Every Picture Tells a Story

Artist creates an Endless Journey in paper

British artist, Tom Gauld, has revived the nineteenth century art of myriorama using James Cropper Papers. A popular form of novel storytelling since 1824, a myriorama consists of a set of printed cards that, when laid out in any formation, form a seamless scene. Gauld’s modern day version has a total of 479,001,600 unique combinations to depict scenes from the works of novelist, Laurence Sterne.

The life, works and former home of the Irish-born novelist are protected and promoted by The Laurence Sterne Trust, which commissioned Gauld to create a contemporary take on a largely forgotten art form. Taking inspiration from two particular pieces of the author’s work, ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy’ and ‘A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy’, the artist has worked in his distinct, picture book style  to create a charming, timeless example of pictorial storytelling. The finished piece is a fitting tribute to the author’s work as well as the pioneering nature of this form of early, printed entertainment from nearly 200 years ago.

Using James Cropper’s Vanguard paper in Pink and Ivory colours, Gauld’s Endless Journey myriorama will be exhibited alongside rare originals from the nineteenth century at The Shandy Hall, near York, UK, many of which were originally created to depict fantasy landscapes and maps, in whatever order they were arranged.

Gauld said: “I was commissioned by Patrick Wildgust of the Laurence Sterne Trust as he felt that the episodic, eccentric nature of Sterne’s writing could be interestingly mirrored in a myriorama.  Having read his work, I had to agree.”

The exhibition is open until Wednesday 30 September 2015 and copies of the Endless Journey myriorama are available to buy for £10 (plus postage) from The Laurence Sterne Trust website. Endless Journey was designed by Brighten The Corners and is supported by the Arts Council.