Monday 18 August 2014

2nd edition, Falling Gently - concertina book

Falling Gently began life as my response to the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition Project.

An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street followed on from the Broadside project that San Francisco based poet, and bookseller Beau Beausoleil initiated back in 2009. A coalition project that was formed as a protest, and to bear witness, to those that were killed or injured in the car bombing on the 5th March 2007, in Al-Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad. The street was the historical centre of Baghdad's booksellers and the heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community.

Falling Gently 1st edition.
In 2010 myself and many other artists who make books were invited to create three books for the exhibition, An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street, representing the books destroyed or damaged in the explosion.

I created three books with a deliberately limited palette, to symbolise loss. Family grief lent a bitter edge to my thoughts for this project. A project which grew out of hurt and death. 

I thought of all those that had lost loved ones, the fragility of life and the strength of a family to endure such loss when it is out of time. The project is both a lament and a commemoration of the singular power of books.
Beau Beausoleil and Deema Shehabi have worked together to form an anthology of the work produced, published by PM Press.  

Annette C. Disslin has also put together a website for the project An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street.

Since that time I have produced a 2nd edition of Falling Gently.

When terrible things happen, the immediate aftermath is difficult (to say the least) and with this 2nd edition I wanted colour to play a more uplifting role. In using various and bright colours, I want symbolise the intrinsic nature of people to continue through adversity.

The targeted attack on this 'street of the booksellers', using such indiscriminate brute force to maim and kill, is ultimately futile.

Books, libraries and the people who make them, have been destroyed countless times, since 48 BC with the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, through Nazis Germany up to and including Al-Mutanabbi Street. But people will persevere. And, as reliable as the turning of the seasons more poets, writers, artists and philosophers will step forward to bring their ideas into the light.

Letterpress, digital and relief print on concertina fold, hard covers

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