The Imaginarium – Gary Nicholls
A neo-gothic fairy story, told with fantastical fine art images
All In – copyright Gary Nicholls
British photographic artist, Gary Nicholls, is taking the steampunk world by storm with the release of the first part of the trilogy of his conceptualised neo-gothic fairy story, The Imaginarium. This fantastical tale celebrates one woman’s journey from ruination to salvation, and is told in fine art images which are Dickensian in theme, dark steampunk in style, and beautifully presented in a hard back coffee table volume.
Saved from Despair – copyright Gary Nicholls
Born into a life of poverty and misfortune in a North England workhouse, Eva Elizabeth Lovelace is orphaned from her first breath by her mother’s death in childbirth. Eva is meagrely provided for under the terms of the Poor Law and spends the first 12 years of her life at an orphanage in the ‘care’ of a self titled, cruel woman, named Lady Bella-Donna Evangeline Abernathy and her sadistic husband, Captain Mordecai Tobias Abernathy.
Eva spends her days in the workhouse earning her keep, with little food and few comforts. Around the time of Eva’s 12th birthday, Captain Mordecai, on the promise of regular percentage money, removes Eva from the orphanage and puts her to work in a local bordello, owned by Regina Von Black, a spiteful domineering bordello madam with a dark secret.
As time passes, Eva becomes a working girl, under the complete control of Lord Montague Belvoir. Known as ‘The Enforcer’, he is the Madam’s right hand man who has a special liking for Eva.
Eva is popular with the punters and some of the other working girls, but the Madam sees her as a potential threat to her domination and locks her in her room, where she is underfed and mistreated. Eva takes to the bottle as her life spirals downwards at an alarming rate, descending into a world of drink and depression.
Dr William Percival Stockdale is a highly educated engineer, made wealthy by his inventions. His mystical insights have steered him towards legendary status with his peers, the stories becoming more exaggerated with the passing of time. He is also a silent benefactor who walks the streets at night, attempting to help the poor and downtrodden. During one of these walks he comes across Eva at her lowest point.
This meeting inspires him to create his most amazing invention, a mystical object of pure beauty that will change the path of Eva’s life – The Necessitti.
Rescued by a Steampunk Angel, Eva stays with Dr William and gradually recovers, blossoming from the unaccustomed kindness he shows her. However, this blissful state is interrupted when several characters try to get their hands on Eva for their own different reasons, and battle lines are drawn.
Many characters will enter the story with many secrets being revealed along the way. But who will eventually win the day?
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“Love the book! It is inspiring work from Gary… just awesome. This book will definitely stand the test of time.” – Lee LF
About Gary Nicholls
The biggest influence in Gary’s early life was his father, who was passionate about hobbies and encouraged both of his children – Gary and his brother, Patrick – to try everything they could. As a creative and talented part time artist, it was Gary’s father who got him interested in photography from a very early age. However, Gary’s natural eye and ability to ‘see’ a finished project was first recognised while he was studying art at night classes in his teens.
Later, after 3 years as a poorly paid design technology and technical drawing teacher, Gary changed direction and spent the next 25 years working on building sites. During this time Gary did not pursue his love of photography to any great depth, believing that he would not be able to afford to do it to the level he really wanted.
However, after a 30 year break from his hobby, Gary treated himself to his first digital SLR camera in 2007. A couple of years later he joined Stevenage Photographic Society, where his camera skills improved rapidly.
Then, in 2012, Gary attended the Lincoln Steampunk Festival, where he met Julie Walton and Laura Bradley. In his words, “The idea of “The Imaginarium” was born from that meeting, and the fantastic bunch of people that form “the Cast”. Late night phone calls, secret facebook groups, clandestine meetings, trips to New York, clambering through old buildings, jumping out of the car camera in hand, because I have spotted just the right tree and hours of work by the genius that is Pete, designing and making the Necessitti and that is just the start……..”
Speaking of his work, Gary says “For me photography is a tool I use to create the images I see in my mind. Photoshop is the tool I use to put those images together, it is the canvass that allows my images to come together.”
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“The artistry and sheer creativity of Gary Nicholl’s work is mindblowing.” – Hannah Spring
“Amazing job with The Imaginarium! Can’t wait to see where your imagination, and your creativity take you next.” – Fierytailimagery