Monday, 2 June 2014

What Lurks Between The Covers?

Pulp - Collage
Books. I love them. All of them. From the tiny mini books sold at the registers in stores to the lavish coffee table publications, each have a place in my heart and my life.  The printed word. I can't live without it.

I can chart the years by my books, and I can usually remember where I purchased them and why. I note cities I've visited not only by name but by the bookstores they possess. And Heaven on earth to me is a Public Library.

While trying to reorganise my bookshelves, I came across my small collection of pulp or pocket-book fiction. Although normally associated with the mid twentieth century, Argosy Magazine started the genre in 1896. Portable, accessible, and cheap to produce and purchase, the books were available at bus and train stations, drugstores, and newsstands. Westerns, War, Detective, Science Fiction, Horror, topic was taboo. Who could resist titles like I Am A Woman, Murder In Paradise, Nude In Mink, or Halfway To Hell with suggestively illustrated covers guaranteed to bring in sales?

Tereska Torres' Women's Barracks, "the frank autobiography of a French girl soldier", was just what I had in mind for my collage.  The substrate for the collage is illustration board.  I cut the cover into strips and wove it together with art paper, handmade paper, and text from within the book.

Pulp is now part of the National Collage Society's 17th annual Postcard Exhibit, and is one of the award-winning collages. I am delighted...and be in such fine company.

For me, pulp fiction will forever conjure romantic images of steamy train stations and glimpses of forbidden lives with each turn of the page.  So, what does lurk between the covers?