I have been away in Wales, Snowdonia for a beautiful week of making and walking.
We stayed in a tiny cottage in the middle of fields, forests and mountains (traditionally called 'no where' which I think is both a bit unfair and inaccurate). Behind the cottage was a moss covered hillock, a little stream and a ruined old house. The trees and mosses had made a good start of reclaiming this ruin of slate and stone, knocking down walls with their branches and digging up the floor with their roots. It was all rather spooky, and reminded me of the Huldufolk of Iceland.
Inside, away from moss, roots, spookiness and all, I was busy making.
I am still very excited about art meets words. As I've written before, books have long been some of my favourite things, so to be able to make them feels both magical and exciting.
This is another one-off book, which like the Insect Book came together spontaneously out of the bag of papers and tools I had bought with me. As I have now become more familiar with some of the book making processes, I am planning a couple of books for limited, multiple print runs. Watch this space for an etsy shop.
The text of this book revolves around the English tradition of the Mummers Play.
Each time I have seen it performed (in pubs, in rather rough costumes, played by local men), the Mummers play is almost identical. There is a scene where a doctor character enters to heal a knight, who has fallen during a battle.
Despite the knight often being declared dead at the point of him losing the battle, the doctor calls out;
"I have a little bottle here, that cures all aches and pains"
Each time I have heard it, this phrase has deeply appealed to me. There is impossibility and yet also such allure in the promise.
I used photographs in this book for the first time too, making it also a sort of self portrait.
Who wouldn't love to know what that little bottle contains, which is so strong in the old story that it can bring the dead back to life? Which can cure all our aches and our pains. I don't have that bottle, but for a week I did have the snow covered mountains, the open sky, the unbroken silence of the night. And, for a few golden moments, that was a cure too.