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.
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life, by him who interests his heart in everything, and who, having eyes to see what time and chance are perpetually holding out to him as he journeyeth on his way, misses nothing he can fairly lay his hands on."Laurence Sterne, from 'A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy'
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.
This work uses James Cropper’s Vanguard paper in Pink, Ivory and more recently a new Green version. Gauld’s Endless Journey myriorama was 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.
“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.”
Myriorama, or 'Many Thousand Views' consist of numerous cards depicting fragments or segments of landscapes that can be arranged in a multitude of different combinations.
This 'entertainment' for young ladies and gentlemen originated in France. The first English version in 1824 was a set of 16 cards which depicted Gothic ruins, castles, cottages, a lighthouse, a man fishing and a gypsy encampment. These landmarks had a backdrop of mountains with islands and a lake to add extra texture and depth.
Vanguard is a collection of smooth uncoated papers and boards available in a wide range of pastel and intense colours. Matching paper and board weights allow for the production of co-ordinated presentation material. This is a high opacity medium, ideal for the production of printed items.
2020 ISSUE in GREEN CARD
A new issue of the bestselling myriorama by Tom Gauld inspired by the works of Laurence Sterne. Twelve picture cards which can be arranged to form 479,001,600 different landscapes printed available in 2020.
The newly commissioned contemporary myriorama by Tom Gauld has many references to Laurence Sterne's writings and contains incidents and characters that may be familiar to the reader. He has ordered his drawings to allow an almost limitless variety of Sternean encounters to take place.
'What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life, by him who interests his heart in everything, and who, having eyes to see what time and chance are perpetually holding out to him as he journeyeth on his way, misses nothing he can fairly lay his hands on.'
from 'A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy' by Laurence Sterne.
Copies of the Endless Journey myriorama are available to buy for £10 (plus postage) from The Laurence Sterne Trust website.
Twelve picture cards which can be arranged to form 479,001,600 different landscapes.