Prospero’s Book


This book is inspired by ‘The Tempest’ by William Shakespeare and ‘Prospero’s Book’ film by Peter Greenaway. I’ve taken these two works as points of departure for my own work, drawing upon certain themes such as the elements: water, earth, air; book; and magic. There are several other themes branching out from the main idea. There is the Book of Sleep which was made during bouts of insomnia. It was thought that such a book could be a spell to induce sleep. We often consult the book to bring wisdom, to sooth our night mares, thoughts that plague us, and to keep us company, just as Prospero uses his own treasured books for magic, for creation and destruction. Sleep might result in dream. There is a hope for dreaming, where dream is a vehicle for entry into another realm of narrative. There is the dream of flying, an archetypal image. Ariel the Spirit, lends it’s name to this element of air, thus relates to the machines and images that suggests flying. Sycorax imprisoned Ariel in a form of a tree. Ariel has dreams of freedom. There is the boat, a vessel on water. There is the book which is a vessel for magic, knowledge, memories and texts that opens into another realm. It is this idea that is most interesting to me and have been an endless fascination. The images lead from one scene to the next in the narrative. Sometimes, it’s logical, other times, it’s associations. Arranging the combinations of infinite possibilities is challenging. It is necessary to confine it into a book, to pin down the ideas or suggestions. It’s up to the view in the end to interpret their own stories within these pages. The book form tells a story. Prospero’s Book, both mine and others, are stories within a story, book within a book, world within world.