Gary Nicholls - The Imaginarium Book 1 - Eva's Story
Gary Nicholls - The Imaginarium Book 1 - Eva's Story
The highly anticipated book #1 of the Imaginarium steampunk art trilogy, by British fine art Photographic artist Gary Nicholls
The highly anticipated book #1 of the Imaginarium steampunk art trilogy, by British fine art Photographic artist Gary Nicholls Read more
About this project
**Updated Special announcement **
The 25% target was reached at the weekend and backer number 72 was drawn for the print! Next target is 50% and once again I will be drawing a backer to receive a special limited edition gift of a signed and certified metal paper print, worth £500 as a thank you for supporting me. The same will happen when we get to 75%. Once again thank you for your amazing support.
The Imaginarium Trilogy, began in September 2012, by chance.
Meticulously crafted by Gary Nicholls, a British photographic conceptual artist, comes the first book of his conceptualised neo-gothic fairy story eponymously based on the Victorian fairground attractions of The Imaginarium. ‘The Imaginarium’ tells an intricate, fantastical, dark but ultimately beautiful steampunk story through the unique medium of fine art images. Four years in the making, Nicholls’ creation is so much more than just a book – it’s an adventure through the power of art that simultaneously tells an epic, powerful story readers will be immersed in from page one.
The Imaginarium Series
Rumours abound of spellbinding gadgets that can turn ordinary men into Steampunk Giants. Stainless steel and calico wings that turn mortals, into Winged Angels. Steampunk brass and copper pasties, evil villainy and the Necessitti - a magical, stupendous, leggiadrous object of sheer beauty. Inspired by a visit to The Lincoln Asylum Steampunk Festival in 2012, Gary has created a world of Dickens with gadgets, and oh, the gadgets….Gadgets that can take you to fantasmagorical events, or transport you to a world where the airship is “the only way to travel Dahling!” This is the fantastical story that is book one in The Imaginarium Trilogy and is called Eva’s Story. Victoriana is the order of the day, but then thanks to time travel, anything goes. A costume, a character, a gadget and a convoluted dark tale to confound and entertain the reader. Perhaps 'hugely complicated and complex' is a good description, considering the trilogy’s first volume contains thousands of words and over 150 fine art images that have taken years to craft. It’s a rare format for a work of fiction, tied together with a story that Dickens could surely have imagined himself.
All 150 images in the series are created using props created by Peter Walton, who plays Dr William. The world that Gary has created, does exist. The settings for Gary's images are created using real places, altered to create the steampunk world of The Imaginarium. The enormous effort that has gone into creating these images is a testament to all those creative geniuses involved. Steampunk is a world full of creatives and some of the best have worked on this project.
Book 1 - Eva's Story Synopsis:
The Imaginarium is a Dickens style, Steampunk themed story about one woman’s journey from ruination to salvation, saving the world from a powerful nemesis and is told in a series of Fine Art Photographic images. In a Steampunk world of wickedness, betrayal, murder and greed, one lost soul stands out as her saviour.
The secret in the box in the above picture, weaves its way through the entire trilogy. The main character, Dr William, is aided throughout by two Steampunk time travelling 'Angels'.
From wickedness, treachery, secrets and murder, the plot twists and turns, each character having their own story that builds into the final sections where all is revealed. With 36 characters, no main character in the story is who they seem, each having a past that is about to catch up with them. The final scenes have an explosive end, leading to book number 2 (Robbie Pertwee - Frankensteam) in what will be a trilogy.
Drawing on varied and eclectic sources of inspiration, Gary ‘sees’ images that weave themselves organically into an overall story. He then sets about building them in layers from multiple photographs taken personally from locations as diverse as New York City, Barcelona, London, Greece and Poland. Gary does not use stock images, and all the props and costumes are real, and hand made.
This book has been a huge production with 36 characters and 65 extras. All are genuine steampunks! Gary is self-publishing in order to ensure his images are presented in the best possible way, with each image in the book UV varnished to make them 'pop'. Another 6 years work will see two more volumes that will be equally as intricate and detailed. Gary has covered a lot of the planet in order to take images to inspire his creations,and each one can take up to eleven months to create. Here’s a little hint to the future – designed to fire up the imagination, think how amazing it was the first time you saw the epic battle scenes in Lord of the Rings. That awe-inspiring moment when the camera shows the sheer magnitude of people that go to battle in ancient times. Well, in the last book, Gary plans to photograph over 4,000 steampunks from all over the world and integrate them all together into one ground-breaking epic piece of art reminiscent of that battle scene. By backing this first volume, you will be helping make that a reality.
How and Why did this start?
A six image hobby collection grew into a 450 image trilogy, with Steampunks from all over the world becoming involved. The biggest influence on Gary's early life was his father. His big passion - hobbies, and at every opportunity he had Gary and his brother trying everything! So it is no surprise that Gary became interested in photography at an early age, (in the darkroom at the age of 3!) Gary's father is a part time artist, very creative and talented and has always pushed his sons to continue having hobbies. So very much later in life, Gary is finally getting to be creative with photography again. This project is for his father, Bob, to know that his son carried on that artistic and creative side, which is his legacy.
