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Mixed media/Collage.

Paper, leather, fabric,  steel, found objects.

Most days when I start a new project, I begin by looking through some of my old books and treasures, musing and pondering and before long, a story or theme suggests itself.

In the case of this wearable book I was browsing through an old textbook from 1932, “The Human Body and its Functions”....

It referred to experiments on rodents and other animals that had been undertaken to understand physiology and metabolism. While I marvelled at the work (past and present) of scientists: formal, natural and social, who have contributed to the advancement of medical science, it also reminded me of one of my favourite childhood novels, “Flowers For Algernon”.... Important themes in the novel include the treatment of the mentally disabled, the impact on happiness of the conflict between intellect and emotion, and how events in the past can influence a person later in life.  These themes are often hinted at in my work.

As the piece evolved I added layers to the pages to either highlight or obscure the text and images. Algernon the lab rat from the novel makes a number of appearances via water colour and stitching. I also added feathers, a pressed Christmas cactus flower, old etchings and altered paper.


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