A Familiar Tale is a hand-bound, Victorian style album with a debossed velvet cover. The book contains a humorous, allegorical fable of a woman and her struggle with a dog-like beast which represents a negative obsession, such as drug addiction, a bad relationship or over-eating. The illustrations are ink-jet prints of my original charcoal, ink and collage drawings.
The Victorian ladies are from a bunch of old magazines I found in an abandoned barn. As I looked through the magazines,I wondered what the women might really be thinking or feeling.. I giggled my way through the creation of the drawings as I took the ladies out of their original context and plopped them into a vast and barren prairie landscape. The women act as one person in the story working through a range of emotional states: curiosity, false confidence, denial, defensiveness, and eventually grudging acceptance. Unfortunately, good sense often comes too late.
I wanted the book to have an heirloom quality. I feel that our erred ways of dealing with stress are passed down to us from our ancestors. For me the photo album structure reinforces a feeling of family tradition. Family histories are often heavily censored, leaving only the positive events to be retold. I wanted to create an object that preserved a darker side of human experience.