Book Becomes Book is a unique, digital artists’ book created specifically to be read on the Kindle. It is a fun and thoughtful read which takes the form of a poetic narrative that uses the features of the ebook reader to bring the story to life in an imaginative way.
The artwork was originally created as an artistic experiment, and was so popular that I made available for a wider audience.
“This is a beautiful work, playing between the possibilities of the kindle and it’s book ancestor- embracing the screen and exploring the page….”
– Amazon User Review
“Easily as beautiful as a physical book. Oddly moving and incredibly engaging narrative. Great to see someone playing with the idea of what an (e)book can be.”
– Amazon User Review
“A nice reminder on my Kindle of what art is and can do, and what we need books for.”
Written in the midst of travel and at points of reflection, Journeys Become Stories is an eclectic and thoughtful selection of illustrated poems. This volume represents Chris’ first collection of Poetic Experiments, a series of small poems about those small everyday moments that often define our character and make us the person that we are.
The individual poems can be found on my Instagram and YouTube channels and the book is available direct from the printer, here.
‘Goethe’s Divan for Divination’ is a playful artwork which takes a selection of Goethe’s romantic and colourful poems and makes them suitable for divination.
The book work was originally made for exhibition as part of a group show in Düsseldorf which responded to the work of famous poets, investigating them from a different angle. Goethe’s poetry (and psychically the ‘Divan’) has often been inspired by the work of the Persian poet Hafez, a writer who’s books are frequently used for bibliomancy (divining the future).
The book is intended to be a light-hearted introduction to Geothe’s poetry and includes the original annotations from Alexander Rogers’ 1890 translation.
Goethe is not an author I knew particularly well, so the exhibition provided a great excuse to get to know the work better. I particularly loved the connection between Goethe and Hafez, so wanted to draw a creative parallel between them. I hope you enjoy the experience of happening upon particular poems and discovering Goethe’s poems afresh.
The current edition of ‘Goethe’s Divan for Divination’ is a paperback. An earlier pamphlet edition is also available from the shop and is featured below.
Goethe’s Divan for Divination
Goethe’s Divan for Divination is based on the West-Eastern Divan by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and takes a selection of Goethe’s romantic and colourful poems and makes them suitable for bibliomantic study.
Goethe’s West-Eastern Divan for Divination is based on the West-Eastern Divan by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
The book takes a selection of Goethe’s romantic and colourful poems and makes them suitable for bibliomantic study. The connection is that Goethe’s work in the Divan was inspired by the poetry of the Persian poet Hafez, whose work in turn is said to be used to tell the future.
‘The Library of Chance Encounter’ is a pocket-sized artwork which tells the story of a single meeting between two people and the influence that shared experience has. The work is comprised of a series of cards which contain a text, an image or a barcode that can be read with a smartphone. The images and barcodes link to real books (which can be read online) and collectively these create a virtual library, a library that spins out from that one chance encounter.
“My intention is to create a work that is intimate in size and pleasing to hold and engage with. This kind of one-to-one encounter with the work is important as it heightens the personal nature of the unfolding story. I’m intrigued by the potential that technology holds (especially in providing seemingly unlimited access to literature) and I love the tension created by combining virtual and physical elements because over time the work could begin to fragment, just like memory, as links become broken.”
Specifications: 26 card tiles (6.5 x 6.5cm), with text, cover photo or QR code on front and wood-effect on back. The work is an edition of ten and copies are held in public and private collections.
The Library of Chance Encounter
‘The Library of Chance Encounter’ is a pocket-sized artwork which tells the story of a single meeting between two people and the influence that shared experience has.
‘The Temporal Guide’ is a story that takes place in the Science Museum. It follows two visitors who travel through the building and through its history gallery-by-gallery.
“I had the idea to make an alternative ‘guide’ to the museum after seeing some old photographs showing familiar spaces housing very different objects. I thought it would be interesting to give life to these images and to paint a picture of the museum as a dynamic, living place.”
