The Intimacy of Books

19 06 2017
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A fragile creature, she fears rodents, the elements, and clumsy hands, 2017, Coptic stitch, rust printing, and cut paper

I’ve been remiss in posting most any of my recent experiments in book arts but it’s been a big part of my MFA work this past year. These wordless books have companion phrases – more than titles, perhaps, but words that stand alongside them. And they are almost all very small, which underscores the need of such objects to be held. The scale (most less than 3″ tall) and the words both speak to an intimacy that I have felt all year as I’ve made the work, a feeling that I hope translates to viewers as they imagine their own narratives. A few examples:

 

 

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Have you planted the marigold seeds that I sent?, 2016, accordion fold with handmade papers and watercolor

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Now the garden is gone to seed, 2017, monoprinted and handmade papers with Coptic and centipede stitching

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Our backyard miracle began on the south side of the house, 2016, Kozo and monoprinted papers with lotus blossom stitch

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We survive storms with laughter, 2016, spiral accordion with handmade paper

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I imagine three nights of full moon, 2016, accordion and flower fold with monoprinting





Tiny Bunny Print Exchange!

19 05 2017

The bunnies are here! I don’t often participate in exchange portfolios, mostly because I’m not a big fan of editioning work, but last fall I saw a call for “Leporidae: A Tiny Bunny Print Exchange” – small prints (3×5″) on a bunny theme. How could I say no?

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I made an edition of relief prints on the three hares motif. And then I mailed them off and waited for the exchange prints to arrive.

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It was like Christmas when they arrived, in a beautiful sewn enclosure. Inside were a title page, a hand-stitched colophon, and two glassine envelopes full of tiny bunny prints.

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And what bunny prints! Relief prints, etchings, letterpress, screenprints, prints with flocking; mechanized bunnies, zombie bunnies, sorcerer bunnies, bunnies pooping (my students’ favorite).

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Many thanks to the Not So Secret Society of Bunny Benevolence (aka printmakers Yuka Petz and Lisa Hasagawa) for organizing this delightful exchange. All submitted prints can be seen on their tumblr site.





New Beginnings

2 09 2016

I feel so lucky: I get to be a student again! I returned to grad school this summer, to pursue an MFA degree. My head is spinning with ideas and information and input from classmates and professors – and it’s wonderful. I know that the program will push my work in all kinds of new directions, and I feel certain that it will inform my pedagogical practice as well. I’m excited to find that the program has such a focus on making writing part of the artistic practice; maybe my parallel paths will find interesting ways to overlap in the work that is to come. I am wholly impressed by my cohort and firmly believe that their diverse energies and perspectives will offer me all kinds of new insights into what it is that I’m doing.

And now we are into a new semester. I haven’t gotten to teach the art history survey in years and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the course – giving students a taste of so many different things, and seeing light bulbs turn on in various ways.





Mapping the Maternal in Edmonton

25 05 2016

 

Mapping the Maternal: Art, Ethics, and the Anthropocene was a feminist think-tank the likes of which I have never experienced. Organizers Natalie Loveless and Sheena Wilson described the project thus: “Our goal with this colloquium is to create a hybrid art-academic event through which an international group of feminist artists, scholars, and activists can collaboratively share research and co-construct new knowledge on contemporary feminist art and the maternal in the context of Anthropogenic climate change.” Days full of short provocations, careful listening, extended discussions, and caring for one another, all in the setting of Lise Haller Baggesen’s Mothernism installation, made for a generative time together. So many overlapping interests and thought-provoking new directions- I am eager to see what comes next.





Lex Wrap-Up

30 04 2016

Five years to the week after I first met with the directors of Das Verborgene Museum to consider a collaboration on the work of Alice Lex, I returned to Berlin for the opening of the retrospective exhibition and for the launch of the book. The entire week was highly celebratory and I cannot imagine a better culmination to a years-long project. Highlights of the week: seeing so many of Lex’s works framed and hung together in a single space, for the first time EVER; finally holding the beautifully designed book in my hands, after so many years of research and writing; giving an address in German at the exhibition opening – nerve-wracking but thrilling; gathering with so many friends from near and far to celebrate the opening; meeting with journalists (Tagesspiegel article here); and talking with Lex’s remaining family members, who seemed just as thrilled as I was to see this project reach completion. As an academic, it was truly rewarding to see that this work actually matters to some real people.





First publicity for the Lex exhibition!

18 02 2016

I began the recovery project on German artist Alice Lex back in 2011 when we moved to Berlin for my research. Between research, writing, and planning with museums, it is now five years later and the project is finally nearing completion. These last few months have entailed much editorial back-and-forth, related both to content and to translation issues (since the book will be dual-language, German and English) and I think we are almost at the finish line. The opening of the exhibition has been set for April 13, 2016 and the first publicity has just been released, which can be read in German here, as well as a preview cover of the book, to be published by Lukas Verlag.

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Cutting, Folding, Printing Paper

18 01 2016

Saying “yes” to exhibitions tends to be a great motivator for me to carve out time for making. This fall and winter I’ve happily agreed to a variety of shows: a small solo exhibition at Hesston College, titled “Paper Cuts”; a 3-person exhibition at the Carriage Factory Art Gallery titled “Conversations and Story Lines”; and most recently, a solo show of my handmade books at Fisch Haus Studios. This last body of work I created in collaboration with poets Elizabeth Schultz and Catherine Anderson. Selecting evocative phrases from their poetry, I created a series of a dozen small books inspired by their use of language. This coming Saturday, January 23 at 7pm, the poets will do a reading of their work at Fisch Haus, after which we’ll have some conversation about their process, my process, and how the two might overlap and inform each other. Join us!

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a rustling, falling leaf, 2015

 

cfg poster