Monday, March 11, 2013

Recent Book Art

Pandora's Cannister

A figure of Greek mythology, Pandora was gifted by Zeus with a beautiful box. When  the box was opened, a host of plagues escaped to harass mankind. Only Hope remained in the box.  

The term  “Pandora’s Box”  has since gained currency as a metaphor for unintended , negative and irreversible consequences.  It’s a term often used in relation to the nuclear industry.Most recently Pandora’s name has been invoked by the  opponents  of those who are searching  for a willing community to “host” a nuclear waste  dump.

 Pandora, now a student of alchemy,  journals about the issue in her childish handwriting  as she practises drawing alchemical symbols. Her notebook is  found tucked into a canister designed for underground storage of spent  nuclear fuel rods. The dyed and stained pages of the notebook evoke the smoke and steam we fear in the event of a nuclear accident.

Pandora's Cannister, closed

Pandora's Cannister, open

How to Mend a Barn

There is such beauty in the century-old barns that grace the rural Ontario landscape.  Sadly, many have fallen into such a state of disrepair that they are being  replaced by spanking new steel edifices.  But others have been patched and repaired over time.  Their owners, masters of the art of recycling and repurposing, use  whatever materials  are at hand to shore up the old buildings: old signage, rusty sheet metal, left-over paint and lumber.  In so doing, they create surprising patches of colour and texture;  images that are particularly arresting when seen against a grim, grey winter sky.

How to Mend a Barn insideview

How to Mend a Barn cover

“How to Mend a Barn” documents  these images.  I had  first re-imagined  the old barns in textile form. I  made  an art quilt using found and recycled materials to honour the barn mending process.   I then photographed  the quilt, and used the series of patchwork  images  in the book. The text is  a poem written by my husband in the voice of one of those  resourceful  barn menders.

And here's the quilt:

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