About this piece:
My Dear Frankenstein was created in 2018 in response to the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. An exploration of the tensions between Frankenstein and his creation, the creator and the created, it is intended to evoke the intense atmosphere of the novel through the use of text and images. Text is both the framing device of My Dear Frankenstein, with quotations from Shelley’s text on the front and back cover, and central to it on the flags within; enticingly visible, but fully legible only when the book is held open to reveal the central tenet spoken by Frankenstein: Cursed, although, I curse myself, be the hands that formed you. The title, My Dear Frankenstein, is from a letter written by Frankenstein’s friend Henry and reflects a rare tender moment. The painful plea of the monster, yet I ask you…if you can, and if you will, destroy the work of your hands, encloses the book form on the rear cover.
Images in My Dear Frankenstein are drawn from the artist’s photographs of classical sculpture and landscape and also from the photographic work of Edward Muybridge. Screenprint and digital print are used to offer different textures and finishes. The book is bound in bookcloth with screenprinted titles. The flag book format was chosen to reflect the fragmented experience of reading Frankenstein, in which many themes come together to produce a narrative whole; it also gives the book a physicality which alludes to the novels concern with the physical nature of both making and landscape in the novel.
paper, ink, cloth, ribbon
About the artist:
Lives and works in Bath, Banes, United Kingdom
A printmaker and book artist Kate Bernstein creates contemporary books and prints inspired by historical art and books. A fine artist with bookbinding training, and Masters Degrees in both Medieval Studies and Multi-Disciplinary printmaking, she produces unique books and small editions. Currently working by invitation with an artist/astronomers’ project, Creativity and Curiosity, Kate is researching at the Library of the Royal Astronomical Society, London. She has work in public and private collections in Europe and the USA and, in collaboration with the United Book Artists, in Tate Britain.