The Island is a publication we produced in residence at Enblanco Gallery in Berlin, in June 2012. It is entirely hand-printed and bound, and is a limited edition of 60. The publication consists of two books (The Island + The Inhabitants) and four loose inserts held in a folder. Each book is bound with a transparent band, and is hand-numbered.The book pages, covers and folder are screenprinted in grey, on Mohawk Superfine White Eggshell 148gsm paper, 270gsm Colorplan Mid Green, and 350gsm Colorplan Turquoise. The loose inserts are printed in grey & blue on Colorplan 175gsm Pale Grey paper. The paper was generously provided by G F Smith. The books are available to buy here.
Human beings, like most warm-blooded species have a fixed 'adult size'. They stop growing when they reach this size, and begin to age and deteriorate. In contrast, some cold-blooded animals, for example some species of fish, have no fixed adult size, and continue to grow until the eventually die from disease or predation. In theory, if these creatures were offered complete protection, they would continue to grow, and should never die at all.
The Island exists as a place protected. The Inhabitants are participating in a special project, for which they were chosen and invited. As infants, all seven of the candidates exhibited the same small openings on the sides of their necks. Vestiges to their distant ancestors, these congenital clefts are the remains of gill slits. The narrative unfolds through each candidate and their link with the natural habitat and ecology of the Island.
The Island was curated by Bettina Wenzel as part of 'Narratives', and was exhibited as an evolving project at Enblanco. On the opening night of the exhibition, we presented our research, including two short films we made whilst conceiving the books. The gallery space was then open to visitors for a week while we printed and made the books, offering them the opportunity to visit and re-visit, seeing all stages of the process. A week later, we held another event, showing the completed publications, materials, documentation of production and research.