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Inspiration from art and life: Faye De Gannes’ Inside the Coco

FDI 300dpi COCO 01 Faye close up portrait

Faye De Gannes, self portrait 2012

This blog post is an example of about the power of art libraries to inspire and inform the creative work of artists and researchers:

Faye De Gannes first visited the library in June to gather ideas and inspiration to produce an artist’s book. The idea of artist’s books as a medium for photography was new to Faye – she calls hers an ‘artist’s photobook’. She discussed her ideas with library staff, and together they identified some items from the artist’s book collection that related closely to her requirements. Those books are: Hormazd Narielwalla’s Dead Man’s Patterns, a book constructed from a the tailoring pattern of a man’s suit; Leo Asemota’s Testimony, concertinaed book with handwritten text, photographic and diagramatic images, and Stanley Wong’s RedWhiteBlue: here/there/everywhere, two stitched volumes in a bag of plastic material.

Her masters research had been influenced by the social documentary photography of Sebastiao Salgado and Dorothea Lange. Lange’s work prompted Faye to think about her own personal history and relationship to land. She recalls a conversation with her late mother about her childhood, which was spent growing up on a farm in the South of Trinidad.

For her artist’s book project, Faye’s senior tutor advised her to find a subject that would have personal meaning for her; she decided to create a tribute to her mother. Her initial ideas were focused on hand-made, textile, tactile materials, evoking domesticity and ideas of home.

Faye developed the format for her book from a combination of Hormazd’s A3-size brown paper-wrapped book, and the hardback, flexible paper concertina-style of Leo Asemota’s.
The final version of Faye’s book, entitled Inside the Coco, was printed on newsprint paper, covered mount board in net curtain fabric sourced locally (Ridley Road Market in Dalston!) soaked in tea to give it an aged look, concertinaed and bound. The materials chosen for the physical object echo the materials the viewer can see in Faye’s images.

Faye exhibited images from Inside the Coco at her graduation show in early September, where the work received a great amount of interest and praise.

Faye plans to build on her project by spending an extended time in Trinidad; her work is scheduled to appear in ARC Magazine in Spring 2013.

For library staff, it has been a pleasure to see the project progress from the start of an idea, to the realisation of a finished object. We will acquire a copy of Inside the Coco shortly.

Faye De Gannes  graduated in BA Hons in Photography from the University of the Creative Arts, Farnham. She has won freelance business start up awards from the Prince’s Trust and Nets UK and has featured reportage photography in national and international publications.

In 2006 she was awarded a scholarship award for attending a business entrepreneurship programmed at Babson College, Boston MA, for her freelance photography. And also became represented by PYMCA, Alamy, and most recently a contributing member of NUJ, Demotix and Corbis photographic agencies.

In 2012, graduating from the University of Westminster with an MA Photojournalism, De Gannes aspires to be represented by leading international photographic agencies and news feature wires as an emerging editorial photojournalist.