Québec, troisième partie

As I traveled across the border, a dear friend I visited back home caught up with me by email. After our visit, Marc Walter traveled to Germany for his own work and our emails did not meet till now. 

Traveling on chemin Carouges in Val-Des-Monts, Québec, getting closer to Marc's cottagechemin Carouges in Val-Des-Monts, Québec, getting closer to Marc's cottage

Marc’s work evolves around the passing of time and the way humans relate to it. With this in mind, I felt, I should feature his work even though out of sequence.

Originally from Paris, France, living for the last twenty four years in the Outaouais in Canada, Marc is an artist who reoriented his practice to environmental art in 2004. The recurrent themes found in Marc’s site-specific work in many forms and materials are evolutions, passages, departures, and memories.

© 2017 Marc Walter

© 2017 Marc Walter

Prolific in his field, he won the Grand prix d’excellence de la Fondation pour les arts, les lettres et la culture en Outaouais in 2007. Marc has taken part in over 80 solo and group exhibitions both in galleries and in the context of outdoor nature art events. 

© 2017 Marc Walter, Animaleries, Weaselling France

© 2017 Marc Walter, Animaleries, Weaselling France

© 2016 Marc Walter, À Voix Basse / Under Your Breath, Ottawa, Ontario

© 2016 Marc Walter, À Voix Basse / Under Your Breath, Ottawa, Ontario

© 2015 Marc Walter, Embarking, Nanaimo, BC

© 2015 Marc Walter, Embarking, Nanaimo, BC

Marc is intrigued by how the creation of a piece or space will alter a visitor's perception and bring an emotional response. Even for a short time, visitors become dwellers, reflecting upon the site, its history, and their own path.

© 2017 Marc Walter

© 2017 Marc Walter

Marc prepares proposals, administers his business, manages his photos, exchanges emails, and other communications in this space. His real studio is in the outside world where he creates a different piece depending on the land.

Le véritable atelier, c’est là où je crée, à chaque fois différent !

Artistic walls inspired by the walls of the original Dubois Farm (now Creative Wheel), in Val-Des-Monts.

© 2017 Marc Walter, an artistic wall drawing submerged lines with half-buried rocks

© 2017 Marc Walter, an artistic wall drawing submerged lines with half-buried rocks

© 2017 Marc Walter, another way of building walls, this time lighter and in narrow link with the perception of the surroundings

© 2017 Marc Walter, another way of building walls, this time lighter and in narrow link with the perception of the surroundings

© 2017 Marc Walter, a platform higher in the mountain with a structure from rock sticks of beaver

© 2017 Marc Walter, a platform higher in the mountain with a structure from rock sticks of beaver

Marc explains his project and his vision of “art du paysage” or Land Art. With materials pulled by nature and passersby, Marc creates human forms which arouse the curiosity of tourists and “carcassonnais”.

J'expose mon projet et ma vision du 'Land Art' ou art du paysage. Avec de la matière tirée de la nature et l'aide de bénévoles de passage, je crée des formes humaines qui suscitent la curiosité des touristes ou des carcassonnais.

Produced by Danaka Wheeler, filmed by Marc-André Cossette and Lyndsay Armstrong, edited by Brea Elford from the Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication.

Marc's world brings you into another dimension!


Ontario

My holiday back home has come to an end. It's difficult to say goodbye but time to leave and find a more temperate climate for the winter. Our small trailer is not four seasons and not suited for the coldest season of the year in Ottawa.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

Before leaving Canada, I wanted to pay a visit to Marlene MacCallum’s studio in the south-west part of Ontario.

Marlene and her husband, David Morrish prepared a wonderful meal before taking the time to show us their studio still being built by David. After we visited the different rooms that comprise the full working area in their new home, Marlene brought some of her wonderful artists’ books for me to view and handle. What a privilege!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the room where Marlene binds her books

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the room where Marlene binds her books

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Marlene and David share this room where all the digital and printing is done, the red cover protects a really big printer, NICE!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Marlene and David share this room where all the digital and printing is done, the red cover protects a really big printer, NICE!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, press room is in the works

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, press room is in the works

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, David showing drawers of many typesets while Marlene talks about her artists' book "Nine Elevated Views". You can  view this book  on my post dated May 21st.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, David showing drawers of many typesets while Marlene talks about her artists' book "Nine Elevated Views". You can view this book on my post dated May 21st.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, one of the press studios

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, one of the press studios

Marlene uses photogravure, a historical photo/intaglio process that dates from 1879. Marlene’s chosen media plays a large role both in the way it translates the subject and in the effect of the presentation.

The interaction of ink and paper with its tactile and physical presence bring to mind a state of photographic memory which can be felt in Marlene’s books and subjects.

