Blue/Red — Medieval Chained Book
6" x 8.5" x 1.5", 24" chain
Hand-made paper, with watermark, by Austin and ArtHaus4, Gmunden, Austria, 2012.
Collaborative artwork, in addition to linoleum prints, nature prints, and drawings.
Text written by Alice Austin
Sewn on leather bands, laced onto oak boards
Bound in alum-tawed calf and blind-tooled, 2019 
Chain designed and made by Louise Pezzi, blacksmith. 

Text summary, interspersed with a series of typewritten collaborative poems:
The book starts with the sections wrapped in blue paste-paper and the text reads “Think with the senses, into the blue, words become thoughts, thoughts become poems, captured.”
In the blue/red paste-paper wrapped section the text transitions to “thoughts become images.” 
In the red paste-paper wrapped sections the text reads “out of the blue, thoughts become images, images become words, captured. Prisoner of art. 
And the book ends, “think with the senses, out of the blue, into the unknown.”

In the medieval ages, books were extremely valuable and scarce and were often chained to their benches for security. Before the widespread use of printing press, books were hand-written, which was time consuming, and materials were expensive and often rare. It was a sign of great social status and wealth to own a book.