Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The book project

A long long time ago, in the most unlikely place (my biology textbook) I found inspiration for a project based on crime and transgression. I read about the notorious Mary Mallon, better known to the west as Typhoid Mary. In her life, Mary Mallon was a passive carrier of Typhoid and of all the things she could be, she chose to be a domestic cook. Mary immigrated from Ireland to the USA where she cooked in several households killing 3 and infecting 50 people, and continued to live in denial of typhoid fever. So much so that she attacked authorities with a pitchfork when they came to take her for tests and trial. She was put in quarantine for 4 years and spent the last of her days in isolation.

In my first year at college, I found the opportunity to create a book (under the broad theme of Transgression)
about her. Thank you Mary Mallon, that touch of macabre was all I needed to get this project going. She led a deplorable life but left the world quite a legend to tell. I tried to make the chronicles of Mary Mallon, something she may have recorded her life in while in quarantine, so I tried to use material she may have found around her. I consider myself lucky, I had the coolest teacher guide me through this.

Into my project went - tea stained gauze bandages,
antiseptic liquid (for the odour and the colour),
dyed fingernails (for effects and cheap thrills),
fake letters from US authorities with attempts to reproduce seals,
stab binding (I fell in instant love, thank you youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUD0iKBkCVo)
and hand-written Baskerville Old Face (Blissfulvilley Owsome Font with a history)
and lots of sinister little touches.

Here are a few pictures of what it looked like in the end. Some day  I'll document it better: 

Should get a picture of the fingernails.

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