Thank you to my sister Susan, for attending the opening of the “All Stitched Up” show in the Collins Library at the University of Puget Sound, on September 14th. Too far for me to travel in this moment, especially as were driving back from the Bay Area at that time!
“To stitch is to join together, to mend, or fasten as with stitches – to sew. To stitch is to bring together fabric, paper, wounds of the body, or cultural divides. Stitching can be an act of healing, hope, practicality, creativity, and revolution. All Stitched Up recognizes and celebrates the work of book artists’ where stitching has become an integral part of the visual design.” — Curators Catherine Alice Michaelis, Jane A. Carlin, and Diana Weymar
Susan took some great pictures, which is critical, as artist books, indeed, any kind of book, is challenging to display, being composed of so many different parts, all of which cannot be seen at the same time. Such is the magic and mystery of this old technology, the book.
Judging from this shelf, the show was themed in different ways, including color and materials.
Hey Susan…thank you! (Great haircut too…)
Susan even took a shot of my page in the catalog. Cool! I ordered the catalog, a great effort put together by Curator Catherine Alice Michaelis. Great way to support the show and celebrate the works it brought together.
Story Time: BedTime Story I
I showed a work titled “BedTime Story I“, featuring, or shall I say employing tiny masks; faces of clay, made by my Mother, the ceramicist Judy Disman.
My Mom had made these tiny faces of clay expressly for me to use in and on my artists’ books, even making tiny holes in them so they could be sewed into and onto the book structures and become integral to them.
The faces were a natural for a piece about “bed”, and made the book into a more literal narrative then I had originally intended. I work fairly abstractly, though still in a loose book format, and the addition of representational elements changed the feeling of the piece. It could then be “read” more literally.
The faces even became interactive, with two of them contemplating each other.
Others became sentinels, gazing benevolently out from their “beds”.
Far from creating an image of sleep, the faces express the experience of being wide awake, perhaps listening to, creating, or becoming a story. A bed time story.
The faces become the actors in the story, played out through the pages of the book. Each viewer will read the story in their own way, and reach their own conclusions about it.
We may wonder what the beings or characters expressed or indicated by the faces are thinking, and if they are having sleepless nights. Perhaps they are worried under their smiling visages. Perhaps they are presenting to us a mask, and there are dreams and roiling emotions, even nightmares, underneath.
Perhaps formal, textural, decorative, haptic or totemic qualities of the work will prevail for some. In any event, BedTime Story I was a pleasure to make.
Again, Mom, thank you for the collaboration, and for creating these tiny pieces for me.
It was great to work with you. Sweet dreams.