Gary has always been creative and as an artist, the camera is his brush, allowing him to create this epic story using the medium of photography. Simply put, he is an artist with a camera. The entire story and every image comes straight from his mind. People often say ‘you need to think outside the box’. Well, the reality is that if you think there is a ‘box’ then it is already too late. With Gary, there is no sketching, no planning, it is just ‘there’ in his mind.
Inspiration can come from a song, a costume or just how someone looks. The Asylum, Europe’s largest steampunk festival held every year in Lincoln, UK, is where it all started. A chance visit and he had found the theme he was looking for.
The idea of 'The Imaginarium' was born from that visit, and the fantastic group of people that form 'the cast'. Late night phone calls, secret facebook groups, clandestine meetings, trips to New York, Poland, Greece; clambering through old buildings, jumping out of the car camera in hand, because he had spotted just the right tree. Hours of work by the genius that is Pete, designing and making the Necessitti and that was just the start of what has become a life changing experience.
Gary has exhibited images from The Imaginarium project in London, Lincoln, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, New York and as part of an exhibition in the Louvre, Paris.
The Imaginarium Book 1 Eva's Story
From the very beginning The Imaginariun Trilogy has always been intended as a book to prove you are never too old to realise your dreams. This is not a graphic novel, it is a story told with the aid of fine art images, where the reader will interpret the story with the text as a guide. In the years it has taken to produce the project, the story has been the most important aspect, one that has taken a great deal of consideration. The idea of using art to tell a tale is not new, after all, William Hogarth did it in the 18th Century!
The Imaginarium has evolved organically and for this reason, despite being offered publishing contracts, Gary has chosen to self-publish the Imaginarium book in a manner that will fully reflect the attention to detail that is so key to his work. His sense of responsibility in producing something truly special, has been inspired by his close relationship with his international fan base. This sense of responsibility and the desire to produce a memorable piece of work led to a collaboration with Tim Griffiths, of Inkwell services. Used to producing high end work, Tim and his layout designer Joanna Legge, are excited to be helping to produce this book.
Book Options and Rewards
The Imaginarium, Eva's Story Book will be presented in three options, ranging from the Standard First Edition book, to the very special Collector’s Edition version. The production will take place in Europe, and will be overseen personally by both Gary and Tim. The pre-orders generated by this Kickstarter campaign will be the only way for the public to own a first edition copy at a special price. It will not be available in any stores or online outlets, and can only be produced with your help by reaching its target goal.
• 300 x 300mm (paper size)
• 180 pages (at design stage), including 4 large gatefold spreads (fold out sections, equal to 3 single pages).
• Photographs to be printed on high quality matt laminate paper, finished with a spot UV varnish
• Real cloth covered hardback, embossed cover + foil stamping.
• Round sewn spine with foil stamping + ribbon marker.
• This will be the first edition run.
The first 1000 copies will be signed and numbered by Gary, with your name listed as a supporter in the book's acknowledgements
LIMITED EDITION SET FIRST EDITION BOOK £550
• First Edition hardback version of The Imaginarium, Eva’s Story, run of only 200. Same spec as standard book, with different coloured cover for this Limited Edition. Each book will be signed and numbered by Gary. Your name will also be listed as a supporter in the book's acknowledgements.
• 2 x signed Limited Edition metal prints. Print size 20” ‘Saved from despair and All in’ Floating panel metal wall prints - Signed certificate of authenticity for the prints - Print size 20"
The Story of The Imaginarium is told in a series of Fine art images, printed on Aluminium. The reason Gary has chosen to only offer metal prints, is because the luminosity of works by painters such as Rembrandt and Caravaggio, was due to these painters’ practice of applying multiple, thin layers of paint to their canvases. In the same way, the layers of dyes infused into the thick, translucent coating on the aluminum plates give a similar sense of depth and luminosity, often leading viewers to think the images are backlit or that they appear to take on the look of a 4k television screen. If you have seen Gary's prints in real life, you will know exactly what this means. You feel as though you can almost step into them, and they are certainly a talking point.
COLLECTOR'S EDITION BOX SET £3,000 (introductory price)
• Limited edition run of only 25
• Introductory price - applies to first 10 editions only
- The Imaginarium, Eva’s Story Book - Same spec as standard book, but with a wet cut stainless steel and leather cover for this Collector’s edition. Each book will be signed and numbered by Gary, and accompanied with a certificate of authenticity. Your name will also be listed as a supporter in the book's acknowledgements.
- Silver Skeletal Hand Clasp - The star of this set is the very special bespoke solid silver and copper, skeletal hand clasp that holds the book shut. This is the same hand that is part of The Necessitti, and each hand will be a one off, no two hands will be the same.
