Souvenirs of imaginary nations

Antarctica Dream-Dollars are the currency of Nadiria, the lost colony of Antarctica, a utopian community founded in the mid-nineteenth century by visionary Dream Prophetess Constance Brundt and her husband Samuel Brundt in order to realize a society of "moral and intellectual bliss". After an industrious period of construction and development, Nadiria was plagued by internal divisions and power struggles and shortages of its sustaining element, the heat- and life-giving substance known as Heaven's Fire. In 1899 the colonists mysteriously vanished, but explorations and investigations into the controversial nation kept up interest in Nadiria and its culture, and the recovered currency of the vanished Antarctic colony has held a particular fascination for the world at large up to the present day.

A complete timeline of these events, plus a wealth of history and stories of Nadiria, can be found at the above-linked site; there are also wallpapers, samples of the currency to be purchased, and a book in the works. As an exercise in world-building, Nadiria emerges as fanciful, immersive, and exquisitely realized.
Via Brass Goggles.

One of my favorite posts from the regrettably retired blog Giornale Nuovo explores artist Jerry Crimmins's Republic of Dreams, a fascinating city-state revealed through a collection of ephemera -- pamphlets, train tickets, maps -- included in the exhibition catalog for an show on imaginary lands. (How I would have loved to have been there!)

While Misteraitch shares his little trove of treasures from this fascinating otherworld, the best avenue for exploring it now appears to be the book: The Republic of Dreams: A Reverie. (Some juicy excerpts are available for perusal.)

Rêves (pronounced rev) is an island republic located in the Mid-Atlantic, somewhat south of Bermuda, between the Sea of Clouds and the Sea of the Unseen. By a majority vote of its citizens, the Republic can render itself visible or invisible, accessible or inaccessible, to the rest of the world.

Each district of Polis Poeton has its own flavor, particulars, and erratic spiritual features. It is a city of contrasts, the old and the new, the familiar and the exotic. A walk through the city can take you from the charm of a Victorian neighborhood to the mystery of a North African bazaar. Paris and Berlin, not in replica but as they actually are in the imagination, are there to be found by those who seek them.

Sign me up for the tour package.

Capolan: Travels of a Vagabond Country is an artbox by the excellent Nick Bantock, containing an enchanting a collection of postcards and stamps issued from the fictional nation of Capolan, which has no fixed home and moves from place to place.

When the Capolanian government wanted commemorative stamps and postcards created in honor of their 650th anniversary, they turned to Nick Bantock. The result is a sumptuous treasure box of history, legend, and fantasy. Inside you will find postcards and stamps Mr. Bantock created along with a book—not much larger than a passport—in which he introduces the history, philosophy, customs, and traditions of this mysterious nomadic tribe.

There's now a sequel, Windflower -- not an artbox, but an illustrated novel about a Capolanian dancer named Ana.

(Interesting discovery: there's also a Capolan wine, complete with a teasing placeholder for the doesn't-exist-yet Capolan Winery website. Intriguing. A nomadic vineyard?) [Update: the actual website is now up, so you can learn all about this unusual landless wine made with grapes not grown on any particular patch of earth, but purchased from all over and blended together in the true Capolanian spirit.]

Capolan.org is a community of fans and artists inspired by the work of Nick Bantock who gather to share paintings, collages, books, card decks, and other artworks and ephemera belonging to the shifting, borderless Vagabond Country. Riffing on the themes and styles found in Bantock's oeuvre, these artists serve up a delightful visual infusion that is both recognizably Bantockesque and refreshingly original.

star map by Amy McClure

page from "Portraits of Purgatory" by Chris Angelucci

page from "Seeking the Face of One's Intended" by Lynne Perella

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Blogger peacay:

Great post thanks. I will have to store it away for a rainy afternoon!

Blogger Princess Haiku:

This is a delightful, imaginative post, Blue. Nice work.

Blogger Ben Hoogeboom:

You know of the Czech bank notes made by the artist Vladimir Suchanek?

Blogger Ben Hoogeboom:

I meant, not Vladimir Suchanek, but Oldrich Kulhanek. Strange names!

Blogger bluewyvern:

You mean like these?

Very cool. Thanks for the tip, Ben!

Anonymous Judy:

Your blog is quite amazing. I'll definitely be coming back.

There are so many interesting things here!

Blogger Princess Haiku:

Hi Blue,
Hellooooooooo. Well you have been lagging in your blogging lately but can't really complain. After all I vanish every so often. Hope you are dong okay.

Blogger bluewyvern:

Thanks for the checkups, Haiku -- th pokes and prods keep me going.

Although really I think you have a slightly exaggerated sense of my usual posting rhythm -- about two a month is normal, and the last spate was just a little extra frequent. I'd love to make it weekly or even twice weekly, but I usually fall short of that ideal.

Anyway, thanks for the visits. I'll try to get going soon. :)

Anonymous Maktaaq:

Bluewyvern, what's your email address?

Blogger Princess Haiku:

Where are you? Drifting again in fantasy land are we?
Loyal Reader Princess Haiku

Blogger bluewyvern:

Something like that. :)

Glad at least one reader is still hanging on...just don't give up on me yet!


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