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Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Sanctuary of Lost Books, a solo project by Immortalis Cyannis



Not a lot of people know that when I was 13 I took a class in school named "Commercial Art and Graphic Design." It was one of the first classes that I -wanted- to take. My end project for the semester was a folding paper book based on a box template, that, when you unwrapped it and spread out, became a page inspired by the Book of Kells. I was taught how to recreate my own anthropomorphic animals that twisted around the capital letters. I was careful to keep scale and learnt calligraphy with a nib pen. I did all of the shading with professional art markers. It was the first time, as a native Dubliner, that I ever gave a fuck about the Book of Kells.

Well from there I remembered a field trip to Glendalough (pronounced "glen-da-lock") in County Wicklow. I remembered the monks there from the 12th century that used to run into the tower there to escape the Vikings and if they were still around, how would that order remain profitable in modern society. Well...every lad of 13 knows that chocolate is a strong cottage industry. So in my head, these monks would sit there, medieval style, creating works of art to wrap bars of chocolate with.

That little boy, fascinated by books, is still inside of me. (and I still love chocolate)

I tell this story to illustrate there are fascinations, passions, niggling obsessions that are inside of us all and date back to our early years. They represent the things we REALLY love, and cannot get enough of. For me, it is books and adventure. Over time other things have attached to me: a sense of magic, and story. Through my youth I wanted to be a tomb raider like Indiana Jones, or an explorer like the characters in the PC games Zork, Myst or Riven. So even prior to the computer games of Myst and Riven was Xanth, a series of books written by Piers Anthony that appealed to every boy at that time. In those books there was a magician that one could seek out when you were in dire need. Before you were allowed to see him, you had to be tested by trials to weed out those that were not serious. He was a recluse and didn't enjoy being bothered you see. If you failed the trials you died, but winning awarded you an audience.

My point being that I know and have experienced the power of books as a vehicle for adventure. It is this search for adventure I have always held close and motivates me today when I build.

Over the years, one lesson I have learnt is that what you create is not necessarily created out of nothing. Rather it is discovered, because all of these wonderful creatures and places really exist. You just have to find them again.

I welcome you to come along with me, on a journey of exploration.

It is the very beginning, and there is much to be done!





-Immortalis Cyannis.

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