Book Twenty-Five


By rights, photographs should mirror the memory of the photographer. They should become blurred as memory falters. Indistinct and worn. Faded, they should hold out a tantalizing promise of detail that is often impossible to resolve into a true knowledge of the past.  


The photograph above shows a table under a leafy arbour in the dappled sunlight of July, 2001. I converted it to the production of books, making, what remains, my favourite. Saying so is a minor sacrilege, like saying you love one of your children more than the others. Yet it it true. 

To make the book I cut apart a shopworn edition of Herb Ritt's Pictures.  I painted over the imagery with a combination of gesso and acrylic medium while keeping the grey of the pages where they showed a blur of beach or  a portion of indistinct sky. 


I then folded the pages - adding an extra flap so that the spine would not tear when the book was filled with ephemera. The pages, once folded, were sewn into signatures using kite string. While working on this book I carried a wooden box filled with vials of ink and several dip pens. I felt very Victorian while working away at it. It was a bit of an eccentric habit but it had its benefits. My daughter would often find special things while we were walking or sometimes, while she was away with her mother. "Here. This is for your book." She would say as she handed me something. 

I always pasted what she gave me into the book.

Here is a list of books.

Tim McLaughlin

Photographer and writer based in Vancouver, Canada