- 3 x signed and numbered Limited Edition metal prints of ‘Dr William Percival Stockdale’, ‘All In’ and ‘Eva Elizabeth Lovelace’ - Print Size 24”
- Signed certificate of authenticity for each print • Your name listed as a supporter in the acknowledgements page of all first edition books.
- IMPORTANT - the pricing for this edition is tiered. The first 10 editions are being released as a special offer at £3000. The later editions will range upwards from £3500.
You have the choice of 3 metal prints, from the above 6, all printed at 24"
- Dr William Percival Stockdale
- All In
- Chrisalisia's Power
- The Nemesis is Born
- The Conspiracy Begins
- Dr William presents The Necessitti
You will be contacted after the campaign closes to confirm which 3 prints you would like.
Shipping and Delivery Dates
The first edition run will be shipped in September, planned to be delivered to UK addresses during that month. We will also ship worldwide, but this will take longer to arrive depending on the location, although we endeavour to deliver to Europe and the US before the end of September. International Shipping costs: these will be added to your pledge, and will vary depending on destination. Prices will be shown when you choose your reward. Please note that this is a very large book weighing over 2kg but we have tried to keep our shipping costs as low as possible. The Metal prints come in a large double box, and are packed accordingly -Please note that if the delivery destination of your order is outside of the European Community, your order may be subject to import duties and taxes which are applied when your order reaches that destination. We have no control over these charges and you will be responsible for payment if they occur.
Kickstarter presents the perfect platform for launching a self-published book. Gary’s first edition book will be of the highest quality, to a standard that would not have been possible through a publisher. Therefore it’s vitally important that we meet our funding goal to make this a reality. Kickstarter also helps Gary to engage with his community of backers, with whom he can communicate to ensure that the book he creates is exactly as he intended.
A little more about Gary
Close to 60, it would be easy to think 'I should be getting ready to retire' but life is over far too quickly. Living every day to the full means Gary works as a sustainability consultant during the day and artist every night and weekends. It is basically two jobs. This is what it has taken to bring this project to fruition.
Gary knew what he wanted to do, just not how to do it. Experimentation and a desire to learn, took him to Glyn Dewis. A photographer - retoucher, who showed him the techniques needed to bring his work to life. What this project means to Gary, is immeasurable. If you have something inside you that you need to get out, go and do it. Don't wait, be selfish, life will not wait for you to make your mind up.
The Imaginarium Team
Peter Walton - Prop creator and genius steampunk gadget builder. A constant collaborator, putting Gary's and his own ideas into breathtaking reality
Julie Walton - Dress maker, designer and stylist. Julie is font of all knowledge in Victoriana and her costume creations are simply stunning.
The Cast Members
Eva Elizabeth Lovelace - Julie Walton Lady Bella-Donna Evangeline Abernathy - Donna Sanders Captain Mordecai Tobias Abernathy - Mark Sanders Warren Donnell Abernathy, Frobisher Thimble - Tim Raynor Hettie Feasepetrel Thornburgh, Martha - Lisa Ashbury Regina Von Black, Cassandra von Black - Louise Brannan Corvus Von Black - Joanne Appleyard Lord Montague Belvoir - Montague Jacque Fromage Sappo - Sarah Denning Eve - Kelly Raynor Lucilla - Emma-Leigh Flatt Dr William Percival Stockdale - Peter Walton Samandiriel - Laura Flatt Tabbris - Adam Flatt Rigny Wood - Adrian Appleyard Elsie Devereaux - Karen Grover Eva as a child - Molly Sanders Adella Daw - Hannah Spring Chrisalisia - Scarlet Butterfly Billy Coggins - Christopher Simpson Loan sharks - Carl Jones and Rebekah Davies Miss Margravine Fermoy – Amber Maxey Lord Daniel Askr – Dan Askr Miss Atom Arkaya – Jess Stevens Sir Albert Walden – John Hirst Colonel Nathan Darnay – Steven Wilkes Miss Katrina Latham – Rebecca Steel Toff – Graham Brannan Protégé – Hannah Ashton Philippa Potts – Julia Scott Rev. Potts – Andy Morton Albert Abeline – John Birley Dr Williams Batman – Mark Ashbury Mrs Wood – Ruth Abraham
Special Mentions in getting this kickstarter started:
Duncan Newham - Freesprite Media - video production
Kara Noble - voiceover artist extraordinaire
Risks and challenges
By the time this Kickstarter is complete, the book will be in the final stages of layout design. The challenge from then on will be ensuring every image meets with the exacting standards set by Gary for his metal prints. The book launch will be at This years Asylum in Lincoln,Uk at the end of August. With delivery in September. This will mean the layout and design will need to be completed by the end of July. At this stage, we are pleased to say that all is on target, but it is not without risk, no project that is worthwhile, is.
Please note that the specifications may be subject to minor design tweaks during the production process, but if there are any significant design changes or any unforeseen complications we will keep all backers informed via Kickstarter and through our social media /subscriber network.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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