Talisman and single-sheet artist’s books

One of my favourite ways to make an artist’s book is to set six lines or phrases from a poem around a single sheet of handmade paper, folded and torn so that the book can be read page-by-page, or opened out map-wise to reveal the whole image. I like this dual nature, the painting hidden within the book, or the book there to be found inside the painting. It doesn’t work for everything, but some texts or poems have just such a circling, spiralling feeling, the words folding back upon themselves, the lines interacting, woven into the fabric of the poem, and setting lines like this can shine a new light on them, giving the words space to reveal their own overlapping meanings.

Here is Talisman page-by-page, with Maureen Duffy’s lines from her poem about Keats circling round the sheet:

Talisman, cover and portfolio slipcase

Talisman, page 1

Talisman, page 2

Talisman, page 3

Talisman, page 4

Talisman, page 5

Talisman, page 6

Talisman, back page and portfolio slipcase