Literary Islands

My bookshelf choices inspired by the blog Bundle of Books

# of proposals for exhibitions sent off – 1 (Artspeak Gallery)
# of acceptance letters – none yet
# of rejection letters – none of those either
# of canyons climbed this weekend while fishing – 1
# of muscles aching from said climb – all of them

Books play a huge role in my art practice and my daily life. As long as I can remember I have had a book constantly beside my bed, and a stack always ready to read. One of my goals going into my Masters degree was to make my art practice a part of my life, so that it wouldn’t feel like a foreign body being dragged behind my daily routines. It became obvious that language and literature were going to have to become a part of the work.

Over the last few years I have created several pieces that investigated place through memory, diagrams and literature. I find it interesting how the realities of a place are influenced by the words we read about it. I like those places where a gap in what is expected and what exists, opens up and yet we suspend disbelief and jump over this cavernous space of illogic.

And so, beginning my new island project, I have been searching for the islands of my literary experience. There are many that are missing. Lost to the tides of time. Children’s books, such as an Enid Blyton collection in which four children go to a mysterious island in a row boat. The cover of which showed a birdseye view of the boat and all of the goodies they took with them. Or a copy of Robinson Crusoe that I think was in a compilation book that my grandmother owned. But I found some great choices on my bookshelf that I will be rereading while I get the studio together.

Generation A by Douglas Coupland
In which the characters are sent to Haida Gwaii

Coastliners by Joanne Harris
A novel that explores island communities at their best and worst

Not Wanted On The Voyage by Timothy Findley
My favourite novel I think ever. A twisted tale of Noah’s ark ( a man made island if ever there was one) from the point of view of a cat.

Land of my Fathers by Gwynfor Evans
A history of Wales and how Britain became what it is from a Welsh perspective

Notes From A Small Island by Bill Bryson
A humorous look at Britain and its people

The Origin of The Species by Nino Ricci
A look at academia, psychology, Darwin and the galapagos islands filled with action and deep character development.

Small Island by Andrea Levy
A book in my to be read pile set in Jamaica

The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant
The book I am currently reading. A true story about a tree with gold coloured pines that was revered by the Haida people but destroyed.

Does anyone have any island favourites they’d like to share?

2 thoughts on “Literary Islands

  1. Thanks for linking to my site! 😀 It looks like you’ve got some good books there – most of them I haven’t read. I like the idea of literary islands! I used to love The Famous Five too and always wanted to be able to sail over to my very own island… In fact sometimes I still do!

    Happy reading!

    1. I recommend them all. That’s it the book was a set of three famous five books. Ha ha I remembered the four children but forgot about the dog. A dog is an important asset on an island.

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