The visual interpretation of personal domestic space and the ordinary stuff of daily life has been the consistent pursuit of my practice. I am fascinated by our relationship with the spaces that frame and objects that fill the majority of daily lives, and yet, are overlooked as we move through our daily routines in a state of inattentional blindness.
I begin by making photographic records. A visual occurrence that startles me out of my routine relationship with objects and spaces prompts the image choice. The gathering of images results in a visual archive of the ephemeral moments linked by a sense of the uncanny or a spatial déjà vu. Drawing on this source, I then build suites of prints or artist’s books that offer the viewer a sense of the strangely familiar.
The artist’s book affords me the opportunity to integrate a variety of printing methodologies and sequential structures in a form that provides the viewer with intimate interaction with the work.
© 2016 M. MacCallum, Tea Ceremonies, (text by Matthew Hollett), hand-bound accordion artists' book with folded paper cover and wrapper, images printed in photogravure and lithography, text printed in letterpress 

© 2016 M. MacCallum, Tea Ceremonies, (text by Matthew Hollett), hand-bound accordion artists' book with folded paper cover and wrapper, images printed in photogravure and lithography, text printed in letterpress 

© 2016 M. MacCallum, Tea Ceremonies, view of the third-page spread, 19.5 x 13.1 x 1.5 cm (closed dimension), 19 x 25.4 cm (page spread)

© 2016 M. MacCallum, Tea Ceremonies, view of the third-page spread, 19.5 x 13.1 x 1.5 cm (closed dimension), 19 x 25.4 cm (page spread)

© 2016 M. MacCallum, Tea Ceremonies, view of the ninth page spread

© 2016 M. MacCallum, Tea Ceremonies, view of the ninth page spread

Tea Ceremonies is a collaboration with Newfoundland artist and writer, Matthew Hollett. The piece began with Matthew’s text and I created an image response and designed the book layout and structure. 
This work celebrates everyday rituals and small ceremonies. The piece explores repetition and sequence in its use of layered text paralleling the way everyday activities leave residue. Text, photogravure images and lithographic tea stains interact in counterpoint throughout the sequence of the book. residue. Text, photogravure images and lithographic tea stains interact in counterpoint throughout the sequence of the book.
© 2014  M. MacCallum, Wall Stories, (text by Jessica Grant), hand-bound accordion book work, view of installation at The Unfolding Narrative at the Parrott Art Gallery in Belleville, Ontario

© 2014  M. MacCallum, Wall Stories, (text by Jessica Grant), hand-bound accordion book work, view of installation at The Unfolding Narrative at the Parrott Art Gallery in Belleville, Ontario

© 2014  M. MacCallum, Wall Stories, dust jacket, inkjet on Digital Aya paper, view of title page, 26 x 20 x 1.2 cm (closed dimension)

© 2014  M. MacCallum, Wall Stories, dust jacket, inkjet on Digital Aya paper, view of title page, 26 x 20 x 1.2 cm (closed dimension)

© 2014  M. MacCallum, Wall Stories, view of second-page spread, 25.6 x 39.3 cm

© 2014  M. MacCallum, Wall Stories, view of second-page spread, 25.6 x 39.3 cm

Wall Stories is a collaboration with Newfoundland writer Jessica Grant. This piece brings a different perspective to my examination of everyday spaces. Jessica’s text, The Great Indoors, and my Townsite home images interact to create a celebration of interior life with special attention to the collection of objects and the adornment of surfaces. Elements of the external world are miniaturized and nested within living spaces inverting the inside out logic of homes. The first iteration of this collaboration was published by the Journal of Artists’ Books as part of the artists’ project Switching Places.
© 2013  M. MacCallum, Corner a handbound accordion book with slipcase, the structure is held closed into a codex form by sewing across the spine into the end pages. 26.1 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm (closed dimension)

© 2013  M. MacCallum, Corner a handbound accordion book with slipcase, the structure is held closed into a codex form by sewing across the spine into the end pages. 26.1 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm (closed dimension)

© 2013  M. MacCallum, Corner, front and back end pages slip into the cover pockets, the book block is printed in photogravure on Somerset paper and the cover is inkjet on coated Tyvek

© 2013  M. MacCallum, Corner, front and back end pages slip into the cover pockets, the book block is printed in photogravure on Somerset paper and the cover is inkjet on coated Tyvek

© 2013  M. MacCallum, Corner

© 2013  M. MacCallum, Corner

© 2012   M. MacCallum, Theme and Permutation, hand sewn pamphlet, images custom-printed in offset lithography on Mohawk Superfine, text printed in inkjet, covers are inkjets printed on translucent Glama, 23.5 x 21.6 x .6 cm (closed dimension)

