Many people look at old books as obsolete, especially in the digital age of accessing information. As an artist, I have always perceived books as a creative opportunity to inspire profound form.
The books viewed during my residency at American Philosophical Society library, in Philadelpha, have taken me on the most remarkable journey. Some of my favorite ones have recorded natural phenomena in the actual hand of the author. One of the most exciting observations has been how drawing was a visual, capturing device for scientists before the invention of the camera. Looking at the sketchbooks of Lewis and Clark, the incredibly detailed bug drawings of John LeConte, and John Benbow’s, sketches in The Bee Book, to name a few, I found myself humbled by the authors’ need to record their observations not only via the written word, but through beautifully rendered form.
Technically, the sculpture has been greatly influenced by hydrologist, Luna Leopold’s beautiful river drawings. These complex river maps, describing the layering of scale and elevation of a particular landscape has had a profound effect on the development of the work. The process of layering graphite and acrylic on mylar, also visually portray the significance of pages in a book. Each layer like a book page, when viewed together creates a complex visual story, giving meaning to form.