Fran Dibble - A Visit to the Library

23 October - 16 November 2015

The gallery is very excited to present a suite of new works by Fran Dibble.

"… I have a great love of books, reading one of those stolen pleasures, but also I love the objects themselves – the bindings and typeface, linen covers, the pictures, even the thickness of the paper and their own particular smell – none of which is present in the poor substitute of electronic versions. Using vintage books with small bronze modelling added onto their tops I began to create these small tributes.

This way of working had the added interest of being driven in direction by the ‘find’. A children’s book of foreign lands could be adorned with walnut shells made into simple boats for play, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (a separated remnant from a pocket classic set) has the king’s laurel wreath that Brutus craved. Later I began to make my own bronze books, some copies of real ones (“A Short History of the English People Vol IV”, “Art Form in Nature” by Haeckel, an architecture book), the inspired book deemed too beautiful to relinquish, or else I entirely make them up. This enables more complex narrative to be presented. In Vanitas the odd collection of books shows how death has been an ongoing preoccupation, in books as different as about historic and contemporary artwork and one of the most famous of self-help books “On Death and Dying” by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

Requiem to a Nightingale is a sort of morality tale about the Victorian practice of caging nightingales, known for their beautiful tunes, in order to study and notate, with the result of an ever increasing pile of dead songsters, as they never survived in captivity. Picasso Flowers uses a rough copy of one of Picasso’s vase and flower sculptures from the 1950s haphazardly placed on the artist’s biography, the way things are stacked and muddled in domestic environments ..."

Fran Dibble - Artist's Statement