The Songlines - by Bruce Chatwin
Illustrations by Simon Pemberton
Published by The Folio Society, London, 2010
Collection of Boston Athenæum, US
Bound in chocolate brown goatskin. Lizard is a back-pared onlay of fair goatskin with a mauve buffalo skin tongue. The center design consists of parchment onlays, Ascona onlays in maroon goatskin and hand painted with fluid acrylic paints inspired by Dreamings Aboriginal art. The lizard's eye is tooled in gold and the claws are hand painted. Title is hand tooled in gold with a series of gouges, line palettes and blending tools. Edges were divided and painted in four different colors to create a striped pattern, headbands sewn to continue edge decoration. Edge-to-edge doublures in chocolate goatskin with hand painted Aboriginal symbols. Endpapers are granite, teal and ochre Cave Paper.
16.3cm x 23cm x 4.3cm - Completed in 2012
- Exhibited in 2012 Student and Alumni Show for North Bennet Street
Songlines are the creative stanzas formed from the history of an individual and are commonly paired with Aboriginal artwork referred to as Dreamings. Chatwin's travel novel follows the Australian landscape revealing history and culture as a means to understand the development of a songline's timeline.
Imagery and color choices are grabbed from both the text and these Aboriginal Dreamings. The process of creating the binding, with each of its tedious decorative elements, creates its own way a songline. A unique history as the book transforms from words on a page to an object of art.
Read about the binding process
of this book on my blog.