BOOKS 1,3 and 4  One Thousand and One Steps.
Penn. C. (2008) (Fig.1). One Thousand and One Steps.  Limited edition artist’s book. Edition of 5. Accordion bound.  Digital print book on archival paper. Stamps.   5.4m fully extended x 21cm high.  Book numbers 1,3,4 (of 5). (Artist’s proof).
The idea for this limited edition, digitally printed book was inspired by the title of the Arabian tales, One Thousand and One Nights, dated to the 10th century. These tales are told as a result of the young wife of a Caliph who did not want to suffer the fate of all her predecessors, the chopping off of her head. She made up tales which kept the Caliph interested all night and then as she did not end the tale as the sun rose, he would have to see her again in order to hear the end of the story.
In this way she managed to stay alive and live out her youth. Well known stories such as Sinbad the Sailor and Aladdin are part of this narrative repertoire. I chose to do an edition of this book as it is based on a tale that has been told and reprinted many times; it is not a unique narrative. The accordion binding technique was used in order to physically create a book that reflects a path of hills and valleys, and a meandering text rather than the traditional, linear text of the codex format. 
I photographed my daughter as she took one thousand and one steps which came to represent the walk towards old age. The text was taken from One Thousand and One Nights and also had to do with the leaving of youth and the move towards death. In order to disrupt the usual mode of text, a wave of text was created which weaved through the images, into the gutter of the book and out of the page format; the text also became involved in a 'walk' through the pages.
The five books measure 5.4 meters each when extended, with the text meandering off the back cover as my personal journey is not over yet. I collaged stamps onto the pages as a metaphor for travel. As the back cover formed part of the text of the book, it was necessary to make an additional cover for the book. This cover took the form of a printed book bag. These books number 1, 3 and 4, with the other two copies not yet assembled.