Charles Hobson

Quarantine a handmade artist book by Charles Hobson at Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley California San Francisco Bay Area - Charles  Hobson

Quarantine, 2011

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9 x 6 1/2 x 2 1/4 in

Quarantine has been made as a limited edition accordion book in an edition of forty-two copies in the spring and summer of 2011. Eavan Boland's moving poem is a stark and severe depiction of the deep relationship between a man and a woman that transcends the traditions of love poetry. The imagery and design of the book have been inspired by the bleak winter landscape of snow and frozen trees and by the practice of grafting.

Limited edition of forty-two copies in accordion binding. Images are monotypes of bundled twig that have been printed as high-resolution digital prints with additional pastel finishing. The twigs in the centerfold of the accordion are from bay and fir trees in the hills above Stinson Beach, California. The text is 12 points Palatino and has been printed letterpress by JR Press, San Francisco, on BFK Rives. The black pages are Stonehenge and have been hand-painted with acrylic for the two pages at the center of the accordion. The box was cut on a Gunnar 3001 Cutter at Magnolia Editions, Oakland, California and the covers have been editioned by John DeMerritt in Emeryville, California. The book design and images are by Charles Hobson who assembled the book and the boxes with the assistance of Alice Shaw. 18 Pages

Quarantine
In the worst hour of the worst season
of the worst year of a whole people
a man set out from the workhouse with his wife.
He was walking--they were both walking--north.

She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up.
He lifted her and put her on his back.
He walked like that west and west and north.
Until at nightfall under freezing stars they arrived.

In the morning they were both found dead.
Of cold. Of hunger. Of the toxins
of a whole history.
But her feet were held against his breastbone.
The last heat of his flesh was his last gift to her.

Let no love poem ever come to this threshold.
There is no place here for the inexact
praise of the easy graces and sensuality of the body.
There is only time for this merciless inventory:

Their death together in the winter of 1847.
Also what they suffered. How they lived.
And what there is between a man and woman.
And in which darkness it can best be proved.

~Eavan Boland

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