The Midden Heap Project
One reading of Finnegans Wake is that it is a massive recycling machine
transforming its sources to create a grand collage, containing fragments
of nearly everything. Joyce’s sources are well-known; they include: jokes
and stories told by his father, historical events, world mythologies, popular
songs, sacred texts, children’s games, and dozens of works of literature.

A touchstone for the Midden Heap Project is a passage from the seventh
chapter of the Wake. This chapter, sometimes known as The House of
the Haunted Ink Bottle, describes the house of the artist Shem. Shem, an
“alshemist,” has an enormous midden/dung heap. From this midden he
makes ink and writes upon his body. With this idea of transformation in
mind, Kelley is making a series of collages in response to each page of
the text using as raw material her own midden: paper ephemera, found
objects, etching and relief proofs, reproductions of her paintings, printed
matter, and the general debris of the studio.

Based upon these works on paper are a series of artist’s books. The
book pages are cropped and manipulated versions of the collages with
some additions of text. Completed thus far are the collages and
corresponding books for pages 3-216 of the Wake.

Chapters One and Two, pages 3- 47, coptic binding
The Trial of HCE, pages 48-74, accordion
Chapter Four, pages 75-103, accordion
In the Name of Annah the Allmaziful, pages 104-125, accordion
The Quiz Show, pages 126-168, deck of cards
Shem the Penman, pages 169-195, accordion
The Washers at the Ford, pages 196-216, accordion

House of the Haunted Inkbottle, audio CD, sound collage by
Jonathan Nelson

Clamshell box made by Sjoerd Hofstra

Books and slipcases are printed with Epson Ultrachrome ink on
Moab Entrada paper.

The edition size is eleven.

Heather Ryan Kelley, 2017
The Midden Heap Press
PrintsThis the Way to the MuseyroomContact
Closed clamshell box: 6 x 7.25 x 6 inches
Open clamshell box: 6 x 18 x 7.25 inches

Slipcases: 5.375 x 4.125 x 1 inch

Book pages: 5.25 x 4 inches
Jonathan Nelson’s The House of the
Haunted Ink Bottle
is a sound collage
consisting of hundreds of vocal fragments
that form a reading of pages 182-184 of
Finnegans Wake.

audio CD, 5 minutes, 47 seconds
Chapters One and Two
The Quiz Show
Chapter Four
Shem the Penman
The Washers at the Ford
The Trial of HCE
In the Name of Annah the Allmaziful