”. I like the idea of discovering or learning secrets hidden beneath.

What I love most about the book Swan Lake is that as the pages are turned the reverse of the papercut serves as a different visual transition into another page.

Here the teacher Gimena Romero shares handmade books that she’s created. One called Mist and the other Papa two cents. I found the way she added text to the books very intriguing and I like how she described the vellum as “a glass that gets foggy and things start to appear”. In the final image, the figure is embroidered to add depth and texture and then is shown through a cut out again adding depth and dimension to the page.

There are some bookbinding courses that have caught my attention. Mostly because I have been looking to incorporate embroidery as an element into my work.

The style above reminds me of the Xian book created by Beijing Silvermine. I really like the idea of people being able to interact and unfold a story with this style.

The Hedebo Embroidery Tunnel immediately caught my attention. I had the idea of images being slotted into each of the levels, to be pulled out and viewed as they reveal the next layer underneath.

This was an interesting idea to present a selection of images that sit within sub sections/series.

I’ve considered using stitching in my work as a nod to early female art history education, as well as an idea of our identities being woven together by pieces of our history and experience. Stitching together an archive of images which represent that identity would be an interesting way to display the work.

The Photobook: a history VOLUME 1 p7, references John Gossage as saying about photobooks that “Firstly, it should contain great work. Secondly, it should make that work function as a concise world within the book itself. Thirdly, it should have a design that complements what is being dealt with. And finally, it should deal with content that sustains an ongoing interest.”

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