On the World

By Celeste Maia
[Madrid, Spain]: Serpens Caput, 2016. Edition of 20.

13 x 7.66"; 34 gatefold pages. Digitally typeset text and images. Bound in paper-covered boards with toile de Marais cloth spines and hand embroidered headbands. French-door binding. Boards illustrated with hand block print and calligraphy. Endpapers and pastedown hand painted with acrylic of imaginary map sketches. Laid in four-flap machine-sewn cloth pouch with vintage buttons. Materials: Hanji paper, cloth, acrylic paints, binder's board, thread, and buttons. Photography by Celeste Pais and Celeste Maia. Typography and image editing by Javier Lerin. Book design by Celeste Maia. Signed and numbered by Maia.

Celeste Maia: "I have been in movement all my life, from city to city, country to country, continent to continent. Mostly it wasn’t tourism, but education, family, and work that led me to reside in different places and learn the customs, culture, and language. Wanderlust is deeply ingrained in my psyche and is what feels natural to me.

"The idea of conveying the constant wonderment of experiencing places in an artist book was deeply appealing to me. We understand a new place with our mind, our feet, and our eyes. So I made On the World elemental, relying mostly on photos I took of places and events that are personally meaningful, remembering the physical experience of being there, and evoking writings and thoughts about travel that have inspired me."

The left opening in each gatefold contains a travel quotation and an image of shod feet; the right opening is a two-page spread of "wanderings" where the shod feet may well have trod: Atacama Desert, Bolivia; Tamil Nadu, India; Bardolino, Italy….