In “Split,” a compilation book written by Craig Campbell and illustrated by Priscilla Steele, questions are more important than answers. The book features pieces written and performed between 1998 and 2002 for Liars Holographic Radio Theatre, a regular live event at Campbell Steele Gallery that spawned a radio show and a TV program.
On Sunday, fans gathered at the gallery to purchase picked up copies and listen to Campbell read from the book. Campbell said both the book and the original performances address the theme of bringing questions to the surface. The mood is mysterious.
“Isn’t all good art about mystery?” Campbell commented.
At the event on Sunday, Campbell read two fiction pieces from the book: “Split,” the title piece, and a poem called “Magic.” The works evoked eerie descriptions of a bowling alley Campbell remembers from his childhood, as well as his musings on the nature of magic and understanding.
“Split” marks the first book published through Steele and Campbell’s publishing company, Inevitable Publishing Company. Campbell said he plans to release more titles containing material from Liars Holographic Radio Theatre — LHRT, for short —in the future.
For the illustrations in “Split,” Steele played with depth of field and shadows. She said she acknowledged Campbell’s work as non-literal and rife with metaphors, which affected her illustrations.
“They were a challenge,” she said, adding she views the book as a memento for LHRT’s devoted fans.
Barb Buchanan, a fan, recalls the pleasant atmosphere of the small crowds that gathered for the live performances in the early 1990s. She picked up a signed copy at the event.
She said she remembers LHRT shows as “meaningful, laughter-filled, and inspiring productions."
Copies of “Split” are available for purchase at Campbell Steele Gallery, on Seventh Avenue in Marion.