Mauritian artist, Shiraz Bayjoo, works with film, painting, photography, performance, and installation. His research-based practice focuses on personal and public archives addressing cultural memory and postcolonial nationhood in a manner that challenges dominant cultural narratives.
He has created a new artist’s book in response to Treasure Island. Presented alongside Stevenson’s text, Bayjoo’s images take us from the ports of England to landscapes scarred by plantations and mines. From the brutality of the 18th Century colonial Caribbean, to the Indian Ocean, and to wider global histories of slavery, colonialism and violence which shaped that period.
Treasure Island has been designed by Familiars series designer John Morgan. It is a beautiful clothbound hardback, on uncoated paper with colour images throughout.
The story is told in the first person by young Jim Hawkins, whose mother keeps the Admiral Benbow Inn. An old seadog, a resident at the inn, hires Jim to keep a watch out for other sailors whom he fears but, despite all precautions, the old man is served with the black spot which means death.
Among the dead man's belongings Jim discovers a map showing the location of the buried treasure of the notorious pirate Captain Flint. It is not long before he, along with Doctor Livesey and Squire Trelawney, sets sail to find the treasure. However, amongst the hired hands is the one-legged Long John Silver who has designs on the treasure for himself.