Tuesday, May 31, 2011

16 Days of Bloom: Day One

"Shadowbox Collage"

On day one of my challenge I find myself looking back to “Sirens”: “Done. / Begin!” (U 11.66-67). I am done and yet I have only just begun! My collage, which I made for today’s challenge, takes a bit of its color scheme from “Sirens” with its bronze and gold hues.

In the background of the shadowbox are pages from a 1961 American edition of Ulysses (you’ll be seeing more of this edition tomorrow!). I used a few flea market treasures to complete this collage—the stained (and well used!) letterpress letters, vintage scalloped chain, the innards of a pocket watch (the spring), and a gold keychain-fan of places in Ireland.

The keychain-fan is fascinating! It was manufactured in England (ironically) and features the touristic “gems” of Ireland on each piece of the fan: Athlone, The River, Killarney Lake, The Lake, and Dublin. Each includes an accompanying picture: Athlone, The River, Killarney Lake, and The Lake are all pastoral images, isolated and desolate, yet beautiful. Athlone is represented by a castle and bridge while The River, Killarney Lake, and The Lake are all represented majestically in the sunlight with no man-made structures. The picture of Dublin, on the other hand, is urban, populated, and modern. There is a line of buildings, street lamps, pedestrians, and buses. Each picture is colored with a spec of green paint. Sadly, I could not date this particular souvenir but I found the tiny portrait of a modern, urban Dublin to be fitting for a collage involving Joyce!

I also used part of a damaged James Joyce Quarterly journal (vol. 45.1 to be exact) to construct the butterflies and flower. Also, to mimic the shape of the fan I employed the cover art. The image is of Ken Fanning, “who played a flying James Joyce in The Parable of the Plums, a street play performed during the 2004 International James Joyce Symposium in Dublin” (JJQ, inside cover). The picture was taken by Phillip Massey. Other materials used are scrapbook leaves, tacs, nails, brass findings, and mode podge.

15 more days till Bloomsday!

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