Thursday, August 24, 2023

A peep inside… PROGENY


This is the first of a series of peeps inside some of the artist books on the table in my last post, beginning with Progeny, 2018 (one-of-a-kind concertina book, hand-lettered and drawn in India ink, pigmented drawing inks and gouache, with hand-stitching and cloth cover with debossed text).

Progeny was made in 2018 when I was artist-in-residence at Melbourne Atheneum Library for Melbourne Rare Book Week. 2018 also marked the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This was the impetus for my artist book. 

In Mary Shelley’s novel, the “monster” promises to vanish from Dr Frankenstein’s life if he will build him a female mate to ease his loneliness. Frankenstein reluctantly complies, but at the last minute, he destroys her. 

My book takes its title from the following quote:
“And now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper. I have an affection for it, for it was the offspring of happy days, when death and grief were but words, which found no true echo in my heart”.
— Mary Shelley, from her Introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus, first published January 1, 1818.

Progeny will shortly be resurrected in 
Deborah Klein, Elizabeth Banfield and Theo Strasser
South Gallery, Stephen McLaughlan Gallery 
The exhibition  runs from September 20 - October