Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Library of Babel










I had the idea for the hexagon maze as a way of depicting solopsism (the idea that only ones own mind is sure to exist and everything else is a creation of the mind) - I sketched an image of a man in a hexagonal room with each wall as a mirror reflecting endless crowds of other people. 

In "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius", Borges also imagines a land with a language which lacks nouns, where things are only understood in their relationship to other things, and events are only recognised as part of a sequence. Lost objects are duplicated with gradually lessening precision, archaeological finds can be brought about by hope or suggestion, tiny items can have the mass of giants, while towers of blood and transparent tigers are hardly worth mentioning. So I experimented with illustrating these ideas across a maze, almost like the panels of a comic. 

It was only more recently, when I was developing the hexagon mazes into collages, that I happened to start reading Borges' The Library of Babel...which to my surprise was set in a huge labyrinth of hexagons. 

(In short, I began illustrating one Borges story and ended up illustrating another I'd not yet read.)

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