BOOK OF HOURS I & II, 2020 – 2021.
Book I. LYING FALLOW. Book II. A COLD FRONT.
Over 740 mixed media playing card images in two cotton rag books (each approx. 370 images). Closed book size: 420 x 315 x 38 mms.
The 30 second preview above forms an introduction to Book of Hours I & II. Each Book comprises over 370 mixed media images on playing cards*. Book II is still being developed. Together they form an extensive visual meditation devoted to recurring themes, curiosities and events explored over the many hours, weeks and months of 2020-2021.
Severe curtailments in our lives bought about by the Covid-19 lockdown produced an endless order and repetitiveness to my daily life that became almost monastic. The precious hours expanded; so suddenly there was unfettered time to sustain focused work. But rather than enabling me to undertake physically and mentally challenging projects, the ominous tensions and acute sadness were oppressive and wholly restrictive. Intuitively I began to create very small, meditative and wandering images. With these I could abandon destination or judgement. Such meditations inevitably include some political & social references that unfolded. But although loosely chronological, this is not in any way a diary.
Unknowingly, looking back at the many images now, I think that perhaps I was exploring identity, being human. Who knows? As the images still unfold, so of course, does the interpretation.
Each book includes an appendix to support the images and together cover the period from March 23rd 2020 into early summer 2021.
*See also the use of painted playing cards in earlier work made during The Burgess Shale residency that explored ancient evolutionary life: Stains & Guts and Hiking Log 2009.