The book we've been working into is the lovely Dream Days by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by E H Shepard - it lends itself well to the project as the narrative contains many interesting phrases that inspire a visual response, and Shepard's silhouette illustrations can be incorporated into our own contributions or add to the overall feel of the artwork.
I've been using a lot of collage during this project - I love collage and don't get the opportunity to use it that often in commissions so I've been taking this as an opportunity to do so. It has also been interesting to work with Hannah and Ella as artists who have very different approaches. Part of the challenge for me has been to think forward to what they might add to the pages and part of the enjoyment has been to see how they interpret the project. Hannah's style is much more colourful and playful than mine (I tend to use black and white or limited colour palettes), and she experiments more. Ella uses her photography to complement the text, and draws out social justice and current event themes that add a new dimension to the book. I try and keep this in mind as I work on the book and prepare pages for them.
Left: An interesting phrase had been left framed by some striped paper - I removed the paper as I thought I'd like to put something surrounding the phrase that fitted more with the text.
Right: I usually then go through the next few pages and highlight any particular phrases that I find interesting.
I was pretty sure I had some collage images that showed destruction after a tornado - the phrases I'd been looking at conjured up ideas of rubble and dust. I also found a black and white image (from a leaflet I picked up at the Wellcome Collection) of a flat landscape that I thought would work for the following page, and complimented the other collage pieces in terms of colour and texture. The image with the mushroom cloud is by Walid Raad.
I also completed a few more spreads that you can see in the gallery below. Click to see the full images and scroll through them. I left the last couple fairly minimal as I thought that Hannah and Ella might see some ways to work into them further. There are no real rules in this project - we all seek to respect each other's work but we can work into pages that another has done, so it will be interesting to see where they add more.