Book of Light – special edition


Title: Book of Light – special edition
Photography: Mo Verlaan
Text: Mo Verlaan
Design, Printing, Binding: Mo Verlaan

Publishing date: 2023

Paper book: Fabriano Accademia 160gsm | Fabriano Cromia blue deckle edges laid paper 220gsm | Canson Ingres Vidalon blue laid paper 100 gems
Paper photographs: Awagami I.J.P. | Murakumo kozo select white & natural 42gms | Unryu thin 55gms | Kozo thin white 70gms | Inbe thin white 70gms

Special edition: 8 copies in a one-time edition (signed & numbered) + 2 AP

Price: € 325,00




The Special Edition of Book of Light is a completely handmade artist book with 15 original washi prints. The book comes in a handmade box with a 20x29cm print on Mitsumata washi paper from the Awagami Factory, famous for their remarkable fine art papers.

The thin washi papers used for the photographs look fragile, but in fact they are so strong and flexible, they can be glued in by hand in the booklet. This way the photographs can cross seamless from one page to the other.


All my life, I have found it difficult to put my emotions into words.

Even more so in recent years, during which my partner and I have been living in a transformational void of uncertainty, love, fear and hope as she has been diagnosed with a deadly illness. The making of these self-portraits for Book of Light, posing myself repeatedly in a space of light on a cold floor of the former Convitto Palmieri in Lecce, connected me profoundly to feelings I seem have locked somewhere inside my body, to fears that ebb and flow through me.

That space of light is a moment in time. It is not so much time as told by the clock, though naturally it is the sun creating and minutely altering the shape, revealing my body and casting shadows. That space of light is time as duration, it is time as experienced within us. It can stretch forever and cut short in an instant. While working in this location, with minimalist means, I felt I was working within time as duration. I was drawn deeply within myself to a place where I sensed to be my true self. It is rare to feel that, at least for me, but every now and then photography affords me this access to myself, to my voice. It allowed me to physically and visually express what I cannot put into words.

Book of Light comprises a series of self-portraits based on a handful of images that are only slightly different. However, they each have a different frequency and express a different piece of the greater narrative. Each portrait has gone through a series of individual manipulations. They have been developed in the darkroom and printed on unique old papers, some received additional layers while printing. Some of the resulting images were cut and photographed again while scanning. Others were digitized and used for Toyobo-printing and some were then cut and torn and reassembled in collages. Working with only a few basic images in this manner somehow enabled me to transpose the sense of time as duration into the images. By repeating the images and manipulating them each individually, the self-portraits came to express different emotions, different moments as well as a search within to the self and to the now.