‘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The book work was originally made for exhibition as part of a group show in Düsseldorf which responded to the work of famous poets, investigating them from a different angle.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.
‘Daily Miracles’ was commissioned by Leeds College of Art as part of its Library Interventions series and is an artwork designed to bridge the college’s two distinct libraries. The work comprises two sets of six books (one set for each library) which together tell a simple story about the place, incorporating details about the surrounding books and features of the library itself. The books are spread across the collection (prompting the viewer to make a journey through the space) and include references to real details draw their attention to where they are – both in terms of their physical location and also within the larger institution of the library.
“Both libraries at Leeds College have a distinct flavour, so I was keen to make an artwork that linked the two. By weaving in real details about both locations, such as noises, sights and goings on, the work hopefully breaks a visitor’s routine and makes them stop to question where they are and what they are doing. I also hope that the story itself is of interest and is engaging enough to prompt the viewer to explore the collection book by book.”
Specifications: Six A5 pamphlets. Exterior: glossy, full-colour. Interior: black text on white paper. Edition of ten, signed and numbered.