<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Campbell, Ken, 1939–

Skute awabo (Awabo Skute) / Ken Campbell.

Additional Title(s):

Awabo skute

London : Ken Campbell, 1992.
Physical Description:
[126] p. : chiefly ill. ; 55 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A N 184
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
"It is another odd and difficult book, but I think a ground-breaker. It's in an edition of twelve because the labour was colossal ... Quotations are from the King James Old Testament. My own poetry is accompanied by some words of the Ojibway North American tongue. The first half of the book is a visual meditation on water [awabo] as a river; the second, a meditation on that river polluted and cursed by fire [skute]. The structure is of a twice-repeated cycle of changing paper stock, textures, and imagery, with the Ojibway 'wasa wasa' [far away or long and difficult journey] spread throughout the book as one page for each letter. I have drastically condensed a short story (from the book 'Wasa Wasa' by Macfie and Westerlund) which recounts a search in the Yukon for red gold by two white companions, during which a river is enflamed to destroy them. This tale is twinned with that of Moses and Aaron turning the Nile into blood. Both were inspiration for the gold thread of greed running through the book ... I got a big piece of six-point rule and put it on the bed of the press and applied pressure to it so it took up these two beautiful curves. I thought, terrific, and I'll have it running down the book like this all the way through, that's the thread. There was the gold thread because of the red gold, and the silver thread. There was the gold thread because of the red gold, and silver thread because of the water and the moon, who is Artemis, the source of all bitter waters."--Ken Campbell, from The word returned.
Edition of 12. Composed of 64 single sheets, in a variety of papers, plus 2 printed endpapers of Japanese gold embellished stock, printed letterpress with various colored and metallic inks from wood letter and metal type. Full vellum binding with gold and silver headbands, in gray-green cloth box blind embossed on the front and inside right panel. Binding and slipcase by David Simaleavich of Phoenix Bindery, Amsterdam.
"My thanks to Cedric Horner for his introduction to 'Wasa Wasa' ... by Macfie and Westerlund ... Their story was this book's inspiration"--P. [121].
Original archival material related to this work is available in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art, Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts (Ken Campbell Collection, MSS 25).
Campbell, K. Ken Campbell: an artist's books, 14
Word returned: artist books by Ken Campbell, 17
BAC: British Art Center copy is no. 6 of 12, signed by artist.
Subject Terms:
Artists' books -- Great Britain.
Campbell, Ken, 1939- -- Publisher.
Artists' books -- Great Britain.
Horner, Cedric.
Macfie, Harry, 1879- Wasawasa

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.