Scenes from Provence, 2018
13 x 13 in
Mixing reality, art history, and traditional French terra cotta figurines called Santons, Scenes from Provence by Gail Skoff is a 13" x13" handmade accordion book containing 24 color photo montages, a tipped in map, 4 full page spreads and two cut out images. It is enclosed in a box with a gold stamped spine and 2 inset canvases.
The cover resembles an old fraying book, and the interior relates to Provence at the end of the 18th Century.
"Before the invention of trains and planes, the tradespeople of southern France wound their way along dirt roads from village to village offering their wares on foot, wagon or horseback, trading news and gossip along the way. Santons are terra-cotta figurines modelled after these artisans. In traditional dress and with tools of their various trades, they represent village life at that time."
This collection places Santons in imaginary contexts with real objects and details from photographs and paintings.
The archival pigment photographs are printed on Canson Rives rag cotton paper . Calligraphy by Georgianna Greenwood and bookbinding by Andy Rattner.