Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week 5: Gate Transform'd

   The book-of-the-week for Week 5 is titled Gate Transform'd. The book is a sort of word map, starting with the word gate.   The words meander along like a path, but instead of the landscape changing, the words change... little by little.

The cover... mono- and relief prints with letterpress
The pages are folded into a structure called a Turkish Map fold... how appropriate for a book about change... and are glued to each other front-to-back. This forms a sort of reticulated chambered structure. The surface of each page is a mono-print in shades of blue, green, and yellow; which is then overprinted in red with a celtic knot pattern. The text was printed on the Pearl letterpress with 24-point Brush font.

The hard covers are the only stable part of this wiggly book...
Unfold the pages to read the book...
It begins with the word gate...
...and eventually becomes the word we.
The gate...
This is the book Gate Transform'd...









When the book is opened and viewed from above, it's appearance changes to a sort of flower or complex sea creature... and the words inside are hidden within its many folds.
from above...
a slit opening and a reticule of compartments

Looking at Gate Transform'd from above, the book looks benign yet mysterious... much like the ancient burial grounds of the Native Americans. In Scotland, Britain, Ireland, and throughout Europe there are chambered cairns which were used for burial monuments in Neolithic times. Some are even termed passage graves and certainly are linked with the folklore of gates and the myths of transformation to the afterlife.
the Unstan Chambered Cairn near Orkney, Scotland
   Though not specifically related to this book, cairns are fascinating structures with a gate-like connotation. Cairns are found all over the world and date back to prehistoric times. They are interesting.. mesmerizing... physical entities, which have a range of purposes. Basically, a cairn is a manmade pile of stones... but the reason and symbolism for piling the stones can vary. A cairn may have a religious purpose, such as a burial monument; or be a landmark and used to guide travelers along a route or trail. A cairn may be a self portrait of sorts, and left as a calling card along a trail or path. The beauty of a delicately balanced pillar of stones with only gravity holding them in place is always breathtaking to this writer.  

...When the little book, Gate Transform'd, is turned on it's side, it morphs again. This time it resembles a pillar or arrow...the sort of cairn used to guide travelers... Or perhaps it is a self portrait.

Rotate it and it resembles a pillar... an arrow... or a person
beautiful and breathtaking...
Gate Transform'd