Every year, I cross the country via different highways depending on visits to friends and family. The goal of this eastward trip was a visit to my friend, Dana in Nashville, Tennessee, a conference Michael was taking part in Washington, and visiting artists.
As we crossed Kansas, un séjour in Dodge City was in order. In Dodge City, like most tourists, I followed the Trail of Fame that leads you through the downtown? Twenty-nine bronze medallions and markers are found and comprise citizens who believe in the community. My collection of manhole covers came to mind. What could I do with my series, my collection? How do I continue the project, or do I?
The images below resurrected my project City Shields for a day.
The action of collecting becomes an obsession for artists. Often the attraction to particular items grows parallel to our work. I found another artist who has a compulsion to remember and to be remembered by way of collecting.
Monica Holtsclaw is a book artist, quilter, and sewer of many things. Monica spends most days in her studio in San Rafael, CA, and also teaches at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Find out the dates of Monica's workshops by visiting her calendar page.
Monica’s artists’ book Memory Palace was insightful. The patience to wait and collect to create a book many years later is admirable.
The pages of Memory Palace are a storage place for a range of tokens representing experiences I saved over the last twenty years. In this way it is a vessel, holding objects I can retrieve at any time to awaken memories temporarily forgotten. Codified by color and arranged chronologically, each item signifies a particular time and place. The structure was chosen because of its resemblance to a series of rooms. A memory palace is a mnemonic device which helps a person to catalog and retrieve information. The creation of Memory Palace has allowed me to transform this mnemonic device into physical reality.
Another edition in the same genre is Monica’s Moving Forward created for the 2015 Hello Hedi Exhibition at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland.
I watched an interview with Hedi Kyle, in which she spoke about her background and gave a tour of her studio. It was a delight to see the objects and structures that influence her, and I saw many of my own interests reflected in what she shared. I found that Hedi is an inspiring collector. I have saved ephemera for years and have been reflecting on what I have saved and have been making work around the theme of these tokens of my past. For this book, I focused on my collection of ground transportation tickets, acquired from 2002 to 2014. I chose Hedi’s Crown Book structure because of the movement of the binding as it opens and its resemblance to spokes of a wheel.
Read what Monica has to say in her own blog posts.
Next stop Tulsa, Oklahoma, what will I find? What will inspire my traveling studio?