© 2012   M. MacCallum, Theme and Permutation, hand sewn pamphlet, images custom-printed in offset lithography on Mohawk Superfine, text printed in inkjet, covers are inkjets printed on translucent Glama, 23.5 x 21.6 x .6 cm (closed dimension)

© 2012   M. MacCallum, Theme and Permutation

© 2012   M. MacCallum, Theme and Permutation

Theme and Permutation is one of a series of artist’s books inspired by the experience of living in Corner Brook’s Townsite area on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland. 
Between 1924-34 the pulp mill built 150 homes to house the mill management and skilled or to highly renovated. This project gave me the rare opportunity to record the evolution of interior aspects of these homes. It has been the context to explore the paradoxical phenomena of conformity and individualization that occurs in a company town. Having grown up in a suburban housing development, my earliest memories of home is that of living in a space that is reminiscent of my neighbors’. Each artist’s book explores a distinct facet of image memory, multiplicity, sequence and offers the viewer a visual equivalence of the uncanny.
Theme and Permutation is a response to the permutations and variations of the type-4 Townsite House. Digital tools were used to translate the original film source of eight different window images from five houses. The sixteen offset lithographic plates were custom printed in twenty-nine separate press runs. Each image is the result of a different combination of plates. The structure is a sewn pamphlet with translucent covers. The viewer enters the body of the book with a tritone image of a single Townsite window. As one moves into the piece, new window images appear and layer over each other. The images become darker and more heavily layered towards the mid-point. The center spread has an inkjet layer of two text blocks printed over the offset litho images. The text speaks of the history of the homes, the architectural permutations and economic shifts within the Townsite area. The ensuing pages continue to provide new combinations of window layers, gradually lightening in tonality and allowing the individual windows to become more distinct. A third text block provides a personal narrative. The piece concludes with a tritone image of one of the Townsite windows in original condition. 

I don’t have time or space to create these days being on the road, but this time in my life is wonderful, I enjoy meeting and reading first-hand amazing works by artists’ bookmakers around the country.

I will be in Austin, Texas for most of the month of November. If you know about my new my journey and would like to introduce me to your work.

Let me know, I would love to visit your studio !

Québec, seconde partie

The stores on Park Ave in Montréal were filled with amazing fruits and vegetables. The vegetables made me hungry for Greek food and my next studio visit.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

It’s always nice to be back home to hear French and even nicer to speak the language as I share thoughts on art with another artist. I got the chance to visit with artist bookmaker Guylaine Couture in Montréal. 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, a wonderful huge Calder-esque red mobile welcomes you as you walk in Guylaine's atelier. The sculpture added a smile to my face.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, a wonderful huge Calder-esque red mobile welcomes you as you walk in Guylaine's atelier. The sculpture added a smile to my face.

 This small, fresh, and comfortable space is where Guylaine creates her art form (forme artistique). The media of artists’ book allows her to create works in which both contents and form (le contenu et le contenant) merge a powerful message (message percutant). For Guylaine, the «reader» has to live an experience.

Pour moi, le «lecteur» doit vivre une expérience.”
© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guylaine sitting in her studio

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guylaine sitting in her studio

The artist drafts the message, analyzes the meaning of words and images, and develops (élabore avec minutie) the final form of the book with accuracy through re-using printed documents. Guylaine also uses the preservation of the forgotten zone of a photo and the recycling of material having already lived. Her works attempt to show the potential of this plentiful material too easily discarded.

Mes œuvres tentent de détourner cette abondante matière trop facilement larguée.

Touched by the reaction to Donald Trump's election last March, 2017, Guylaine created Want to be heard. This book began in the form of a tunnel book but at the end, the book needed a more open structure. This book can be seen from both sides.

© 2017 Guylaine Couture, Want to be Heard

© 2017 Guylaine Couture, Want to be Heard

© 2017 Guylaine Couture, Want to be Heard

© 2017 Guylaine Couture, Want to be Heard

Guylaine’s book New dress against disease/Nouvelles robes contre la maladie makes the link between cancer in women and the humanities: art therapy, philosophy, economics, technology... 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, New dress against disease/Nouvelles robes contre la maladie

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, New dress against disease/Nouvelles robes contre la maladie

© 2016 Guylaine Couture, New dress against disease/Nouvelles robes contre la maladie

© 2016 Guylaine Couture, New dress against disease/Nouvelles robes contre la maladie

It was wonderfufl to be able to handle her beautiful book entitled Alonely as Guylaine explained the process and the story behind the book. The title is a play on the word seul/alone and isolé/lonely

© 2011, Guylaine Couture, Alonely

© 2011, Guylaine Couture, Alonely

© 2011 Guylaine Couture, Guylaine flipping the pages of her book Alonely

© 2011 Guylaine Couture, Guylaine flipping the pages of her book Alonely

 The text in her book Alonely is from Guylaine’s own diary. She wanted to draw a parallel between the serene movement of jellyfishes and other living beings in the depths of the ocean and her difficulties living a period of solitude. 

