Reading a book written nearly 200 years ago to aid my research sounds crazy but often the most unlikely sources can produce the most interesting mental stimulation. I’ll happily research any topic from any subject field and from any point in history if I believe it is worth pursuing. In this case, I wondered if following Mary Shelley’s story might lead to parallels in my work; after all, I’m using little chunks of body to make something come alive in a different and interesting way.
I hadn’t read Frankenstein before. It was an interesting read and did not conjure up images anything like how I imagined. The notion of Frankenstein’s monster in popular culture has changed so much since Shelley’s original writings that any ideas I had were totally misguided. Ultimately Frankenstein failed as a research book for my collages but succeeded in educating and entertaining me in other ways. For me, Shelley did not put enough scientifically into the story to enable me to draw anything new from it that I could use to influence my artwork.
I think I need to find a more contemporary way of thinking. I need to look at the genetics of what is happening in my work as well as the evolution of the species. Time to move into the 21st century and look at some Richard Dawkins perhaps?