ARTISTS BOOK PROJECT 2018-20
A series of two groups of artists books – twenty-five volumes in total - was produced over a period of four years (2018 -21). The books continued to be developed beyond the wider project, After Hortus Malabaricus: Sensing and Presencing Rare Plants through Contemporary Drawing Practice which led to an exhibition at Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
They are currently presented by Galerie DRUCK & BUCH, Vienna, Austria where a selection form part of the gallery exhibition, Beste Neuzugänge aus dem alten Jahr and the virtual exhibition, http://www.druckundbuch.de
First Group (seven sets of three volumes each):
There are seven sets of this size, each set being unique. The size of the books (29.5 x 40 cm) is based on that of the earliest editions of the 17th century Hortus Malabaricus, a twelve-volume illustrated treatise on the plants of Malabar. The books involve complex technical processes including gilding, blind-embossing, laser engraving and casting. Images reference engravings from Hortus Malabaricus, herbaria specimens from the historical collections of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh and living plants in the moist deciduous rainforest which were documented by the artist during her residency at Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary, India. The three books in each set explore the same selection of rare plants – though transcribed through different means and from inter-related source material. Book Three of each set acts as a visual ‘botanical reference’ to the set - through its transcription of fragments of detailed engravings from Hortus Malabaricus.
Second Group (two sets of two volumes each):
The size is based on those of 17th and 18th century European bound herbaria volumes of specimens collected in the region of Dutch Malabar, India. Images are to the scale of the specimens. These were transcribed from models made by the artist of herbaria specimens from the historical Indian collection of Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. These specimens correspond to the rarest plants found in Hortus Malabaricus. All images are created through laser engraving and the two volumes in each set work as a pair to cover the complete group of plants investigated in the project. The leaves of the books are of sunn hemp paper, handmade and burnished by Hussein Kagzi, Jaipur and the covers are of Kozo paper, handmade and seven times hand-dyed in organic indigo, by Living Treasure, Minoru Fujimori, Japan. Each set is unique.