Swampland Bacchanal, 2018
Florida Everglades Carousel Book
Painted with gouache on handmade flax and cotton-abaca Indo-Islamic papers
Closed: 7 x 5 ¼ x 1” ; open: 7 x 32 x 3”
This project aims to explore Bacchian tropes within the day-glow landscape of Florida’s natural swampland-- the Everglades. Exploring a “what if” scenario, the book investigates the situation: “What if Bacchus roamed the Florida Everglades?” What kind of people would he encounter and how would be influence them? The first portion of this project researches contemporary artists, literature, Florida Everglades ecology, and persian miniatures in order to blend the natural with the mythical in a regionally specific but stylized swampland environment.
Carousel Book Structure
Scenes are composed within the five frames of a carousel book. Following the magnetic removable spine structure of Flying Fish Press’s Cat’s Cradle, the book can be read frame-by-frame, circularly, or linearly where each frame is stretched into view.
Handmade Indo-Islamic paper
This book is composed of handmade Indo-Islamic flax and abaca-cotton blend papers. Wanting the cover and interior sheets to have a natural and organic feel, one suggestive of the swamp landscape, this book uses handmade paper from 100% raw flax where 50% of the fibers were beaten and washed for 1 hour and the other 50% for 30 minutes. This beating method allows the paper to have a naturally light tan tone as well as a smooth finish with a gentle spread of individual flakes of flax. This paper is a bit too textured for the interior miniatures so I made smooth and burnished cotton-abaca Indo-Islamic style papers. Interested in the surface quality of both types of paper, I made surface finishing test samples to see what kind of surface would work best for this project’s needs.