I did a lot of research and drawings of the ocean and of what lives in it. After a few months of experimentation, I developed a more personal way of doing monotypes.
© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guylaine is another artist who writes detailed packing information for her delicate books when shipping them to galleries

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guylaine is another artist who writes detailed packing information for her delicate books when shipping them to galleries

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, I was intrigued by these tiny little houses in Guylaine's atelier, they were templates for her artists' book Everyone Needs a Home

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, I was intrigued by these tiny little houses in Guylaine's atelier, they were templates for her artists' book Everyone Needs a Home

© 2017 Guylaine Couture, Everyone Needs a Home created for the exhibition "Built" at 23 Sandy Gallery

© 2017 Guylaine Couture, Everyone Needs a Home created for the exhibition "Built" at 23 Sandy Gallery

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guylaine Couture with her press talking of the possibility of working together next year

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guylaine Couture with her press talking of the possibility of working together next year

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, outside Guylaine's studio

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, outside Guylaine's studio

Merci Guylaine pour la belle visite !

Québec, Canada

We crossed the border on July 26th, after a month of traveling from Boise, Idaho to Gatineau, Québec. I’ve been back home for a while but a little behind in writing my posts. Have you noticed?

Before we left Boise, we researched to the best way to stay connected while on the road. Our inquisition to Verizon staff seemed endless. It was a full-time job trying to choose the proper company and plan to continue working as we traveled. Verizon made many promises of “hotspots” and “unlimited use” but fell short as usual in defining their terms and happy to take our money. The reason for my late blog posts is the difficulties with getting secure access to the internet with our “hotspots/phones” not working in Canada. 

While I was “home,” I spent a week visiting and walking the streets of Montréal.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Old Montréal

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Old Montréal

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Old Montréal

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Old Montréal

With the forever days of rain in Ontario and Québec, many creatures were visible, like snails in the hundreds.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

I communicated with artists of the area and planned on studio visits. My first visit was to the atelier of Guy Laramée. I spent a great afternoon in his studio seeing and talking about his work. Guy was welcoming and open about his art and techniques. 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, a wonderful piece in the front room of Guy's atelier

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, a wonderful piece in the front room of Guy's atelier

Guy, like Helen Hiebert, divided his atelier into two parts. As you walk in, the front room is where he paints romantic landscapes. 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guy's atelier, the clean room with on going paintings

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guy's atelier, the clean room with on going paintings

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guy's work table

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guy's work table

The back section is where he carves wonderful landscapes out of books. 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, books waiting for an inspiration

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, books waiting for an inspiration

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, books for a project

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, books for a project

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guy was in the mist of a new sculpture, here we see the clay model

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Guy was in the mist of a new sculpture, here we see the clay model

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the book sculpture being worked on with different tools

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the book sculpture being worked on with different tools

My work is about making us feel more alive. It is about losing yourself in the landscape and paradoxically, finding out you are the source of it all.
The erosion of cultures—and of “culture” as a whole—is the theme that runs through the last 25 years of my artistic practice. Cultures emerge, become obsolete, and are replaced by new ones. With the vanishing of cultures, some people are displaced and destroyed. We are currently told that the paper book is bound to die. The library, as a place, is finished. One might ask so what? Do we really believe that “new technologies” will change anything concerning our existential dilemma, our human condition? And even if we could change the content of all the books on earth, would this change anything in relation to the domination of analytical knowledge over intuitive knowledge? What is it in ourselves that insists on grabbing, on casting the flow of experience into concepts?
© 2014 Guy Laramée, Dragon Over the Clouds, Webster dictionary, inks, pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs; 18 x 21 x 16 (H) inches (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)

© 2014 Guy Laramée, Dragon Over the Clouds, Webster dictionary, inks, pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs; 18 x 21 x 16 (H) inches (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)

© 2010 Guy Laramie, Le Grand Larousse

© 2010 Guy Laramie, Le Grand Larousse

What a fantastic afternoon experiencing these sculptures!

New York

After a haunting experience in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, our route brought us through New York State.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, arriving at the Stevenson Bird Library in Syracuse, to meet with  Peter D Verheyen . See my reflection in the window!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, arriving at the Stevenson Bird Library in Syracuse, to meet with Peter D Verheyen. See my reflection in the window!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, traveling to the Stevenson Bird Library from Interstate 81. For clearer directions, please go to Google Maps. 

Peter is the Librarian, Researcher, and Emerging Issues Analyst in the Program Management Center at the Syracuse University Libraries. His position assists the Library in identifying, processing, analyzing, interpreting and maintaining the information it needs to keep abreast of trends in libraries, and meeting organizational and operational needs. 