‘The Unassuming Collection’ is an immersive poem set in a library that unfolds gently over thirty pages. Each right-hand page contains a striking image taken from an existing book and each left-hand page features a line of text and a QR code. When the QR code is scanned (using any barcode reading app) the reader is taken to the complete book that the image was taken from. In effect ‘The Unassuming Collection’ is a library within a book, each line a departure point for a new experience. The books that make up this ‘library’ relate to the text of the poem, creating an interesting collection.
“I love the way that through reading books can be a gateway to another world and a window on another way of life. I also find it incredible that technology, specifically the Internet, can be a portal through which we can access a whole host of objects that we would not have otherwise had access to. I wanted to bring the two ideas together in one artwork; a poem that could be immersive and a book that could hold many other books within it.”
The first edition of the ‘The Unassuming Collection’ was created as a full-colour pamphlet. See below.
‘Between the Lines’ could be seen as an unconventional guide to Paris. The book is made up of brief texts on left-hand pages, where the artist describes personal encounters that took place in specific parts of the city. On right-hand pages are cool, clipped descriptions of the same location taken from travel guides. The real fragmented memories become a story; an unfolding tale of two people in a landscape. The real city lies somewhere between the two descriptions; hidden between the lines.
‘Between the Lines’ is one of several books from the series ‘The Good Reader’, curated by the artist Sharon Kivland for Ma Bibliothèque. Each book is an artists’ own imaginative response to the act of reading. This book has subsequently become part of the Tate’s book art collection.
“The art work came about after I discovered a stash of old Paris travel guides online on the Open Library. Memories flooded back as I flicked through the guides to find familiar sights. It was surprising to realise how specific places had particular feelings attached (some welcoming, others not so) – the experience was like going through old diaries or scrap-books. The gulf between the dry objectivity of the guide book descriptions and the heat of the memories was striking.”
Specifications: A5 pamphlet, 30 pages. Exterior: burgundy and black text on blue paper, Interior: black and burgundy text on cream paper. 50 copies, signed and editioned. 2015.
The Good Reader: Between the Lines
‘Between the Lines’ could be seen as an unconventional guide to Paris.
‘Lives and Books’ was created for ‘An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street’ – a fascinating international project founded in response to the car bombing of a notable street in Iraq that happened on 5th March 2007.
Al-Mutanabbi Street (named after the celebrated Iraqi poet) was a street of booksellers and an intellectual hub – the intention of the project was to invite artists to create new books, to reassemble some of those lost books in a symbolic way.
‘Lives and Books’ is a green, A6, pamphlet-style book featuring lines of crossed out text that leave single exposed to create a poem, a poem which draws parallels between the flow of our lives and the experience of reading.
“I was intrigued to submit a book to ‘An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street’ as the idea of symbolically replacing the lost collection seemed like a thoughtful response to such a brutal act. I didn’t want the book to be overtly political, as it is impossible for me to understand the day-to-day experience of someone immersed in such conflict, so I focussed on more universal idea of reading and how each of our lives might mirror the experience of reading.”
‘Mrs Dalloway – Variations #1’ is an A6 pamphlet with a marbled cover. The interior contains text from the novel’s first page, duplicated and scored out in different ways to create a new narrative.
‘Mrs Dalloway – Variations #2’ is an A6 pamphlet with a marbled cover. The interior contains text from the novel – specifically Clarissa’s visit to Mulberry’s the florist. The text is overlaid with pressed flowers from the Linnean Herbarium.
The books are a series of abstractions of Virginia Woolf’s novel ‘Mrs Dalloway’. The marbled cover echoes the covers of the poetry books published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press.
“Each time I pick up Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and flick through the pages I come across lines that I have no recollection of reading before – it’s a bit like when you write down a dream and look back later to not remember it at all. The book is so rich and densely written that I wanted to play with the text and layer it, to see what new artwork could be teased from it.”
Specifications: 2 A6 full-colour pamphlets. Signed and numbered edition of 50. 2015.
Mrs Dalloway Variations #1 and #2
The books are a series of abstractions of Virginia Woolf’s novel ‘Mrs Dalloway’.