Housed in a protective box and accompanied by a black light (necessary to explore all of the book’s secrets), Skytale (pronounced “skit-tell-ee”) is a beautiful scroll book by writer and artist Charmaine Cadeau. Inspired by her experiences frequently crossing the border as a Canadian living in the US, and the recent political climate across that border – indeed, in the world – the work explores themes of suspicion and espionage, yet remains “a joyful artefact that sparks an important conversation about surveillance in troubling times.” Skytale is a fascinating work, full of codes, ciphers, and hidden messages.
Charmaine Cadeau is an Associate Professor in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Born in Toronto, she works as a writer. She has published two collections of poetry: What You Used to Wear (Goose Lane Editions), and Placeholder (Brick Books), which received the ReLit Award and the Brockman-Campbell Award. She is a current recipient of a Canada Council grant for her next book, and a 2020 fellow at the A-Frame Residency.