In ‘The Portfolio of…’ I give you, the photographer/ designer, a chance to share your work with the world. Everyone likes to get some attention for their works, and we’re here to help. Submit your portfolio to us and I’ll try to publish it. Today it’s time to show you the work of Louisa Boyd.
Louisa Boyd: My work is inspired by the natural world, and the human connection with it and I am fascinated by the innate human response to nature. Despite the fact that many of us live detached from the natural environment in cities with lives governed by technology, we are still able to understand the powerful symbolism that nature depicts. We can relate to these themes with ease, understanding that a bird in flight can display freedom, a flock can demonstrate companionship and a forest pathway can show a personal journey. The symbols need little explanation, they are meant to be accessible to all, to illustrate the intrinsic human connection to nature.My interest in this area has developed over a series of personal experiences and events that have led me to feel at a distance from nature; periods of my life where I have lived in cities and found it difficult to experience quiet and serenity, and events such as the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic in the UK that led to large areas of the countryside being temporarily inaccessible. It is during these periods of time that I recognise how important the natural environment is to me and long to immerse myself in it and portray it through my work. Consequently the themes of restriction and freedom consistently recur in my pieces.
Working with books sculpturally allows me to represent these ideas. Pages can be used restrictively and may only give glimpses of the information within them due to cut work, the way that they are bound and exhibited. Many of my books are not meant to be opened with pages turned, instead viewed only as a 3D form. Some books depict birds flying from them, released from their binding, others use the edges of the pages to show a broken image of a landscape.
In other senses using the book itself represents another move away from our cultural heritage, as they become replaced by technology. I am not standing against the advances we have made and am keen to embrace technology within my work too, but I wish to recognise the importance of what has gone before.In such senses, the process of bookbinding has become as important as the sculptures themselves and the concepts behind them. Recognising the beauty and skill involved in making books is just as much part of the work. It is a slow process, and requires patience, concentration and practise, but it is calming and rewarding. The hand bound book stands out in an age where we are used to fast results and machine-made objects.
Materials and technique play an important role in all the pieces, and I dedicate a lot of time to experimenting with paper, paint and printmaking, pushing materials and understanding what they do. I am particularly interested in paper as a material with its fragile properties, and enjoy identifying what it can and cannot do. I enjoy the sometimes unpredictable nature of the material. The conscious decision to leave some of my artist books without covers exposes them and their message and further alludes to the delicacy of our natural world.
Do you like this kind of posts? It is part of our “Submitted Portfolios” section: a special page showing everything we've published related to this subject.