They lie, crowned, with their hands crossed/ The Kings and Queens of Aragon

I’ve been making a book from a poem.  The poem is about the royal tombs of the Kings and Queens of Aragon, from the 12th to the 15th century.  Their huge stone tombs are in the nave of the Abbey church in the Monastery of Poblet, in Catalonia.  I saw them twenty years ago while travelling through Spain by bicycle.  It was a bitter winter day and we were the only visitors.  Poblet was threadbare, austere and echoing.

The book is made using thin card, modrock, gesso, pastels and indian inks.  It was all very experimental, not helped by our 9 month-old cat, Orlando, who sat on it, and kicked things off the table.  The binding is made with a short piece of hazel cut from our town garden hedge, and a length of leather thong.  I wanted to create a weathered surface, like very worn parchments, abraded by time and damp.

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