Providing a virtual home for all the book arts that allows participants from across the globe to share events, training and exhibition opportunities, ask questions, provide answers, and discuss all book arts related topics, Peter says:

I am best known for building and sustaining a community based on sharing.

Peter was the past exhibitions and publicity chair for the Guild of Book Workers. He was awarded the Guild's Laura Young Award for service to the organization in 2009, and their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Here are some of Peter's bindings:

© 2017 Peter D Verheyen,  Ladislav Hanka,  Remembering Jan Sobota  , 2012  Modified Bradel binding; layered Indigo Night Cave Paper endpapers; sewn on 5 vellum slips; spine in parchment; leather endbands; boards edged in parchment and covered with distressed birch wood veneer on covers with onlaid suede salmon leather closure; title stamped in gold on front board. 29.5 x 25.5 x 1 cm

© 2017 Peter D Verheyen, Ladislav Hanka, Remembering Jan Sobota, 2012

Modified Bradel binding; layered Indigo Night Cave Paper endpapers; sewn on 5 vellum slips; spine in parchment; leather endbands; boards edged in parchment and covered with distressed birch wood veneer on covers with onlaid suede salmon leather closure; title stamped in gold on front board. 29.5 x 25.5 x 1 cm

© 2013 Peter D Verheyen,  Gaylord Schanilec and Clarke Garry,  Mayflies of the Driftless Region   ,  Midnight Paper Sales Press, 2005  Dorfner/de Gonet "open joint" binding; sewn on 3 brown salmon leather slips; flyleaves and doublures of Cave Paper “layered indigo day” paper; graphite top edge; rolled endbands brown salmon leather; spine covered in gray salmon leather; boards covered in full vellum with printed illustrations from text below; salmon leather slips attached to boards and framed with decorative weathered wood veneer; tied mayfly attached to front board. 26.5 x 19 x 2 cm

© 2013 Peter D Verheyen, Gaylord Schanilec and Clarke Garry, Mayflies of the Driftless Region, Midnight Paper Sales Press, 2005

Dorfner/de Gonet "open joint" binding; sewn on 3 brown salmon leather slips; flyleaves and doublures of Cave Paper “layered indigo day” paper; graphite top edge; rolled endbands brown salmon leather; spine covered in gray salmon leather; boards covered in full vellum with printed illustrations from text below; salmon leather slips attached to boards and framed with decorative weathered wood veneer; tied mayfly attached to front board. 26.5 x 19 x 2 cm

© 2010 Peter D Verheyen,  Pamela Leutz,    The Thread That Binds  , Oak Knoll Press, 2010  Modified Bradel binding; red Roma endpapers; sewn link stitch on four reinforced leather tapes; dark red and gray handsewn endbands; spine covered in gray leather with cutouts for tapes; boards covered in reddish brown Pergamena deer vellum; title stamped in gold on front cover with leather onlays. 23 x 15.5 x 4 cm

© 2010 Peter D Verheyen, Pamela Leutz, The Thread That Binds, Oak Knoll Press, 2010

Modified Bradel binding; red Roma endpapers; sewn link stitch on four reinforced leather tapes; dark red and gray handsewn endbands; spine covered in gray leather with cutouts for tapes; boards covered in reddish brown Pergamena deer vellum; title stamped in gold on front cover with leather onlays. 23 x 15.5 x 4 cm

© 2005 Peter D Verheyen,  Noirs, Bleus, Sables, Livre de poète de Nane Couzier , 2001  Textblock sewn on 5 leather/vellum slips in black, blue, and brown; graphite top edge; sewn silk endbands; case covered in full blue dyed goat vellum; leather/vellum slips laced through at joint; multicolored colored spine label with title in graphite foil. Leather onlays on case derived from typography of text. 40 x 25 x 2.5 cm

© 2005 Peter D Verheyen, Noirs, Bleus, Sables, Livre de poète de Nane Couzier, 2001

Textblock sewn on 5 leather/vellum slips in black, blue, and brown; graphite top edge; sewn silk endbands; case covered in full blue dyed goat vellum; leather/vellum slips laced through at joint; multicolored colored spine label with title in graphite foil. Leather onlays on case derived from typography of text. 40 x 25 x 2.5 cm

I first came across Peter through The Bonefolder: e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist founded in 1994 managed and published by Peter. My next interaction with Peter was through the Book_Arts-L listserv founded in 1994 and still stimulating after 22+ years. 

© 2014 Peter D Verheyen, the cover of the last published issue of the Bonefolder, found at  Book Arts Web

© 2014 Peter D Verheyen, the cover of the last published issue of the Bonefolder, found at Book Arts Web

I'm a subscriber to the BOOK_ARTS-L listserv and enjoy the subjects and questions that keep popping into my email inbox since 2008. Feeling isolated in Utah and Idaho, the book listserv permitted me to be part of an authentic arts community, one that celebrates and sustains book arts. Thank you, Peter! 

