There have been books that have stayed with me, books that inspire me and make me curious, books I just love looking at- over and over again. I’ve chosen a few of those to share with you.
The first is by photographer Arthur Tress, Fish Tank Sonata. Flea market treasures – knickknacks – arranged in a fish-tank and photographed. I love his others too (Teapot Opera especially).
Next is The Grosset Treasury of Fairytails illustrated by Tadasu Izawa and Shigemi Hijikata. It’s a 3-D puppet book- one of many created by this team in Japan in the 70’s. They were magic for me then and they still are today.
Shadow Theaters and Shadow Films Is a stunningly illustrated instructional book by the master shadow puppeteer Lotte Reiniger. The scenes are magical and every composition is brilliant. You can find some of her shadow films on youtube – I love the scratchy worbly soundtracks.
The last two were gifts that I loved :
Julie Taymor – Playing With Fire by Eileen Blumenthal. It’s a huge book that chronicles the the history and work of artist and directorJulie Taymor – her beginnings, her process and sketches – a window into her thinking – her imagination is giant and her thinking is rigorous. I refer to this book regularly – especially when my thinking feels lazy.
Joseph Cornell: Shadowplay Eterniday – Essays by Lynda Roscoe Hartigan and Richard Vine. I love Cornell and his dreamlike, melancholy, poetic boxes, those precious objects and little worlds. This is another giant book with images of more than seventy-five boxes and collages, as well as images of the fascinating source material, his treasures.
What an interesting selection of books. I adore the work of Julie Taymor so that is the one I would reach for first.
I am also a fan of Julie Taymor. Have you seen her film Across the Universe? It is probably my most cherished film of all time. Her imagination and The Beatles…sigh…may have to pull it out and watch it again this weekend. If you are ever in Minneapoilis, there is a great puppet house here, Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre. You might enjoy them. Hope you have a good weekend.