Thursday

What is a Knicker Drawer Note Book?

I know the Knicker Drawer Books speak to some people, because for you, neither of us needs words.


But I have to describe a Knicker Drawer book to someone I won't meet.


I'll say, a Knicker Drawer book is a curiosity. Think of it as a unique mix. Assemblage Art meets Artist Journal meets Commonplace Book meets Collaborative Art meets Storytelling meets Object Narration meets Therapy Journal meets Sensory Book.


Did that help?

Erm.

Maybe, the only way to know about a Knicker Drawer Book is to hold one.


A Knicker Drawer Book seeks your physical engagement. It can be a puzzling, or sensuous experience, or both. Pick it up, and you become a part of the physical moment. The book responds to you by the way it falls into your hand and perhaps the materials begin a story. It is expression and identity; it hints narrative, fantasy, or truth, as you find it; this little book suggests, proposes, queries, reveals, and conceals. This knowledge is released, forbidden, closed, open. Strange. It is already an object that is old, but it offers you new possibilities: it is a place filled with old meanings, yet a blank space waiting to be changed by your expression.


Did that help? Hmm.

Perhaps I could help like this?

I make the books selfishly, and they draw on ideas that form me. I draw inspiration from imaginative books of story. Magic books, folk tales, fables. I draw inspiration from broken things, found objects, discarded or damaged things. I draw inspiration from lived experience: how the layers of lives and complexities of metaphor combine to create a moment that is lived anew, yet is lived before; it is old, as old as humanity.


And I want the person who holds a Knicker Drawer Book to take what I make and change it; to re-shape and re-transform this object in your hands. I want the books to become the change that is part of life.


Let's put that another way. Time is an unstoppable flow. The book I make, it is on its own time journey. It is an object in transition. The pieces have been assembled - perhaps papers newly pressed, perhaps leather restitched, perhaps an item found - but is an object assembled of parts, made suddenly into a new whole. But that is already a temporary state, moving to a new transition.


In your hands, your book will change. Over time, you add new layers, new objects, new experiences. The book you create when you write, draw, doodle, pin, stitch, stain, tear the pages, all can become, if you like, a metaphor for your experiences when observed by another, or a short-hand way for you to identify, remember, and recount your own matters, or simply a collation of stuff you happily ignore as you pass by. In this way, the book I once made continues on its journey as you use it and leave it in turn. Where next in space and time? Will it pass from you, given to another? Will it be discarded, to change again by minerals and earth chemicals? Will you unpick the book to create new objects bound for other journeys? Or, as we are all outlived by our things, will your book be left in a drawer, waiting for discovery?


I don't know whether musings upon space, time, transience, and timelessness help much either. And I sure could go on (and on) with intellectual inquiries on forms of narration. Or how I know books I make are used to navigate healing, end of life, loss, and spiritual journeying.

But perhaps the Knicker Drawer Books are simply a great toot-toot of celebration!


Stuff your book full with the ephemera that surrounds you - scribbles, notes, discarded print, casual jottings, doodles, found objects, cards. This unique and bizarre collation, in its new, framed context, gives a strange beauty. Purpose, value, and a curious sense of wonder.

That's a Knicker Drawer Book.


A celebration of your ordinary, everyday.

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