To learn more about the Book_Arts-L, review the full FAQ with detailed instructions. If you would like to familiarize yourself with Peter’s career and his path into the field, click here.

Unable to visit Peter’s studio because of my short notice and his previous commitments, Peter emailed me the following photos of his creative space.

© 2017 Peter D Verheyen, Peter's studio

© 2017 Peter D Verheyen, Peter's studio

© 2017 Peter D Verheyen, Peter's studio

© 2017 Peter D Verheyen, Peter's studio

An enjoyable hour meeting and talking with Peter about his work, his career and the artists’ book field. Too short!


Pennsylvania

Traveling across several states to my hometown of Ottawa/Gatineau, Canada, is a destination trip, not a vacation. A jaunt to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, encompassed a desire to see the history of the area and a long overdue sojourn.

I’m entertained by the day-to-day events, I appreciate simple moments characterizing our lives. My artists’ books represent subjects in a unique, creative, and dynamic way for the reader to experience. Life is serious and I enjoy seeing readers re-acquaint themselves with mundane activities that link us together.

The history still lingers in Gettysburg, with fields and fields of monuments and leftover atmosphere of the days of the American Civil War, (as the southerners would call it, “The War of Northern Aggression”).

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA

That being said, artists show many facets of life in their work, which include war.


Dorothy Krause presents the more serious side of life in her artists’ book WarZone: a traveling board game with no winner. WarZone is designed to be played anywhere other than in your own country. Instructions, game board, spinner board and game pieces are housed in a clear plastic suitcase.

© 2017 Dorothy Krause, The WarZone printed at Roland DGA on a LEF-300 in an edition of 10; the book measures 10 3/8” x 12 7/8” x 1 ½”

© 2017 Dorothy Krause, The WarZone printed at Roland DGA on a LEF-300 in an edition of 10; the book measures 10 3/8” x 12 7/8” x 1 ½”

On the top of the suitcase, an image of the first atomic bomb blast is overlaid with a definition of war as “armed conflict, prosecuted with military forces aiming to enforce the political will of the victor upon the defeated”. It also contains information about human aggression from prehistory to the present and questions whether war is noble or morally problematic and destructive of lives and property.

The Spinner Board, printed onto stiff board and contour cut to fit into in the bottom of the suitcase, allows you to choose the country in which to play and gives information on ongoing conflicts around the world.

The countries shown on the map in black and around the outer edge of the circle have ongoing military conflicts that result in over 1,000 violent deaths per year, including both military and civilians. Other conflicts are shown in red on the map. You can turn the spinner to select a country in which to participate or choose from the list of additional war zones.

The Rules of Engagement state you can place your soldier on any square of the game board and move randomly any number of spaces in any direction. You need not take turns and can remove the soldiers of any other player at will unless you are removed first. If you are on a square with information and instructions, do as you are told.

The Game Board resembles a checkerboard which gives instructions such as “no weapons found: look again”, “tour of duty extended: start over” and “peace negotiations began: pray for success”. Red and black checker-like pieces are “us” and “them”.

The game never ends, but may move to a different place of engagement. There are no winners, only losers.


Maria G Pisano from Memory Press created Vita Defuncta in response to the poem Patterns by Amy Lowell. The poem was first published in 1916 in the collection Men, Women and Ghosts.

© 2005 Maria G Pisano, Vita Defuncta is housed in a publisher’s slipcase, with an open wound at its center, which becomes the symbolic black casket for the book within.

© 2005 Maria G Pisano, Vita Defuncta is housed in a publisher’s slipcase, with an open wound at its center, which becomes the symbolic black casket for the book within.

© 2005 Maria G Pisano, Vita Defuncta, letterpress printed with type Bauer Bodoni at LaNana Creek Press by Charles D Jones and Terri L Goggans at Stephen F Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX

© 2005 Maria G Pisano, Vita Defuncta, letterpress printed with type Bauer Bodoni at LaNana Creek Press by Charles D Jones and Terri L Goggans at Stephen F Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX

© 2005 Maria G Pisano, Vita Defuncta a limited edition of 25 is printed on Arches MBM Ingres, Fabriano Elle Erre, and Japan Yatsuo, the book measures 11” H x 13” W open

© 2005 Maria G Pisano, Vita Defuncta a limited edition of 25 is printed on Arches MBM Ingres, Fabriano Elle Erre, and Japan Yatsuo, the book measures 11” H x 13” W open

The poem contrasts loss in war with nature. Nature is a constant, as it follows the cycle of the seasons through planting, growth, decay, and renewal. Even in the dead of winter, there is promise of life.

