The work in progress of Guides to Elsewhere: 1/Atlantis

atlantis work 9

… But at a later time there occurred portentous earthquakes and floods, and one grievous day and night befell them, when the whole body of your warriors was swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner was swallowed up by the sea and vanished; wherefore also the ocean at that spot has now become impassable and unsearchable, being blocked up by the shoal mud which the island created as it settled down … (Plato, Timaeus)

Especially in Renaissance utopian literature, Plato’s Atlantis has been idealised as a symbol of perfect civilisation; its pure perfection followed by a catastrophic destiny has influenced writers, artists and adventurers for centuries.

In my work, I imagine a landscape that has been taken over by a colourful group of aquatic creatures, images taken from Albertus Seba’s Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. 

Here I start shaping the landscape:

atlantis work2

The complex terrain is created using a scalpel and a thin cutting mat to protect the following pages:

atlantis work 4

The creatures have been printed on the cut outs of the pages, reinforced with metal wire and backed with cardboard:

atlantis work 10

I used a awl to punch holes through the book and place the marine landscape:

atlantis work 11

And here is how the final work looks like:

IMG_7404

And the back:

IMG_7405

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