About this project
I want to produce a really beautiful book.
In January, after two years of work, I opened my 'Lost Houses of the South Pennines' Exhibition at Bankfield Museum in Halifax. I researched and painted 10 local lost houses. I visited museum archives, libraries and sites and created 14 large paintings, capturing the houses as they were in their heyday. At the exhibition preview we all dressed up (and I mean some of us really dressed up!),
drank champagne, danced and lived it up for an evening, escaping a grim January, and forgetting a flood-ruined Christmas.
The exhibition attracted 9202 visitors in the 2 months it was open.
I am now in the process of putting together a book, hard backed, nicely bound. I've been designing trace inlays in the style of old book cover designs to separate the chapters.
My Dad, Stephen Lycett, and I researched each house. Dad, a writer by profession, has written the story of the glory days and the story of each demise. Visitors to the exhibition bought their own accounts to add to the book. I've found beautiful photographs and drawings in archives and in people's own personal collections.
Sarah Mason has photographed the ruins that remain.
I don't want to cut corners or have to compromise on the size, colour reproduction, or the quality of the paper. I'm not going through a publisher. This is just me working with a local bookbinding company to produce the book I want to make. I want this book to reflect the years of research and the hours spent painting.
I'm planning an initial run of 500 copies. Within this run a limited number will include a signed, gilded, giclée print, inside the book that can be taken out to frame.
A very few will be extra special. The bookbinder will be able to let me work on the leaves before they're bound so I'll be able to stitch and gild some of the pages.
Risks and challenges
I've not made a book before, and though there's a lot to get my head around in drawing all the different elements together, the bulk of the work was done in the research for the exhibition. My Dad is a writer by profession, so I know it will be well written. Sarah Mason's photographs are always beautiful. Just like myself Sarah can see the magic in the ruins and capture this through a lens.
I've not worked with the book binder before, but I've seen enough of their work to know that they can produce the book i want to see; a book to cherish. It was they that came up with the suggestion for the special, hand-finished edition. I don't know what the special editions will be like and I don't know how long it will take me to hand finish each one. But I'm very excited about them!
We're working to an October deadline, hoping to launch the book when the exhibition of paintings travels to Hebden Bridge Town Hall in October. I've specified a December delivery to allow for any delay, but I want to get it out in time for Christmas.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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