About this piece:
This is a collection of 17 illustrated historic fiction stories inspired and informed by inscriptions on gravestones dating from the 1780s to WWI found in the United Kingdom and Seattle. The illustrations are theatrical digital collages populated by characters created from elements of images found in antique publications with faces adapted from antique photographs. The backdrops are my photographs of historic places. Each fiction story also has a corresponding photograph of the gravestone or graveyard, plus a micro-essay about research & invention. The gravestones, antique publications, and antique photographs are all artifacts. The structure of the book is based on an historic codex structure taught by Pamela Spitzmueller in a workshop at the Oregon State College of Arts & Crafts during the summer of 2013.
Copies of this artist book edition are now, or have been, exhibited at Cuesta College [California], Redland Gallery [Australia], Nearsighted Narwhal [Washington State], Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Idaho Center for the Book [Booker’s Dozen exhibition 2015-2016]. It was also included in University of Nebraska’s Heart & Hands artist book exhibition and received an award of recognition and a purchase award. Some examples of the contents are available to view at www.victoriantravel.com. I am currently working to expand this story collection and will print/bind the new work in a second artist book volume this fall. My plan is to submit the texts and images to commercial publishers in 2016.
Archival material: paper cover boards, digital ink [Epson ultrachrome K3], Strathmore 400 drawing paper and bristol paper, waxed linen thread, linen, bookmaker’s cloth, PVA glue, polyester ribbon.
Susan Brown is a former archaeologist, a creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, who also does visual art and makes artist books. In 2013 she spent four months independently doing creative research in Iceland, Scotland, Wales, and England for LOVE & COURAGE, her MFA thesis at the University of Washington – Bothell completed in 2014. Her literary and art work has been exhibited or published in Australia, Hungary, the USA, and the United Kingdom.