Stephanie Blaise Sultana
Stephanie Blaise Sultana was born in Australia, and is currently studying at Australian National University School of Art, majoring in Photomedia.
She is interested in analogue photography, as well as found objects that have remnants of the previous owner within it.
Artist work: The Book
Medium: Installation of found bibles, laser-jet transfers on wood
Dimensions: 600 cm x 30 cm (installation), 25 cm x 15 cm (bibles)
Date: November 2012
Forgotten, lost and discarded. Left to age and decay in a home for unwanted things. The book is a source of knowledge and inspiration for many generations, its personal nature leading many to permanently mark their name within its pages, denoting its value as a gift or keepsake, placing new sentimental value upon it.
Viewers are invited to engage with each of the bibles, looking through pages that have been imprinted on. I have collected bibles that have been forgotten, lost or discarded; creating my own archive of these no longer wanted books.
Every bible that I have found is unique. Within my archive I wanted to try and preserve each one as best as I could. I created a set of wooden bibles, transferring scans of the entire outside of the bible, onto a piece of wood the same size. Keeping their contents hidden, the wooden bible's identity is no longer revealed.
My inspiration for The Book was an old convict bible from St David’s Church in Hobart. Lieutenant Governor George Arthur issued these small bibles to convicts as he saw religion as the key to reformation.
I began thinking about the nature of a bible and the power and impact it has on an individual.
This particular bible is no longer being used but instead preserved. This juxtaposition of having a bible displayed and not read led me to think about bibles that are no longer used. I began collecting bibles that have either been thrown away or donated. A lot of the bibles found have names left within them, as well as notes, letters, and underlined passages that were once read.