without horizon without shore la Ciotat

geographies of print collective /Chapelle de penitents bleu La Ciotat France.

Paradise books woodcut on tizan, Kozo and rice paper is a multi layered work made for the Altar of this 35 m chapel space. I used recordings of birds taken from my garden, a mixture of goldfinches, sparrows and black headed red starts, blue tits and great tits.

A walled garden has long been considered a metaphor for paradise. This idea of taking something ordinary and looking again was central to the piece. Just outside the studio there is a breeding farm for peacocks and their calls often invade my recordings. The peacock was in many Eastern and Islamic religions considered too beautiful to be allowed to stay in Paradise and so was expelled. This together with a huge find of peacock feathers lead me to incorporate the colours into the work. Combined Paradise Books are referrencing illuminated manuscripts within a religious space and notions of language.

Every language is a door to another world and we don’t need to understand them all

Ethel Adan

Geographies of print collective artists myself, Victoria Ahrens and Carol Wyss responded to the historical and architectural connections of this 35m space. La Ciotat famous for the Lumiére brothers first film of a train pulling into the station first shown in the cinema here. The chapel itself was many things for the community a place of healing and also an ossuary. Benedict Le lay performed at the opening responding to the works and the space on Nov 11th 2023.