A couple of new books which will be in an exhibition at the University of the West of England .
Lethe River of Oblivion is about forgetting, the Lethe is one of the five rivers of Hades, whoever drinks from it forgets all. Souls bound for Paradise had to cross it to get there and so drank some of its water to forget their past sins. Souls on the way to being reborn had to drink to forget their past lives. My thoughts were about the flow of the river and the disintegration of memory as ageing takes its course. The text becomes increasingly incoherent as it progresses; which river is this? Lethe, Leith, Liffe…?
The book is bound in a Japanese stab stitch style, with the covers stiffened and hinged back over the contents. The text was printed using old wooden type, of which there was not a complete alphabet in any font, but the variation is quite engaging.
The book really stemmed from watching my father detach himself so gracefully and so slowly from life as we live it, engaged in society and dealing with all the concomitants of that.
The second book is a tunnel book. The Lens was its starting point.
I had some unused long-sight lenses in need of employment, so one was mounted into the tunnel in front of a little mirror in the tunnel. The illustration of the eye is form the Wellcome Foundation’s online images, and what a great resource that is!
When the tab is pulled the eye moves aside.
The viewer will see their own eye, or face, depending on the distance (in the photographer’s case the mirror shows the camera) but upside-down. Just a little unexpected vision to leave the question of what exactly that eye is revealing about the soul behind it …