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Monday, June 4, 2007

electronic bento box

"Electronic Bento Box" was created in 2006 for an exhibition sponsored by the Japanese Paper Place called "The Power of Two". 14 artists were given sheets of hand-made Japanese paper and asked to decorate them in the medium of their choice. These papers were then distributed by lottery to 14 other artists who were asked to turn the sheet into an object in their own chosen medium. The results ranged from pieces of furniture to a delicate little hanging mobile.

I chose a paper that had been printed by Susan Low Beer, who remarked in passing that it reminded her of an "electric hedge". To me it suggested a kind of light-up sushi but I liked the "electric" reference, hence the title.


This one has just been sent off to the Society of Bookbinders competition in England. "Ossian" purported to be a translation from the Gaelic of ancient epic poetry of the Scottish Highlands, brought to light by the researches of its "translator" James MacPherson. The collection, which romanticized the distant past of the Highlands, was a great critical and popular success.

After MacPherson's death a committee established that in fact the work was an elaborate fabrication. The poet Ossian never existed and MacPherson had written the verse following the style of Gaelic poems that he had liberally edited and into which he had inserted passages of his own.

This is a millimetre binding with goatskin at the head and tail edges and the spine and sides covered in one of my decorated papers that I thought suggested mist-enshrouded Highland castles. There is even an anachronistic hint of plaid on the spine if you care to look for it.