Umbrella booker

Commissioned by MAN Booker in 2012 to bind a book for Will Self . It was presented to the short-listed author at the awards dinner.

The book was sewn on three hemp chords, which were laced into the boards.  Endpapers are leather jointed with over-exposed, proof printed doublures.

The book was then covered in multiple inlays & onlays of various leather and suede. An area of underlayed calf with acrylic ink handwriting sits below the covering leather. The male terracotta face was then onlayed and moulded on top, with a small black umbrella opening as an eye.

The faces of Audrey Death and Zachary Busner can be seen merging on the front cover – her flowing red hair morphing into his spectacled mask. Busner is looking reflectively backwards as Death looks forwards into a small tunnel of light. The tunnel symbolises both the passing of time and her fleeting and intense periods of awakening.

The surrounding hand written text is taken from female patients’ notes upon admittance to Colney Hatch Asylum, circa 1896. The handwriting is there to emulate the erratic ticcing and jerking displayed by Audrey in her hypertonic state.

Palladium lines are tooled on the front to symbolise an artillery shell and the profound effects Audrey’s employment as a munitions worker at the Woolwich Arsenal has upon her physical self.

The back cover has a non-figurative depiction of Flanders fields and the Somme, which reflects the emerging modern art movements of 1917. The hand gilt palladium edges and tooled lines echo the period of industrial modernity, which was prevalent post WW1.

Inside there are endpapers printed from a photograph of the six mile corridor in Friern Barnet Asylum, taken in the 1970’s, reflecting Zachary Busners relentless and retrospective journey through the hospital, and throughout his life.









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