A Hidden History.
I found an old poetry book in a charity shop containing an inscription dated 1862. I decided to research this inscription and found information on the person who had been given the book. Using the information I discovered, I elaborated on it and created a possible history of the family, using the book as a window into the timeline.
To illustrate this, I decided to create collages and collect found images. I wanted to use the book actively in my work so I thought of placing the collages within it: they are hidden and you have to take the time to find all the information.
Brief History of the Baxter family and the book
‘Scott’s Poetical Works’ had been given to John Henry Baxter by his mother on December 25th 1862. He married Ethel Louisa King and had two children, Charles and Ralph. John died in 1908 aged 63. The poetry book was given to his son, Ralph. Ralph used it as a way to keeping in contact with his sweetheart, Mary, when he was enlisted in WWI to fight in the Somme. They sent letters including quotes from the book. When he died in action in 1916, Mary mourned for him until she was finally ready to give the book back to Ethel, who kept it until she died in 1945.
After that the books whereabouts were unknown until it was found in a charity shop.
Here is a selection of some of the intervened pages.