The Book of Penumbra
Deadly Myths Retold - A book of small stories of death gods from around the world.
Death has always fascinated me because it happens to all of us yet no one talks about it. I wanted to see what other cultures personified death as through myths and legends. The gods in this book are very hushed and for some, even if you speak the name, you'll be cursed. I wanted this book to be shadows, to be played in the light. I chose a delicate paper so one could see through to the page behind it. The text is in all sorts of shapes because I wanted each story to represent the god being told about. For instance, Sedna is in the shape of drowning, Anubis is his eye, Mac is a pit with someone at the bottom. The borders are all plants, roots, and things found on the earth. Some represent death like the poppy, and the yew tree.
Design Binding not for purchase.
Materials: Black goat skin leather with hand sewn silk end bands. Tengu-ju paste downs with gold foil drawings. Varnish was used to get the glassy effect on the cover.
The cover is a debossing of the original letterpress printed paper cover for the book. Since the oval is consistent throughout the text, I wanted the design to be void of any illustrations inside the shape. I used the nature drawings from inside the book and arranged them into a nest to create a chaotic feel. The varnish was added to the matted leather to create contrasting moments of black color and texture.
Dimensions in MM: 235 x 185 x 20
Tacoma, Washington: Gabrielle Cooksey, 2016. Edition of 23.
$1,000 to purchase. 11 of 23 sold.
Materials: Hand-bound accordion case binding. Thai Mulberry Black and Tengu-jo Japanese Kozo. Letterpress printed with handset type and photopolymer plates. Gold Foil Tooling. Signed and numbered by the artist. Laid in hinged painted black box.
Dimensions: 9.13 x 6.69"; 19 pages.
The 7 gods I represented. There were hundreds I could have chosen but these ones stood out to me the most.
I personally researched, wrote, illustrated, letterset and letterpress printed, and bound this book.