Artist Books

The Walls We Wear

The idea for The Walls We Wear came from my anger about the wall along our southern border. I wondered what makes a person hate or see someone as “other”? It’s easy to blame others, but harder to accept the fact that I carry my own internal walls and biases. In ways known or unknown, I contribute to the systems and experiences that divide and hurt people. I have to start with me.

Our lived experiences shape our interior landscape. When these experiences are painful or traumatic, we erect psychological walls as protection, with us all the time, unseen but powerfully affecting our interactions with others. While often necessary, they can also divide us from each other. What if we brought them into the light, named them, wore them where we could see them, and began to tear them down?

The Walls We Wear is a book, a bracelet, and a sculpture. As a book, it serves as a record of walls we carry. As a sculpture, a visual reminder. As a bracelet, a tool for bringing attention and change through self-awareness.

2021, edition of 3, $400

Leave a Trace

I collected these eucalyptus leaves years ago near Andy Goldsworthy’s Wood Line at The Presidio in San Francisco while visiting dear friends. It was such a meaningful moment, and I knew if I held onto the leaves they would make themselves into something special someday. Like the Goldsworthy piece they fell near, these leaves remind me of the earth’s cycles, the resilience of nature, and also the impermanence of all things.

In this pamphlet-stitched artist book, the six leaves are bound together using handmade thread and sewn around straps of handmade paper to create a moveable, “readable” book.   

2020, unique artist book, collection of the Artist.

Sea Change

From a very early age, Lake Michigan has been a consistent presence in my life. In every season, at every life stage, and in every state of mind the Big Lake has been present with deep and steady movement. Being near it and in it taps into something bigger than this moment in time for me. The lens of time scales back, and I’m aware of how deep, constant, persistent the lake is. Sometimes it moves with greater force and power and other times it is gentle and slow. Time passes, beaches erode, dunes move, landscapes shift. 

Sea Change was created in July 2020 in response to the word Sea for the Are You Book Enough Challenge on Instagram. At a time when I feel so angry and discouraged with the systems of power that hurt us all and seem immovable, the lake’s rhythms remind me of how deep and steady and persistent this work of change must be. It brings me renewed energy, calm, and hope to keep ever working for change. 

The shape of each of the 30 pages in this book corresponds to data on wave height in Lake Michigan during the 30 days of June 2020. The data was recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at a buoy in Holland, Michigan.

2020, unique artist book, collection of The Artist

Emergency Roll

Created in May 2020 in response to the word Break for the Are You Book Enough Challenge on Instagram. The process of making the book was a grounding experience in that it offered a focus for my mind and hands during the early days of Covid and lockdown with my family. It was also a vehicle for processing the frightening and unprecedented experience that was unfolding around us all.

Emergency Roll was made as a scroll book with 266 perforated pages and also envisioned as a performative piece, allowing viewers to break off pieces of the book. The book is printed with 18 repeating words that represent things I found myself being forced to break with during the early period of the pandemic. There are so many more words that I could have included, these are just the ones that I felt most strongly absent in my life at the time. The are: calm, clarity, stability, safety, community, touch, normalcy, productivity, energy, movement, creativity, focus, purpose, positivity, wellness, routine, education, support. 

In one sense, as the pages are torn off, the words become a literal representation of breaking away from the things we were forced to give up in lockdown. But in another sense the breaking off could be seen as a physical tool for meditation, offering a word to break off and carry with you in order to find comfort and focus when it is needed. I like the idea of an offering for times of emergency, a stash of those things that can be offered to others when they are desperately needed. 

The paper for the book came from toilet paper wrappers by Who Gives A Crap.

2020, unique artist book, collection of the Artist.

Code Red

While we debate the solution to gun violence in America, children as young as three are practicing preparedness drills in schools. The idea for Code Red came out of my experience participating in the national walkouts with my daughter (a second grader at the time) shortly after the Parkland shootings in 2018. Hearing the explanation of the steps of a code red with small children beside me prompted questions such as: Can we prepare young children for an active shooter without also teaching them fear and mistrust? Does the benefit of preparation outweigh the anxiety and emotional trauma of active shooter drills? Does teaching children to hide and keep quiet at school damage our efforts to establish open and conducive learning environments? Are we putting more responsibility on the potential victims rather than the potential perpetrators? Have we accepted that shootings are going to happen rather than working proactively to prevent them?

Code Red is an accordion book with linoleum prints that comes house in a lidded box with a colophon.

2019, edition of 4, $500

Nine Months To Bear Fruit

Consisting of a group of nine small accordion books, this piece plays on the phenomenon of referencing fruits and vegetables to describe fetus size during each month of pregnancy. The piece was imagined and written over many exhausting hours of breastfeeding my second child. It was my way to process my own experience of pregnancy as well as to nod toward a more collective cultural experience of women in America. 

In each book, the typed text on one side of the page offers facts about each month of pregnancy, in acknowledgement of the overwhelming advice,  information, and expectations that are directed at women during pregnancy. On the other side are handwritten reflections expressing my personal experience of pregnancy, including fears, sadness over the loss of myself, joy, excitement, and marveling at my body’s abilities.

Made of air-dry clay, acrylic paint, paper, and ink, representations include a peppercorn, blueberry, olive, peach, pear, eggplant, butternut squash, grapefruit, and watermelon. Displayed together as a grouping, but read intimately from the palm of your hand, the piece is meant to be read as both light-hearted and heart-felt.

2015, unique artist book, collection of the Artist