Home > Journaling the Apocalypse > From the Revelation of St. John the Divine

From the Revelation of St. John the Divine

December 12, 2008

scan from the d'Arbeloff Revelation
(Click on image to view at larger size.)

My friends Frances and Nicolas McDowall (the Old Stile Press) asked me to think of a book I’d like to illustrate which they could print and publish. I’d always been fascinated by the thunderous words and hallucinatory imagery of Saint John’s Apocalypse, so this is the project I suggested. They were enthusiastic about it.

scan from the d'Arbeloff Revelation
(Click on image to view at larger size.)

I decided to try and create a sense of being overwhelmed by a flood of words and images and repetitions, so I photocopied the whole text in various sizes and then made a collage of words or sentences, sometimes repeated, and drew on top of this text background in black ink and gouache. The whole of the text is there, but not always visible. Nicolas made blocks from my originals and printed them wonderfully on his hand-press. We designed a triptych binding and an edition of 150 copies was published by the Old Stile Press. Details and a slideshow of the whole book can be seen here.

by Natalie d’Arbeloff

  1. December 12, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    These are fantastic. I love the interplay of image and text, particularly in the second piece. Off to see the slide show …

  2. December 12, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you Dana, Dave, Beth and all. I’m so thrilled to see these pages here and am about to tell Nicolas and Frances (Old Stile Press) to come and have a look and to get acquainted with this never less than excellent qarrtsiluni.

  3. December 13, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Hi Natalie

    great work enjoyed looking through the book on the link. Are you a member of artistsbooks 3.0 on ning dot com?
    It’s just that I am sure people on there would love to see your book. Check it out if you are not already involved.

    Happy Christmas


  4. December 13, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Brilliant. Your images convey exactly the experience of a flood of words – and the idea of the whole text being there, but not all of it visible, strikes me as a touch of genius.

  5. December 13, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Natalie, this is really keen. Both images really do Revelation for me. The first image’s John is striking. I also think I understand now why tag clouds seem apocalyptic to me.

  6. December 13, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Aine, many thanks for the link. I didn’t know about it and will certainly join. If you’re interested to see more of my bookworks, click on this page of my website:
    Happy Christmas to you too.

    Dave, very glad you got into the flow. It really is an extraordinarily powerful text, regardless of one’s beliefs.

    Peter, if you haven’t already, have a look at the whole thing on the slide show. Apocalyptic word-filled clouds, yes!

  7. December 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    You never cease to amaze me and inspire me.

  8. December 14, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Fran, thank you, again. You don’t seem short of inspiration yourself but I’m happy to add to it :)

  9. December 17, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Hello Natalie. How extraordinary to find you here. We’ve never met, but I too have done books for the Old Stile Press, and in fact will be calling over to Catchmays Court on Sunday to drop off my finished artwork for the forthcoming OSP edition of Peter Shaffer’s play Equus! This is my first visit to quarrtsiluni, and I came initially to read Thaliad by my friend Marly Youmans, and then stayed to explore. What a joyful coincidence to find an Old Stile Press presence here, in the form of your beautiful Revelation of Saint John the Divine. We can all girdle the globe, like Puck, in a breath, thanks to the wonders of the world web!

  10. December 17, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Hello Clive, hello Natalie–
    Earlier I noticed that you’re both Old Stilers, both bold and beautiful in black and white!

  11. December 17, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Hello Clive, joyful coincidence indeed! I never cease to be amazed by the internet’s power to make relevant connections. I’ve seen some of your excellent work at the Old Stile Press and am delighted to find you here – hopefully we’ll meet in the real world too some time. Your images for Equus are sure to create another brilliant publication.
    I love Frances and Nicolas’s treasure-house of Catchmays Court; each time I’ve been there, I come away inspired and energised. Have a fine day there on Sunday and please give my love to the MacDowalls.

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