Natalie d’Arbeloff is a one-off if ever we’ve met one! For decades she has been lauded as one of the most interesting of those artists who choose to express themselves by creating unique or tiny edition books. This is one of the former. Its title Dream and Variations (apart from a few facts on a colophon page) provides the book’s entire text . . . I mean, there is no text.
There is a drop-back box (not shown here) and the book itself is contained in a vibrantly embroidered bag made by Natalie’s also-remarkable mother, Blanche.
Thereafter there are pages and there are double-page spreads. There is printmaking technique and there is painting. There is the ‘cast’ of the dreaming. There are views of one figure or another which are the same as ones on another page . . . or are they? No, they are not. Are they reversed, are they mirrorized? The ‘world’ in which it all happens is like a lusciously romantic stage set . . . or is it a film set? Look for yourself. [click on images to see greater detail]
Clearly, as this is a one-off book, it is crazy for me to say that I wish it had been ‘one of ours’ but I can still state that it has a richness and depth about it which I find very exciting and would love to emulate in some way.
We HAVE worked with Natalie, I am happy to say, and it was a great experience! Together we helped Natalie to realize her version of the vision of St. John on Patmos. REVELATION is one of the most interesting books we have published and I will offer a serious of photographs of the book in a later post. For now details about it can be seen here.
Natalie is not only a book-builder but she is also a painter and assemblage artist. She is also a writer, philosopher, cartoonist and, most recently and spectacularly, a major presence on the WEB . . . as you can find if you follow the link at the head of this post. You will find Natalie and you will find her alter-ego, Augustine, who just happens to be about to publish a book recording her interviews with God!
Nicolas! I’m stunned and overjoyed that you have put up “Dream & Variations”. Thank you so much for this and for all that you say. I’m feeling famous. It’s great to see these pages again and to know that they are lovingly handled by you and Frances in your fabulous environment. My appearance on the Beeb is best forgotten but this will linger on. I am writing a post about Old Stile this week so watch the space.
Love to you both.