My contribution to the Al Mutanabbi artists’ book project. It’s been a bit like getting blood out of a stone – goodness knows why I make these things so hard for myself! If only I’d knuckled down to it sooner I would have finished quicker… except that the book has many layers (as usual) and has spent a long time gestating. I’ve come SO close to giving up a number of times, but now it’s finally coming together I feel OK about it.
Collagraph, calligraphy, paper cutting, embossing, stains and natural pigments on 300gsm Somerset rough soft white paper, Canson Mi Teinte wrap cover with tabs, modified accordion binding
The book is about the pavement: a surface scraped and re-written with the tracks of lives in blood and dirt. Somehow seedlings sprout in the cracks – pomegranates, growing from discarded seeds. In Persian mythology Isfandiyar ate a pomegranate and became invincible. The pomegranate sometimes symbolizes patriotism in dying for your country.
The Arabic text records a conversation in a café on Al Mutanabbi Street between correspondent Brian Turner, writing for National Geographic magazine in July 2011, and Mohammed Jawad, Professor of Biology in Baghdad., in which Professor Jawad says, “History is written by War”.