"Soft Small Voice" Artists Book at Mandorla Art Award up until 27th July 2014

The Mandorla Art Award on at Linton and Kay Gallery. St Georges Tce will be on until this Sunday. The winner was a sculpture by Paul Kaptein. I felt honoured to have my work displayed with such a strong group of artworks. Here is my artist book on display as part of the exhibition till Sunday and has also been chosen to  tour to New Norcia

You can still vote for the people’s choice.

Information on Media Used for the Book

The covers are made of cardboard painted with encaustic, this is a method of mixing pigment with beeswax which dates back to before ancient Egyptian times. The beeswax coating also preserves the cardboard making it archival. Each page is printed by hand using a drypoint. Drypoint is a printmaking process where the image was scratched into a plate. It was then coated with ink and  carefully wiped back using tissue paper before turning through a hand turned press. To transfer the image onto the paper. The book itself I bound using the Coptic binding method, used by Coptic monks to bind the first Christian texts from scrolls into books in the third century AD.

Information on the Subject

The Mandorla Art Prize chooses a bible passage for artists to respond to this year the theme was Elijah Meets God 1Kings 19:11b-3
In the passage Elijah hears God as a “soft small voice” or “a quiet murmuring” or “the sound of sheer silence” depending on which translation you look at. After Elijah’s long journey fleeing through the desert sleeping in a cave, Elijah hears the voice of God. I found it interesting that God didn’t tell Elijah what to do but instead asks. “What are you doing here?”
This story resonated with me, it wasn’t easy to translate to a visual image and it is interesting to see the diverse ways that artists have depicted this in the exhibition. To me the story was about Elijah’s journey from a place of fear to a place of knowing and it was only in that place of knowing that he could hear Gods voice. Panicking and on the run God did not come to him.
I showed Gods communication through a door in Elijah’s torso. The opening is literally cut into the page revealing the coloured energetic marks of the next page. I had been listening to a Ted Talks on string theory and the matrix of all life being tiny vibrating strings of energy was forefront in my mind when I was making this.
I chose a book to make these ideas physical, each page is a moment frozen in time and space to be “read” at whatever speed the viewer chooses. It is a linear structure you are aware of the pages which have gone before and the future yet to be seen. A book is an object which contains a world within.
Related posts http://shanajamesartist.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/why-i-love-artists-books/

Artist book by Shana James showing coptic binding
Artist book by Shana James showing coptic binding

Elijah Artists Book Series-02
Encaustic Front Cover of Artists Book by Shana James

Elijah Artists Book Series-06
Second page of Artists book Drypoint Image depicting Elijah Sleeping in the Cave


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