Artist talking 3 - Wayne Hourihan

Wayne writes;

"Opening the Book. 
When my book first arrived I wanted to savor the moment and not open it immediately, using that time to think of ways to open it, and going through various impossible dramatic ways of its unveiling. Because of the many thoughts occurring, I kept it by my side over the weekend. On my travels I would take it with me on the bus, wondering what could be inside as I looked at landscapes passing by through the window. Eventually I could not help myself and decided to create an environment in which to finally open it. Using my own books I created a small wall and for the flooring, a series of open books and some of the brochures I kept from a while back.


With this small theater, I let a current work in progress tackle the packaging, made from discarded items itself, it was quite an awkward moment and it ultimately failed in opening it, but it did help. I used the string that was tied around the packaging to attach a pencil too and link to the machine as an experiment, there is little movement and it taps the book rather than making a mark. After a few minutes of encouraging my machine to open this to no avail - while also experimenting with parts of the packaging, I eventually unsealed the brown paper myself.

  I was delighted to see that the book was about Leonardo Da Vinci, an aged book dating from around 1925 containing many drawings of Da Vinci's machines. When I began turning page after page, I knew this book was perfect for me, an ideal match. The title page named: 'I Manoscritti di Leonardo Da Vinci - Gerolamo Calvi', slightly thicker in feel, is like an impressive door, you could imagine the sound of hinges moving when turning this page - while the beautifully illustrated machines that frame the lettering start to activate and the Gothic style creatures begin to animate themselves.

Upon closing the book and turning it so the pages are facing, the layered effect of the tea coloured rifts can be seen. Sections have frayed or faltered, similar to a small cross-section of a cliff face, where evidence of natures sculpting can be seen in the gradients and crevices. Because the book has not been read for a while, when the pages are flicked through the sound is much different to many new books. The sound is like the beginning of a motor starting up, in terms of the gaps between beats and speed – perhaps this is due to the grouping of untouched pages clinging to each other, adding more weight collectively. A new book however, has a much more sophisticated fan movement, and flows orderly when flicked through.


This is what I keep doing, and while I do this to the book, I am reminded of Da Vinci's keen interest in flight. Although what I want to explore at this present time is the physicality of the book, it's mechanical characteristics and abilities. Also, while I continue to look through the drawings, the temptation to imitate some of those machines increases – I don't see this as a bad thing though, perhaps I will as a starting point. But the constant through this, is to interact with the book and at the same time let those concepts emerge through handling it. For the first few weeks, I want the documentation and the ideas to be rough, to comply with no assertion of certainty – so those initial moments remain a sketch so to speak; and not a compositional accurate drawing, metaphorically speaking. If my mind set is like a sketch, then rest assured, after many, the concept will reveal itself."

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