Covered in Italian linen, with glass seed beads, acrylic taxidermy eyes and lizard skin spine.
Box made by Anthony Belfield, constructed in tulip wood and ash veneer; with stainless steel fittings.
Reading the interview with Ofili reminded me that as people we often focus on difference rather than similarities and the design elements in the binding focus on these thoughts. Hence the design on the front board is not exactly the same as the back board, but they are similar.
I used beads to reflect the way Ofili uses mapping pins in many of his pieces. The black and green colours indicate interlaced fingers of pale and dark skinned hands. Using the same sort of colour range as Ofili used in his black and gold pictures, I included some red beads. It occurred to me that they looked like drops of blood, which also seemed appropriate; we all bleed the same.
Ofili’s work often has an unsettling quality which I wanted to portray, but the elephant dung and pornography used by the artist would have no meaning for me, so I chose taxidermy eyes, selecting the green ones because they could either be used for cats or alligators, furthering this idea of difference and similarity.
The weight and type of paper used in this book mean displaying the binding in a standing position for any length of time isn’t ideal, so the box is designed to be both a storage container and an exhibition stand.