Ingenuity is increasingly becoming a constant theme among netizens to bust the boredom amidst the coronavirus lockdown. Proving this, a photo of a bookshelf arranged in such a way that book titles reveal a hidden message about the virus is going viral on social media.
The special arrangement features popular books like The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje and Stephen King’s IT among others. The books have been stacked against each other in such a way that when one reads across the titles from left to right it reads, “The English patient had caught it on the beach. I should have stayed home she said. Now she was in Quarantine in the dark house of splendid Isolation. Still hope springs eternal with a little bit of luck, common sense and personal hygiene. The corona book of horror stories must end soon. Always remember, clean hands save lives and when in doubt, don’t go out!”
The photo of the bookshelf went viral across social media sites, shared by many libraries, book stores and book clubs. The screenshot of the Instagram post was cropped in such a way that it made it quite difficult for people to credit the genius behind it. However, as the post spread like wildfire across social media sites, a collective effort brought its actual artist to limelight. But what really took everyone by surprise was the fact it wasn’t a photo of an actual bookshelf but a digital-art of books!
Phil Shaw, the British digital-printmaker, uses archival printmaking techniques to blur the line between real and fictional worlds by digitally creating bookshelves to deliver meaningful messages, punched in with sass and humour. In his signature ‘bookshelf’ prints, he uses hyper-real images which would make it impossible for one to realise that it’s an art and not an arrangements of actual books.
See the actual post here:
“Awarded his doctorate in ink technology, Shaw uses a specialized eight-colour printing process on fine-grade Hahnemuhle paper,” Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery explained on its website about Shaw’s technique. “His distinctive ‘bookshelf’ prints interrogate the changing place of the printed word in a digital age, and the transfer of meaning through inter-textuality,” the added.
Explaining his philosophy behind the creations, the artist wrote on his website, “My world is a place where humour is a serious matter, and its purpose is not simply to raise a laugh but to call attention to the puzzling absurdities and the dangerous myths, that permeate all our lives.”
Although he usually shies away from unveiling his artwork on social media platforms and is most seen by patrons in art galleries first, he started sharing his works on his Instagram handle amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, the artist also created a bookshelf arrangement where books are seen practising ‘social distancing’, featuring works of famous writers.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility of creating the impossible. In life we all know deep down that magic just ain’t possible, but at the same time we all wish that just once something magical might happen. Just beyond the surface of a picture, the membrane that separates reality from fiction, we are able to experience the impossible,” his website added.
The post is going viral and has got an amazing response online.