Otto Dettmer

Artist Printmaker

The Return of Europa

screen printed book

hard cover book
hard cover book
front and back
front and back
first page
first page
Space travel
Space travel
Planet Jupiter - first fold out
Planet Jupiter - first fold out
Earth - fold out spread
Earth - fold out spread
last page
last page
edition
edition

view book as PDF



Europa is a Science fiction inspired by the moon of Jupiter as well as Greek myth and current political developments.


Aside from the obvious references to external works of art, all designs as well as patterns and vignettes on the cover and inside are original creations. The artwork was assembled digitally prior to screen printing.

The cover illustration echoes William Blake’s frontispiece illustration for ‘Europa, a Prophesy’. I replaced Urizen with the female figure of Europa. The Return of Europa is a title I chose with reference to the abduction of Europa by Zeus / Jupiter.


Inside, the book is framed by vignettes of Europa and Jupiter. The centre shows them travelling through Space on their way back to Earth.


Then the book unfolds twice more to eight times its size. The illustration on the first pull-out spread shows the alienated figures of Europa and Jupiter on the planet Jupiter with the moon Europa in the background. There are references to the original abduction carried out by Jupiter’s deceptive disguise as a bull.


On the final spread the large panelled illustration features Europa and Jupiter having arrived back on Earth, the moon now rising in full size behind the cityscape, inspired by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. The arrival is characterised by splintered fragments bursting through clouds and breaking up buildings. The two fallen figures on the ground reference the 1980s science fiction, Thron. One of the fragments holds cupids from Nicolas Poussin’s Adoration of the Shepherds.

The illustration is composed of three colours, red, blue and green, similar to digital screen colours. Most of the colours visible in the composition are overlays of two or all of the colours. The rays of the moon create the illusion of yellow mixed from red and green, with no actual yellow used.


The book was completed in January 2017. All parts of the book are made by myself. It is an edition of 12, measures 34 x 20 cm and weighs 350g. The cover is cloth bound and screen printed in three colours. The end papers are screen printed in two colours on 160gsm antique cream Heritage Book. The inside folded sheet is stitched to the spine. It is printed in two colours on one side and three colours on the other on 175gsm Somerset Book. The main spread also comes separately as an unfolded print in an edition of ten. It is the same as in the book and measures 78 x 67 cm.


I also made a compressed 'budget' version of Europa, an edition of forty single folded screen prints on 200gsm Heritage Book. It is available from my book shop.

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