Books On Books Collection – Jane Paterson

Blue Whale (2015)

Blue Whale (2015)
Jane Paterson
Self-covering accordion book. H140 x W155 x D10 mm (closed); W750 mm (open). Unique. Acquired from the artist, 15 April 2015. Photos: Books On Books Collection.

An acquisition early in the early days of this collection, Blue Whale forged the way for later acquisitions that painted with paper. At the time, the artist was asked how Blue Whale was created:

In answer to your questions about the processes I use, I should explain that I have a background in textile design and a great love for indigo dye.  Since starting making books I have experimented with dyeing paper in an indigo vat.  I use khadi and various mulberry papers that have excellent wet strength and allow me to use many of the decorative processes that I use with textiles.  I also dye card board from boxes and have exciting results tearing the wet layers apart. I made the sea in the Blue Whale book from fine paper that had partly disintegrated in the vat.  The cover was made by clamping khadi paper between 2 square blocks so that the dye seeped underneath in interesting ways.  The whales are made from dyed khadi. Artist’s correspondence, 9 April 2015.

Paterson’s technique in Blue Whale occupies a middle ground between collage and pulp painting. The way the artist has manipulated the nearly disintegrated, indigo-dyed fine paper to evoke the depth, surface and spray of the sea is remarkable. Additional examples of her work with indigo dye as well as other book art techniques can be found in the Artists Book Club Dove (ABCD) site.

Khadi is also the name of a papermaking company founded in the 1980s in India. Based outside the village of Tarihal near Hubli, in Karnataka, South India, Khadi runs a mill that manufactures the 100% cotton-rag paper. The company also works with suppliers in Nepal (GET Paper) and Bhutan (Jungshi). The process is described here and demonstrated here.

Further Reading

The First Seven Books of the Rijswijk Paper Biennial“, Books On Books Collection, 10 October 2019. A wide variety of art with paper and the form of the book.

Pat Gentenaar-Torley“, Books On Books Collection, 8 October 2020. Examples of pulp painting.

John Gerard“, Books On Books Collection, 13 August 2020. Book art and pulp painting.

Claire Van Vliet“, Books On Books Collection, 8 August 2019. Book art and pulp painting.

Maria Welch“, Books On Books Collection, 18 September 2020. Book art and pulp painting.