Endless Journey - The (Almost) Forgotten Historic Art of Myriorama

Endless Journey: The (Almost) Forgotten Historic Art of Myriorama

A popular form of novel storytelling since 1824, a myriorama consists of a set of printed cards that, when laid out in any formation, form a seamless scene. British illustrator, Tom Gauld has created a modern day version using James Cropper papers, which depicts scenes from the works of novelist, Laurence Sterne, with a total of 479,001,600 unique combinations.

The life, works and former home of the Irish-born novelist are protected and promoted by The Laurence Sterne Trust, which commissioned Gauld to create a contemporary take on a largely forgotten art form.

Taking inspiration from two particular pieces of the author's work, 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy' and 'A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy', the artist has worked in his distinct, picture book style to create a charming, timeless example of pictorial storytelling. The finished piece is a fitting tribute to the author's work as well as the pioneering nature of this form of early, printed entertainment from nearly 200 years ago.

Using James Cropper's Vanguard paper in Pink and Ivory colours, Gauld's Endless Journey myriorama will be exhibited alongside rare originals from the nineteenth century at The Shandy Hall, near York, UK, many of which were originally created to depict fantasy landscapes and maps, in whatever order they were arranged.

"I was commissioned by Patrick Wildgust of the Laurence Sterne Trust as he felt that the episodic, eccentric nature of Sterne's writing could be interestingly mirrored in a myriorama," Gauld commented. "Having read his work, I had to agree."

The exhibition is open until September 30, 2015. An online version of the myriorama, albeit with far fewer potential combinations, can be played by anyone.

Tom Gauld

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