Carol June Barton
Rosendale, USA: Women's Studio Workshop, 1988
20 x 20 cm. (extends to 20 x 20 x 25 cm.)
Edition of 150 signed and numbered copies
"Tunnel books", which date back to the mid-18th century, consist of a series of pages held together by two folded concertina strips on each side, to create the illusion of depth and perspective. They are 'read' through a hole in the cover, and were therefore often called "Peep Shows" (as well as "areaoramas", "cosmoramas" and "optiques"). The name “tunnel book” presumably derives from the fact that several of the most widespread examples were produced in the mid-19th century to commemorate the building of the tunnel under the Thames River in London.
Barton's "tunnel book" consists of seven circular pages plus front and back covers show alternating maps of Eastern and Western hemispheres. The layers expand like an accordion.
"Successive layers transport us from one landscape to another as we peer through the cover. The cover contrasts the flatness of the outer world map with actual "topography" depicted in the tunnel."
- The Women's Studio Workshop
“I started playing around with it and came up with the different drawings of the geographic landscapes and put them together.”
- Carol June Barton