Among the several artists displaying works at The Riverside Gallery was Pauline Rafal.
Inspired by poetry and literature, and influenced by the tangible qualities of paper and print, my work focuses on linocuts, and pen and ink illustrations displayed either as individual artworks, or as artist’s books. The artist’s books vary in form, ranging from simple concertina folds to more sculptural pieces, with the aim of creating a journey for the reader, and encouraging a more intimate relationship with the words.
The experience of touching, folding, and opening a book plays an important role in my work – letterpress and linocut techniques matched with materials such as fine papers, Japanese tissue, or leather support the portrayed stories through their individual tactile characteristics.
Key themes that reappear throughout my work include reflections on the creative practice and artistic processes, the artist’s relationship with their creation, and memories and experiences of change.
In 2015, Rafal created a book art installation to accompany a piano recital by Annie Yim, an event that illustrates an unusual integration of literature, book art and music. (More here.) The year before, inspired by the prose poem “Windows” by Baudelaire, Rafal demonstrated yet another unusual bridging of artistic media and technique.
When closed, this accordion book appears as a non-descript brown parcel tied with string.
As it is opened, the parcel becomes a streetscape with buildings through whose “windows” Baudelaire’s text reveals itself.
The form of the book has been altered best to display the imagined flâneur’s prose narrative.