War has also become a recurring cycle. Unlike nature, which brings change and growth through the seasons, war brings only death. As a result of the death of a loved one, the protagonist remains emotionally static and sterile, presenting a façade to the outer world, where she exists only as a fragile ornament.

In my response, language and symbolic representations are intertwined with the images, encompassing both the masculine and feminine aspects of the poem. The diamond and rectangle respond to each other and as the pages progress the symbols separate, culminating in the red masculine symbol transforming to a bloodstain at the end of the book. Once opened, one views a perfectly manicured pattern of a white flower-like form, holding the pages. The colors, the papers’ texture, tactility, the structure, are all used to reflect and are in service of the theme.


Elena Mary Siff’s sculptural works and text pieces derive from her background of assemblage art where she has an established reputation. 

© 2017  Elena Mary Siff ,  War No More

© 2017 Elena Mary Siff, War No More

© 2017  Elena Mary Siff ,  War No More

© 2017 Elena Mary Siff, War No More

© 2017  Elena Mary Siff ,  War No More

© 2017 Elena Mary Siff, War No More

I have been collecting stamps to use in my books for a very long time and when I realized I had enough vintage stamps to create an anti-war book I created War No More. In this political climate, it seems imperative to speak out against aggression and hostility and my tiny book is a response.

Elena constantly explores and expands the artistic paradigms of the book as object using visual space, volume, movement, and colour. Her source material for her unique books is often of a social and political nature and is influenced by her favourite poets and philosophers.


Lucy Childs talks about healing in her artists’ book How a Bandage Works. Lucy’s book shows the progress of healing over time. 

© 2016 Marty Kelly Photography, Berkeley, CA martykelly.com, How a Bandage Works a textile (linen, cotton, silk, and rayon) accordion book

© 2016 Marty Kelly Photography, Berkeley, CA martykelly.com, How a Bandage Works a textile (linen, cotton, silk, and rayon) accordion book

© 2016 Marty Kelly Photography, 4 by 31/2 by 1 inch, How a Bandage Works opens to 4" x 27"

© 2016 Marty Kelly Photography, 4 by 31/2 by 1 inch, How a Bandage Works opens to 4" x 27"

You can imagine the bandage wrapped around a bleeding wound: a big red patch growing smaller and browner with each layer away from the cut. Imagery sewn over and around each blood patch symbolizes the healing taking place.


Merike van Zanten visited Normandy in June 2009 for the 65th anniversary of D-Day. 

Merike’s artists’ book A Soldier of the Second World War tries to express the almost absurd contrast between the realities and horrors of the Invasion of Normandy in 1944 and the serenity, peace, and beauty of the Allied Cemeteries 65 years later. Dried flowers from Normandy, combined with photographs of Allied graves, correspondence to loved ones back home and portrait photographs taken before the soldiers went to war convey just that conflict.

© 2009 Merike van Zanten,  A Soldier of the Second World War

© 2009 Merike van Zanten, A Soldier of the Second World War

© 2009 Merike van Zanten,  A Soldier of the Second World War

© 2009 Merike van Zanten, A Soldier of the Second World War

© 2009 Merike van Zanten,  A Soldier of the Second World War

© 2009 Merike van Zanten, A Soldier of the Second World War

While visiting the "recently" dug-out bunkers at Grandcamp Maisy, I was struck by the opposite of that current day and the same day in 1944.

2009 had beautiful weather, very quiet, wildflowers everywhere. In 1944, the weather wasn't so good, it must have been deafening with all the shooting and bombing going on, and certainly, the wildflowers would've been trampled by soldiers' boots. And if not, would the soldiers have noticed them?

I had similar thoughts when visiting an allied cemetery a couple of days later. Really quiet, flowers everywhere, immaculately groomed graves and headstones. You could think the soldiers finally had their peace and quiet, but at the same time, it seemed so unreal and contradictory.


After Reasonable Research, Years with No Acts of ‘Open and Declared Hostile Conflict’ Are Indicated with a Perpendicular Line. Perhaps They Were Periods of Peace by Miranda Maher is an astounding document of the absence of peace in our time. The book lists all open and declared armed hostile conflicts that have taken place between the year 1 and the year 2007. 

© 2009 Miranda Maher,  After Reasonable Research

© 2009 Miranda Maher, After Reasonable Research

© 2009 Miranda Maher,  After Reasonable Research,  the third edition comes in a plastic slipcase and includes a printed statement by the artist

© 2009 Miranda Maher, After Reasonable Research, the third edition comes in a plastic slipcase and includes a printed statement by the artist

Printed with a tiny font and arrayed in two seemingly endless columns, these conflicts fill mind-boggling twenty-two pages. The book is bound in an accordion structure with decorative paper, an uncomfortable reminder that the refinements of civilization are inseparably bound up with brutality.


