The Norwich Writers Centre have organised a Summer Reads Book Art Competition. From a selection of six nominated Books artists were asked to make a response to their chosen book.
Chris Ruston chose to respond to Jon McGregor's This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone like You. She has selected the short story If It Keeps on Raining. The story centres on a man who keeps a watch on the skies, and who is making plans as he is convinced there will be a flood. He reflects on daily life and considers what is really important. The reader is also caught in questioning the pace of our daily lives.
Her book seeks to capture the mood of the Fens with it's dark peaty earth, and wide flat horizons.The somber mood suggests the flood is approaching. Some of McGregor's words are incorporated into the pages. The book is painted on Fabriano paper using inks. The structure uses a double concertina fold, with board covers.
Gwen was struck how people living in these difficult conditions are able to create such colourful dwellings by reusing plastic sheeting and other scavenged materials.
This was her starting point and she has produced a book made completely of recycled materials - plastic bags and cardboard. She calls attention to how Westerners readily purchase flat packed furniture from large companies like Ikea and wanted to acknowledge the creativity of people who have little, but who build colourful dwellings - something from nothing. Here is your very own "flat pack" DIY slum dwelling!
In just one sentence McGregor gives us a glimpse of a tale about a spreading fire that is both potentially horrifying and slightly comical.
The fire spread quicker than the little bastard was expecting.”
For Karen this conjured up images of the consequences of playing with matches.
Her book, Le Petit Batard takes the form of a matchbook which is made twice actual size to simulate a child's perspective of the object.
The origin of the word bastard is said to originate in Old French but here a modern translation is used.