Welcome to GIBBIN HOUSE!

When I first started this blog about the misadventures of a nascent author, I had only a small novel under my belt, titled Gibbin House. The building that bears the name is a fictitious postwar era safe-house, as many might have existed, and the London home of my motley crew of exiles. I could not anticipate then the degree to which I would join its ranks of writers and artists, but since publishing my book in 2011, I have had the greatest privilege of opening my own art gallery and of exploring my love of the written word through visual poetry and paper sculptures. Yet much like the girl who first started blogging two years ago, I suspect I don't know what I'm doing half the time. As such, Gibbin House remains a refuge for ramblings...and on occasion a haven for little triumphs.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Mariposa" (Butterfly) - My latest KONZEPTION Installation for the novel "Humboldt's Riches" - PART 1

As of October 12th, I am officially underway in my KONZEPTION cross-pollinating literature and art project.  "Se Vende" led into the theme.  "Prologue" served as the page of inception.  Now "Mariposa" begins to introduce some of the main themes in the novel, which I can't wait to start wrestling with over the next few months.  I will talk more about naturalism and Alexander von Humboldt, the Prussian explorer who inspired the title of my new book, in the next post.  For now I will leave you with this description and images from the new art installation.

The subject is Amazonian butterflies: mariposas.   The installation depicts them as biological nomenclature hovering amidst a lattice-like net and sculptural 'foliage', to which cling crystalline vellum butterflies, transparent yet veined with white ink and pencil.  In "Humboldt's Riches", the main characters are a family of young biologists who have journeyed into Peru's Apurimac region to run an uncle's hacienda hotel, with the idea of continuing their study of butterflies there.  Once arrived, they endure the hardships of living in this remote wilderness and start to see hints of the impending dangers that will catapult them into the novel's adventure,  Yet all the while they cannot resist delving into the forest for their quarry, the variety of vibrant papilios, some rare and uncatalogued, as large as their spread hands. 

Note: my parents were equally obsessed with capturing and cataloguing butterflies and moths (and a fair share of insects) while we lived in the rainforest.  I grew up with these frames, which traveled with us from Peru to Germany to the United States, even when other important objects (all my baby toys spring to mind) were left behind.  As a young girl in Munich, my parents even raised a specific species of domestic butterfly, just to see it hatch in the thousands in our small studio apartment...but more on that in my 'Germany' book)

The installation, as seen presently, offers a depiction of this butterfly theme.  Only when the novel is read months down the line, will the installation offer a different perspective on the subject, begging the question of who is being chased, who exactly is trapped in that lattice-like net among the sculptural green???


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