What are your interpretations of war and armed conflict?

Have you represented these subjects in your artists’ books, writing, art...?

Virginia

Manassas, Virginia, was our next stop. The landscape is forever changing from the desert of the West to unbearable humidity in the East. I am reminded of the effects of the weather back home as we get closer to my hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, and Gatineau, Québec.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Prince-William Campground, Manassas, VA

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Prince-William Campground, Manassas, VA

No time to visit studios, but my internet searches lead me to talented artists’ bookmakers. I was interested in books that reflected the way each of us sees our surrounding landscape. The book Landscape within a book published by Louisa Boyd left an impression.

© 2001 Louisa Boyd, Landscape within a book, handbound artists' book, formed by tearing; the imagery was added with watercolour paint and pencils

© 2001 Louisa Boyd, Landscape within a book, handbound artists' book, formed by tearing; the imagery was added with watercolour paint and pencils

© 2001 Louisa Boyd, Landscape within a book, folded with a landscape image painted onto it in watercolour

© 2001 Louisa Boyd, Landscape within a book, folded with a landscape image painted onto it in watercolour

These artists’ books were developed after a series of personal experiences and events that led me to feel at a distance from nature, periods of my life where I lived in cities and found it difficult to experience quiet, serenity, and events such as the foot and mouth epidemic (2001) in the UK that led to large areas of the countryside being temporarily inaccessible. 
It was during these periods of time I started to recognise how important the natural environment was to me and longed to immerse myself in it and portray it through my work, consequently, the themes of restriction and freedom consistently reoccur in this series of works. In this, there is also a wider message of societal detachment from nature. 
Working with books sculpturally allowed me to represent these concepts in this instance. Pages were used restrictively to only give glimpses of information contained within them due to cut work, how they are bound and exhibited. Images are broken by the pages and disjointed. 
Many of my books are not meant to be opened with pages turned, they are meant to be viewed only as a three-dimensional form. This series of works use this format more so than any of my later pieces. The books are bound on tapes of paper with linen thread using a multiple signature binding. They have no covers.

How do you see your landscape?

How do you portray your surroundings?

How do you view where you live?

Let me know, I would love to hear.

West Virginia, Part 2

As I travel East, the landscape changes from desert and red rocks to green trees, rain, and fog. 

My extended stay in West Virginia reminded me of my connection with animals and how they speak of calm and relaxation, except for bugs!!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, David Bennet with one of his favourite horse 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, David Bennet with one of his favourite horse 

The second day at the Mountain Quest Institute was the kill-deer day. Though no animal was hurt in the shooting of these photos, a cement cast deer lost an antler after finding itself under our Putt-Putt.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, David Bennet and Michael rescuing the deer!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, David Bennet and Michael rescuing the deer!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, rescued and back in the garden

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, rescued and back in the garden


A re-occurring phenomenon of Frost, the fog—is unsettling.

Friends, like Alex and David Bennet, embrace this joyous experience. They published a book on the subject entitled The Journey into the Myst...this book shares the beginning of an extraordinary journey. This experience became an exploration into the unknown with the emergence of what the authors called the Myst, the forming and shaping of non-random patterns such as human faces, angels, and animals.

As this phenomenon unfolds in their book, you will discover how Alex and David observed and interacted with the Myst.

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What we are about to tell you would have been unbelievable before this journey began. It is not a story of the reality either of us has known for well over our 60 and 70 years of age, but rather, the reality of dreams and fairy tales.

This is the true story of a sequence of events that happened at Mountain Quest Institute, in a high valley of the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. 

The story begins with a miracle, expanding into the capture and cataloging of thousands of pictures of electromagnetic spheres known as “orbs.”


Another artist that comes to mind when I think of fog is Ginger Burrell’s Golden Gate Fog. I’ve admired Ginger’s artists’ books for a while and delighted to feature one of her books.

Golden Gate Fog (1 of 1).jpg
Golden Gate Fog for website (1 of 5).jpg
Long an icon of San Francisco, the Golden Gate bridge evokes the romance of a time of art deco beauty and the building of grand ideas. Viewed in fog, it becomes mysterious and hints of images and stories just out of reach. In Golden Gate Fog, the viewer listens to the rhythmic music of the ocean and fog horn recorded by Ginger’s husband, Greg Burrell. Everything was photographed and recorded in a single day while viewing San Francisco as seen through a silken curtain of fog. Journey along the coast, through the Presidio and to various viewpoints of the bridge as you imagine the feel of the cool fog on your skin.
Golden Gate Fog for website (3 of 5).jpg

The desert, the rocks, the mountains, the horses, the rain, or the fog touch our senses. We—artist, create art work and include these subjects to awaken others to these subjects.