Francisca Prieto takes weathered, damaged old illustrated books, maps, catalogues and journals and reconfigures them into new and beautiful typographic-based works.
Using modular structures and typographical elements, Prieto constructs a new narrative from the old pages and sees them re-imagined as entirely original forms, drawn together in the Unbound exhibition that opens today.
Her fascination with typography stems from her graphic design roots, having trained in the discipline in her native Chile. The ongoing Between Folds series, as shown in Unbound, builds on this background, showing her work as stemming from a highly ordered, mathematical working method.
Having literally ‘unbound’ the pages of the books and catalogues, Prieto uses origami techniques to fold each page into a single structure, which are then joined back together in a grid format. This enables the viewer to see the all the deconstructed pages arranged together, yet renders them impossible to read.
The artist painstakingly arranges the compositions so that the tone of each page is structured with the next to form a letter or typographic symbol embedded within the work as a whole. However, close up, the individual images, such as a comb, a tree or a house are still very much visible.
For instance, the Natural History works are created from a very early guide to general zoology, which when taken apart, is found to comprise over 300 coloured engravings. Prieto has carefully rearranged the pages to allow all the intricate animal images to be seen at once, in a beautifully intricate collage of bears, monkeys, lions and giraffes.
Unbound runs from 11 October – 4 November at Jagggedart gallery, 28 A Devonshire Street London W1G