documentation and description of works
You Must have seen Ethan Frome
Edith Wharton’s short intense novel, is a story told within a story and as the story unfolds we learn the circumstances of one man’s sorrowful existence. My distilled version of the text, intensifies the rhythm set down by the author, but now only permits the reader tiny glimpses of the ongoing drama, which are accompanied by continuous, repetitive, references to Ethan Frome. My version of Wharton's novel, exists in a variety of forms and publications, and with the assistance of an Arts Council of England project award, I was able to spend time exploring how best to activate the text for the reader or viewer. A major component of the project has been to typeset and print a version of my text on an Albion press at the Museum of Technology in Cambridge, this has been bound in leather and foil blocked and now exists an an almost sculptural homage to Wharton’s novel. I wanted to counter my reduction of the text, by elaborately hand crafting this oversized book which has a single page for every instance of the character’s name as it appears in the novel. Various elements of the project have been exhibited in a variety of settings including 11 collectable editions, where the covers have been foil blocked with additional titles derived from my version of the text, these all relate to Ethan and the space of the house in the novel and were created for 'Recollect' a show about space and memory, Wysing Arts Contemporary: 2012. A print on demand version of the hand printed book has been brought for several public collections including the Chelsea Art Library.