Wednesday, August 08, 2007

'Treasure' an artists' book by Penelope Thompson

I recently finished an 'artists' book' for an exhibition in Australia - the annual BOOKS.07 'works of imagination' invitation exhibition held at the Noosa Regional Gallery, Queensland, Australia. The theme for this year's exhibition was "the search for the impossible".

I chose to explore the universal human search for treasure and I created a small treasure chest with many compartments. Inside the compartments I placed different objects such as coins, maps, pearls inscribed with text and these became the "pages" of my book.

My artwork may not resemble a book at first glance, but when we consider the dictionary definition of a book is "a collection of pages, bound or unbound, contained within a cover so as to form a material whole" it is most certainly an artists' book (which may sometimes be called a bookwork).
The title of the work is simply treasure 'Treasure' and it is intended to be handled as an interactive artwork that progressively reveals its meaning to the viewer.
The first level consists of an antique world map with the "X" marking the spot of treasure - on a mirror, so the viewer will see a self-reflection within the treasure map.

The second level contains gold coins, each inscribed with a word. Together these coins spell out the proverb "all that glitters is not gold".

There is also a small folded parchment - which includes the words "seek and ye shall find".

Then, upon opening the third level - the viewer will discover a string of pearls each bearing a subtly marked word; "Be", "here", and "now" repeating in order over and over again - like prayer beads.

You can see a short video of the "Treasure" chest being opened and closed below.
Treasure - an artists' book by Penelope Thompson

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