.... and the mysterious manuscripts of Timbuktu.
Timbuktu Manuscript. Photo found here.
Great effort is being made to restore and preserve more than 700,000 ancient manuscripts found in Timbuktu and other areas of Mali. Imagine these time worn pages wrapped in engraved leather or within carved wood covers, secreted away in old trunks for centuries.
Leather bound manuscripts from Timbuktu. Photograph found here.
I enjoyed a film clip here showing Andrew Harding's visit to Mali but I must admit I blanched seeing these 800 year old manuscripts being so roughly handled.
Manuscript No. 11 by Ron Pippin. Be prepared to be amazed by Ron's artwork here.
With these beautiful treasures in mind I gravitate toward present day art which captures the essence of old manuscripts. Artwork that instills the feeling that you are looking at something ancient, sacred and irreplaceable.
Manuscript No.2 . Mixed media with bees wax by Ron Pippin
Ron Pippin describes his work as "visual prayers" that aim for healing and "grace".
"Pippin's boxes are close packed and seem more like survival kits from some archaic civilization, with medicine vials, packets of powders or possibly needles, blowgun darts, feathers, discolored files, maps, sepia photos that may portray the original owner. Or perhaps these kits belonged to magicians or healers of some sort." - Michel Oren (Gallery Director)
Recent work by Ron Pippin
Artifact by Gail Rieke. See more of Gail's exquisite collages here.
Boxed Books by Jody Alexander. See more of these amazing assemblages here .
"Jody Alexander is an artist, bookbinder, papermaker, librarian, and teacher who lives and works in Santa Cruz, California. She makes paper in the Eastern style, and uses her papers to bind books with exposed sewing on the spine in a number of historical and modern binding styles. She combines these books with found objects, wooden boxes and drawers, metal, bones, glass, etc. to create sculptural works. Her pieces celebrate collecting, storytelling, and odd characters. She also enjoys rescuing old books in distress and giving them new life as scrolls, wall books, and other objects."
"Daniel Essig creates wooden-covered art books and book-based sculptures. Using a fourth-century binding style known asEthiopian style Coptic, he creates mixed-media book structures that incorporate unusual woods, handmade paper, found objects, fossils, and mica."