The Magic Book of Vines and Roses
11″ x 14″ x 2 3/4″
A great deal of my inspiration for my new art piece is from the 1991 Peter Greenaway film, “Prospero’s Books.” The film is based on the story of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, which, very briefly, is the story of the once Duke of Milan who is set adrift with his fourteen year old daughter Miranda, by the ambitious rivals for his dukedom. In many ways Greenaway’s film demonstrates Prospero’s island situation as being preferable to living in the world of his former dukedom because on the island Prospero’s intellect makes him even the master over nature. Greenaway’s film is mostly about the books that Prospero values over everything else in the world save for his daughter. The books are beyond anything you can imagine and it is in the depiction of each book on the screen, like the layering of many diaphanous scenes, where the film turns magical, artful and unique. Here I come back to the point. Spending twenty-two years teaching English to teenagers challenged my love of books. Maybe a book like The Magic Book of Vines and Roses would have compelled my readers to dive in and give themselves over to the magic that is reading.