Wolfgirl: The Making of an Artist's Book, and the Movement of Letterpress into the Realm of Fine Art

By Christobel Jane Kelly.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper will look at the nexus between literature and the visual field with reference to the artist’s book which holds a unique position, wherein it straddles both the visual and literary fields. Using the book as artifact, the visual artist pays tribute to the historical structure of the book, but interprets or modifies the form of the book, in order to create a platform for the artist’s own imagery. Often, a response to literature by the visual arts is something that moves away from the original intention of a myth or author, to take on a life of its own. This paper will examine the movement of letterpress away from its historical function and towards fine art. With particular reference to the creation of the artist’s book “Wolfgirl” (2011), the paper will look at the nature of practice-based research within the visual arts. Thus the paper will consider how the use of letterpress enables a refinement of composition that expands the intaglio illustrations, and in turn, how the intaglio prints give character to the imagined world. The paper will also examine how narrative pertaining to wild children, within the canon of myth, furthers our understanding of the evolution of culture. Looking at the notion of the marginal protagonist, it will explore notions of how children at the very margins of society inform and direct our relationship with civilization.

Keywords: Letterpress, Contemporary Narrative, Artist's Book, Typography, Practice-based Research

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp.33-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 357.715KB).

Christobel Jane Kelly

Honours Research Student, School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I have worked and exhibited as a printmaker in a number of arts collective studios in the Adelaide Hills. The focus of my visual arts degree became the letterpress studio at Adelaide College of the Arts, where I was able to refine my practice techniques. My printmaking has centred around an examination of the nexus between literature and the visual field, often using myths and legends to codify the imagined world of books. An abiding passion for the written word is the consuming impetus for my art practice. I am currently studying Honours Bachelor of Visual Arts at the University of South Australia, where my field of research examines a response to Virgil's Aeneid.

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