Kit Russell’s Flatland poster isn’t just any old poster, oh no – it’s a poster that can be turned into a sphere. Or a sphere that can be turned into a poster. Recent illustration graduate Kit has also created a poster that morphs into a square, and the pair are an imaginative interaction with Edwin A. Abbott’s 1884 novel Flatland. Subtitled A Romance of Many Dimensions and written under the pseudonym “A Square”, Abbott’s tale is a social satire commenting on the hierarchy of Victorian society. The narrator – a square – lives in a two-dimensional world where he is visited by a sphere and convinced of the existence of another world, a three-dimensional world. Sadly, no-one else in Flatland will believe Spaceland exists and Square is ignobly dunked in the slammer. Lewis Carroll meets M.C. Escher and the Mr Men, if you will.
How did Kit come across such a corker? He says: “I heard about it through my love of retro maths fiction books. I found a short excerpt of Flatland in a book called Fantasia Mathematica, which is full of fantastical short stories based around mathematical principles!”
His work deconstructs the poster, metaphorically and physically, just as Abbott dissected his society. Looking at the beige and brown design of the two screen-printed posters, I can almost smell the musty pages of an old book. I also love how the words on the page literally create Square and Sphere, through removable sections on the upper layer, doing the construction work usually left up to our imaginations. A poster for Through the Looking-Glass next please Kit!