Arvon Wellen has always been interested in the relationship between text and image, not just in terms of illustration but more importantly in terms of associated ideas.
Bede and the Shipbuilder’s Wife consists of a group of digital prints based on a series of specially prepared drawings, supported by a short text. The digital prints were influenced both by calligraphic forms and by the massive shapes relating to the machinery used on heavy industry such as shipbuilding. The book aims to demonstrate the way technology has shaped our view of history, where the introduction of the quill pen and the codification of stories changed the view we have ourselves.
The oral tradition was replaced, not by a greater truth but by a different kind of history. In more recent times it took the images of women working with machinery to change attitudes and the way we perceive ourselves. Sunderland stands as an example of where all these changes took place.
Stamp is fascinated by the interweaving of a place and its history, particularly with its industrial history, which made selecting the glass heritage ofSunderlandand the current use of glass in the cityscape a relevant choice. The book has a form of Coptic-sewn binding portraying carefully-chosen photographs, drawings, and maps to explore some ofSunderland’s glass-making heritage and current use of glass in the cityscape.