The first book a new genre, a descendant of the dichotomous key. Here the reader has no words but instead explores the three dimensional plain by following numbers to their destination. Multiple methods make for infinite pathways, one can explore to the minutest detail. For the first of the series the artist Ben Reader has created an mysterious island. Deep within this island, through a labyrinth of passages lay a secret orange grove, the garden utilizes the structure of this new genre. The book has been launched in an exhibition at Junta do Freguesia do Bonfim in Porto, Bastien Rousseau has recorded the event and a conversation with the artist can be seen here: https://www.scopionetwork.com/blog/2019/1/29/ben-readernbspin-conversation-with-bastien-rousseau
The idea of Lyonesse comes from a mythical land off the coast of Cornwall going by the same name. Arthurian tales relate to this place, being where Sir Tristan came from. The Seven Stones Reef between Land's End and the Isles of Scilly are thought to be the remnants of this long forgotten place. Fishermen claim to hear church bells on stormy days from the deep. The accounts of Celtic lore were re rendered by early medieval monks however Ben Reader's adaptation is in no way tame or modest. He has taken the skeleton of memory and given it a lascivious body, perhaps similar to it's pagan origin.
The story is organised into four days of festivities. Each day is ended by the voyeur sleeping under the great orange tree. Every day is inhabited by nymphs and the two kittens called Crucible and Caliban. As the days proceed, the orange trees slowly flourish and start bearing fruit.
Although there are pleasant pastoral scenes, amongst these are the most sordid creations I have ever inked. However, the book remains tasteful, the sensual scenes are imagined past reality and the experience is beyond banal satisfaction. The panels reference the early Japanese shunga prints, they represent a world of pleasure and style.
The book contains 124 high quality prints on 150g couché silk paper. The artist assembles all the books by hand using a saddle stitch technique. This is an opportunity (not for the faint hearted) to get a collection of Ben Reader's artwork for an affordable price.