"A Familiar Tale"

 

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.

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