the folding-book project

Quite a while back I made some posts about the forthcoming exhibition Open Books at the National Library of Wales. Curated by artist Mary Husted, her idea was to engage selected artists with the idea of working in Chinese sketch-books. (These have boards but no spines, and open up like accordions.) I was to do three books, though now I can see I’ll be lucky to finish two. My ‘Alphabet Primer’ is still in progress, but the notion I had to make a book about mediums and their spirit cabinets got set aside in order to do The Soldier’s Tale, which of course took longer to complete than expected. Now I’m racing to the Open Books deadline with another idea titled Where the Bad Things Are (in homage to Maurice Sendak) which is a light-hearted scamper around the realms of Ogre’s castles, Witch’s hovels and the palaces of Evil Queens. I’m using simple pop-up and paper-engineering to make the page-openings lively, as can be seen in these very few pictures. However the scale is so very small that it’s slowing me right down because everything is time-consumingly fiddly. Why oh why do I make things so hard for myself? Well, the truth is, I wanted something that was entirely light-hearted in spirit, and my research on the subject of charlatan mediums taking advantage of the vulnerable had been getting me down. Where the Bad Things Are, by comparison, is a little romp!

A simple pull-tab mechanism at the page edge (out of shot) transforms the portrait of a pretty lady…

… into a grinning skull.

A page unfolds…

… revealing a gaden folly…

… with a sinister inhabitant!

14 thoughts on “the folding-book project

  1. Pingback: open books: return to ‘where the bad things are’ | Clive Hicks-Jenkins' Artlog:

  2. that is amazing! you are so full of surprises… i am flabbergasted at the princess-crone, and love the way the sinister little man comes out of a doorway that appears ‘just around the corner’. too clever!
    i agree about the mediums, too…it ruins everything to read those stories. much better to imagine your own magic 😉

  3. I agree with the comments below – they are delightful. I am lucky enough to own some of Clive’s Christmas cards which were constructed in a similar fashion. Keep those plates spinning Clive!

  4. Clive, you really are amazing with the projects you take on, and your capacity to generate ideas and to execute them. I love these cutely sinister little cabinets, they are quite magical.

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