Louisa Boyd, “Cartography I”
Louisa Boyd (Cheshire, England)
Turkish map-fold book with etched pages and collagraph end papers. Blind tooled leather cover.
Edition of 3
Dimensions open: H 5” x W 10”x D 4”
Dimensions closed: diameter 5”, depth 1”
I often consider place and its meaning to an individual in my work. Literal interpretations of the environment, representations of mapping as well as more abstract concepts about our individual finite existence and our relationship with home find their way into my pieces. Tradition, both familial and cultural, lie at the heart of my artistic practice and in many instances I am considering memory and knowledge and how this is transferred across generations.
Using the book itself makes reference to our cultural heritage, a traditional skill that relies on methods that have remained unchanged for centuries. In such senses, the process of bookbinding has become as important as the books themselves and the concepts behind them. Recognizing the beauty and skill involved in making books is just as much part of the work. It is a slow process, and requires patience, concentration and practice, but it is calming and rewarding. The hand-bound book stands out in an age where we are used to fast results and machine-made objects.
Materials and technique also play an important role in all the pieces, and I dedicate a lot of time to experimenting with paper, paint and printmaking, pushing materials and understanding what they do. I am particularly interested in paper as a material with its fragile properties and I enjoy its sometimes unpredictable nature. Printmaking has become a large part of my practice over recent years and again I enjoy the historical relevance of this method of working and passing on of traditional skills. Many printmaking processes employed aid concept within the pieces as the permanent marks made by tools and techniques evoke ideas of retained memories and repetition of image alludes to the idea of inter-generational traditions.
Cartography I is an etched book, bound using a Turkish map-fold structure with a hand tooled leather cover. It uses abstract imagery to evoke ideas of mapping and is part of a series of works that explore ideas of human existence and a sense of place through symbols and technique. Mapping is used as a way of making sense of our environment and this piece considers this on both a physical and emotional level. It uses the book structure, the imagery and the method of making marks to allude to its meaning.
The piece includes three internal folded pages, featuring an etching printed onto Somerset paper on each page. These pages can be opened flat to be viewed individually, or the book may be viewed as a sculpture. The end papers are collagraphs printed with oil based inks onto Magnani paper, with a brown leather cover featuring the title of the book, blind embossed.