WALTER BATTISS by Murray Schoonraad & Giles Battiss
Comores: Full-Size Reproduction of the Comores Sketch-Book by Walter Battiss
Pretoria: Red Fawn Press, 1989
Large Fo, unpaginated. Original hardcover binding, with gilt lettering to front board. 2 Full-colour plates at front of book, 22 pp. of black-and-white sketches, and one page textual introduction by Murray Schoonraad.
Limited edition of 200 copies, unnumbered copy.
The "island of the imagination" was a materialization of Battiss' philosophy for which he created a map, imaginary people, plants, animals, a history as well as a set of postage stamps, currency, passports and driver's licenses. He created a Fookian language with a full alphabet as well. This utopian 'island' was a composite of the many islands he visited – which included Zanzibar, the Seychelles, Madagascar, Fiji, Hawaii, Samoa, the Greek Isles and the Comores – blended together in his customary imaginative fashion. In Battiss's words, "It is something that does not exist. I thought that I would take an island – the island that is inside all of us. I would turn this island into a real thing... I would give it a name". (wikipedia.com)