Book 10  Histrionic  Alphabet and other Arbitrary Images.
Penn, C and Meijer, M. (2008) (Fig.8).   Histrionic  Alphabet and other Arbitrary Images. Unique collaborative artist’s book. 54 pages Pencil, Oil Paint, Graphite, Acrylic Paint, Printing, Collage, Bituseal. 31.5cm x 44cm.   Book 10. Collection: Cheryl Penn.
Histrionic  Alphabet and other Arbitrary Images was also a collaboration between myself and Marianne Meijer. I began the drawings of this book based on the concept of metamorphosis; the change from human to animal state as the world becomes more frenetic, a kind of ‘dog-eats-dog’ , ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality.    The drawings were intense and dark and had initially resulted from a re-reading of The Island of Dr Moreau (1896) by H G Wells.  At the same time I was reading the works of Charcot (1825 – 1893) who originated the concept  hysteria/histrionics being tied to the moon and the uterus. 
Once I got the reworked drawings back from Meijer,  I could see they were unfinished in terms of the above concept.  They needed darkening,  integration and of narrative. I began by inserting a textual narrative about an alien (hormone) invasion that was starting to turn people into animals.   The text was not applied in any order or sequence on the pages; rather it was scattered randomly, this disruption of the normal reading process being part of my histrionic meaning.
It was called an alphabet book because I took one emotional word as the prime meaning for  each page – anger/brutality/causality/ disassociation/ echolocation/farouche/germination/histrionic/impulse/ jumble/killjoy/ lunacy/metamorphosis/neurosis/obsession/paradoxical/querimonious/ ravening/soulless/temperamental/unassimilated/vacuous/  withdrawal/ xenophobic/yearning/zoomorphic.