GOLDSMITHS | BA Fine Art & History of Art 2015

Sanna Sarwar



My work originates from my previous year of study, as I was interested in liquid forms, and how they react and create abstract patterns through technological processes. By doing this enabled my interest of the relationship of mechanical production and the forgotten hand. This combined, as well as Walter Benjamin "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction triggered my fascination of marbling. As the art of marbling, started in the 1100's, either in Turkey or Persia, though the earliest marbled papers still in existence are Turkish ones from the 1400's. The art was taken to Western Europe by the crusaders, and by the 1600's, France and the Netherlands had become well known for the quality of their papers. Their marbling became an essential part of bookbinding, with the papers being placed on the inside covers of all fine books, which is still one of the main uses of marbling today. The intricate patterns of the papers were used to cover the folds, strings, and glue marks of the bindings, and also to serve as an aesthetic transition from the dark leather covers to the white pages inside. The marblers' guilds were separate from the bookbinders' guilds, who were forever spying on the marblers, trying to discover the techniques of marbling to avoid the high cost of their papers. They were used for decorative purposes, and also as a background for official documents and signatures, to prevent erasure and forgery. Nowadays this is just seen as a childlike handcraft, with no meaning, overall what I strive to do with my practise to give an immense visual impact.