We’re delighted to publish Benamon’s 24th article to his PictureBook column with us and once again, it is outstanding, gushing with creativity and imagery both in pictures and words, don’t miss this.
The concept behind the PictureBook column is not just about capturing stories but creating them, the journey behind and the image we present. PictureBook draws on Images selected from Benamon’s own story series and also looks at the work of the other story tellers within the community’. Over to you Benamon (foreword by Joanne Carter)…
‘In Livia’s Memory – Eventyr ‘ – ©Benamon Tame
They found her in a large steamer trunk that had been tucked under one of the rafters, so rusted and old it blended in with the wall around it. decked in cobwebs like a brides veil.
The first time they had noticed it was following the knock, a faint sound that had been going on for so long many of the toys had forgotten it was there. but today was a quiet day so they played hunt the knock and scattered throughout the toy room looking for the hidden sound. Gray was the first to find the chest and called over the others, the air filled with their excited chatter as they rushed over, sounding more like an orchestra warming up with the host of clockwork, bellows, squeeze boxes and stranger sounds.
Kelpie was coaxed out of his thoughts to help them drag it into the open before Syster laid here hands upon it and at the edge of it all the Black Day Dolls emerged like a creeping shadow.
The great chest split open like a rotten fruit and the contents tumbled out in a flurry of decayed lace, bones and a faded pair of red slippers. Marionette strings wrapped round the heap and a pale doll struggled to free herself like a fly in a web.
Eventyr was the doll of Livia Danae Thorn. Youngest daughter of Paulus Thorn
Livia had dreamt of beings a dancer and turned her doll into a marionette with strings leading from each of her limbs to a finger on Livia’s hand. Livia would go everywhere with Eventyr, even at the dinner table they would be bound together, Livia eating with one hand while Eventyr would dance or mimic as if she was already alive.
Paulus loved his daughter and though as a Thorn, she had no future as a dancer he indulged her for as long as he could. When the time came for Livia’s Thorning she disobeyed her father and the family. Livia refused to give up Eventyr and fled the ceremony. Livia returned to the toy room in panic and climbed inside the trunk.
In her tears and fear she didn’t hear the clamps fall shut and in the darkness holding Eventyr close she waited and drifted into her last sleep. The other children could not find her and even the frantic cries of the searching staff could not wake or locate her. Her name was inscribed onto the Copper Wall and her story was added to the dark memory of Ravenna Court.
When the Toy Room was lost Eventyr woke in the arms of Livia. The chest and the strings still bound her to Livia and all she could do was bang against the wall and hope.
When she was eventually found and freed the strings could not be cut so Syster had to break Livia’s finger bones and leave them attached. Sometimes when Eventyr dances the strings will fly high and she feels the ghost of Livia guiding her still.
‘Sketches from the Lost Toy Room – Eventyr’ – ©Benamon Tame
In naming this toy I had originally thought to call her Leda, after the Greek story of a woman called Leda who was seduced by the God Zeus in the form of a swan, but I felt the link was a bit tenuous ( dancer-ballet Dancer- Swan Lake- Swan- Zeus – Leda), it is not a rule but I generally prefer the names to connect to the figure or their story. I eventually came across the story of The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Anderson, a particularly dark tale which ties in well with the tone of the series and also has similar elements.
( wiki link – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Shoes_(fairy_tale)
It features a dancer who ends up having her feet removed and replaced by wooded ones which tied in with the doll and her altered limbs. In the story the dancer is called Karen which I didn’t want to use so settled on Eventyr which is Danish for Fairy Tales.
‘In Livia’s Memory.Typewriter remix’ – ©Benamon Tame
Creating Eventyr was one of the more complex pieces I have done as the doll I based her on does not have the flexibility I wanted to portray. I therefore ended up with the piece being almost entirely composite with every part being created and added to the final image. Her clothes and bonnet were created using the paper from tea bags ( string type) and the bandages from tissue paper. The finger bones were made using chicken bones.
The image was put together using Juxtaposer using the individual images taken of all the parts, it’s for tasks like this that the stamp function in Juxtaposer really helps. I then used Snapseed ( drama filter and selective adjust) to balance out the image so it didn’t look constructed.
Iris Photo suite was the used to add aging and grunge. The piece was then put through the grunge filter in Snapseed and the outcome blended back with the raw piece using Blender. selective adjustments were made in Snapseed and Pictureshow.
‘Part 1’ – ©Benamon Tame
Apps used: Juxtaposer, Snapseed, Pictureshow, Iris Photo Suite. Hipstamatic ( Tinto 1848 and C-Type Plate) were used for the Sketch. BlurFx, Glaze and Leonardo were also used for In Livia’s Hand. LoMob, Phonto, Labelbox and Scratchcam were used for the Typewriter remix.
Eventyr and her story were made listening to Nothing and Nowhere by the Birthday Massacre.
Promise me to pass the time
Dance with me on plastic tears
Kiss me We won’t feel alone
Till morning when we disappear
‘Part 2’ – ©Benamon Tame
‘Part 3’ – ©Benamon Tame
‘In Livia’s hand’ – ©Benamon Tame