Book 8  Anamnesis.
Penn, C and Martin, A. (2008) (Fig. 6).  Anamnesis. Unique collaborative artist’s book. 46 pages, mixed media, including sewing/collage/painting/printing. 29.5cm x  42cm.  Book 8.   Collection: Cheryl Penn.
The first collaborative book I undertook was with Anthea Martin who was the first artist who agreed to work with me.  Martin was the director of the African Art Centre, and is now manager at the KZNSA Gallery shop. I started the book, then gave it to Martin to work on.   Although it was the first collaborative book I had undertaken, it was finished after the collaborative Book 6.  I had known Anthea Martin was working on phobias as the subject matter for her practical work at UNISA and co-incidentally I was  exploring histrionic behavior.
This posed a challenge for me; how to depict phobias?  I began with the collaging of printing and masks; the faces we hide behind, the definitions of various kinds of phobias,  sewing densely over the images to represent neural paths with  stitching, these also being representative of  trying to hold one’s  mind together during a phobia attack.  This was the first collaborative book I had done and I confess I was happy with the initial pages. I gave them to Martin and received a shock when they were returned.  She had painted out all my work and replaced it with her own; as though my marks had not existed. 
She had then applied another visual narrative over the pages.  After my initial reaction, I realized that this represented  a  successful  collaboration in the development of a concept; the overlaying, the fragmentation, the blocking out and the imposition  of a narrative over an existing one. The apparent  lack of importance of myself, overcome by a stronger secondary hand, reinforced the concept of phobia; a phobia being a fear of something else, something one has no apparent control over.