Peter Clarke (1929 - )

mixed media
50 x 35cm

When in foreign countries travellers always observe the customs of the natives
with great interest. There is curiosity about similarities & about differences.
Of course there is also ongoing curiosity about the unusual -
which explains the great impression made on Arab travellers in China
in 875AD discovering that in that country instead of water the
locals made use of toilet paper.

For some - for many - it is difficult to imagine living a full, absolutely satis-
factory life without paper. For example this observation, could in fact, not be written,
this document not be created had paper not existed. Through the centuries paper
has been made for a great variety of purposes.

How interesting for instance the observation about paper written by Fu Hsien, 3rd
century scholar
       Lovely & precious is this material
       luxury but at small price; matter immaculate & pure in its nature.
       Embodied in beauty with elegance incarnate,
       truly it pleases men of letters.

And a statement emanating from Ecclesiastes but still relevant today, "Of
making many books there is no end."

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.