Saturday, April 25, 2015
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FLOATING is one of the books I currently have on exhibit at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island in Washington state. It is part of the show titled CARPE LIBRUM: THE ART OF THE BOOK, curated by Cynthia Sears and Hidde Van Duym. You can read more about this exhibit in the previous post. You can view this work at the gallery through April 26th.
inside front cover
The metal covers for FLOATING are photo etched brass and the images are inkjet printed with archival inks on BFK Rives paper. The book measures 7" x 11" when closed.
Recently one morning I was thinking about dreams and how sometimes in my dreams I have the ability to fly. Upon closer examination of this I realized that I am not so much flying as I am floating. With that thought, words immediately filled my head and I went scrambling for pencil and paper to capture them before they were gone. Those captured words make up the text of this book.
I've heard people say that when they dream, they can fly like a bird ... by constant flapping of their arm-like wings or by coasting in circles like the red tail hawk over my pasture.
I try to picture this and the wondrous feeling of the wind in my face and my hair blowing out behind me, but it is a difficult image for me to conjure. I think this is because I know I am more of a floater than a flyer.
In my dreams I hover where the wall meets the ceiling ... just where the near invisible spider webs hide.
I float just at the top of the trees that act as sentinels on either side of the dirt road.
The sky is my ocean as I drift with a school of fish just above the water.
I am like low lying clouds content with slow movement and the ability to cast fuzzy edged shadows on the earth below.
Floating gives one time to contemplate the surroundings ... to notice the smallest detail ... to acclimate to the new terrain.
In my dreams, as I float, I am often aware that this is miraculous somehow ... that I need to remember this technique so that I can try it in my awake state.
I drop a breadcrumb right here so I can remember how to do this ...
... how to hold my mouth just right ... the proper arrangement of my arms and legs ... the attitude of my mind ... I drop more breadcrumbs.
The 'know how' stays with me for a while ...
... even as I start to stir ...
... even as my exploring spirit re-enters my body ...
... but the string attached to my fluttering eyelids tips the bowl and the 'knowing how" spills out and evaporates like water on a hot sidewalk.
I turn to find ravenous sparrows eating my dropped breadcrumbs ...
... perhaps tonight they will dream they can float.
This image in on the inside of the back cover.
All the images in FLOATING are photo based. I often like to use vintage photos in my art and I searched and searched through thousands of images looking for women who looked like they were floating or who I could manipulate in a way to make them appear as though they were floating. The couple of images I found, and tried to use, looked more like the women were falling from the sky instead of peacefully floating. After much hand wringing, I decided to take my own photos and have more control over body placement. This is where my friend, Zo, comes into the picture ... literally. I borrowed a night shirt from my good friend, Lynn Anju, and invited Zo over for a photo shoot. The night shirt was a little short so I had to stretch it out via photoshop in every image. The photo shoot was so much fun....figuring out ways to make Zo appear as though she was floating. Here is an image showing some of the high tech floating techniques we used ... Zo stretched out on a galvanized tub with a saw horse under her feet for support.
Zo was enthusiastic and charming through the whole ordeal and would have been more than willing to put on a harness and get strung up between the douglas firs ... if only I had a harness.
I definitely wanted the floating figures to be women and I pictured them with long flowing hair ... dream like. Zo's hair is about 1 1/2 inches long and is not exactly the look I was going for. I ended up making my life quite a bit more difficult by photoshopping my hair onto Zo. The process of working with the photographic images over the days and weeks got a little confusing for me and occasionally the lines between Zo and myself would blur and I would lose track as to which one of us it was that I was working on in the photo ... a very odd feeling.
Here are some of the images ... photoshopped and sent through many filters to get the look I wanted ... somewhere between a photograph and an illustration. Be sure to click on an image to see it larger.
This is am example of the font and page layout for the text.
I turn to find ravenous sparrows eating my dropped breadcrumbs ... perhaps tonight they will dream they can float.