Book Arts 2003
An Introduction to the Exhibition
By Gail Hoffman
Assistant Professor, Foundation Department
School of Art and Design
As part of a visual book assignment, Conservation Librarian Peter Verheyen
presented my 2-D Problem-Solving class with an informative discussion
of artists' books. He showed the class a variety of book structures,
binding techniques, slides of contemporary book arts, and pointed out
the connection between structure and content. Rare Book Librarian Ken
Lavender treated the class to a presentation of the history of the book
on the following week. Ken showed them many examples of different book
structures: clay tablets, scrolls, illuminated manuscripts, interactive
books and artists' books and discussed paper and printing techniques.
Both these presentations provided the students a valuable background
for the ensuing assignment.
Back in the classroom, the students were asked to do a twenty-minute
free write on one of three topics Time, Identity and Journey. This became
the basis for their visual book. They could use any material that related
to their idea, with the structure being an integral part of their concept.
The students met in small groups for two brainstorming and idea-exchanging
sessions and presented their books on the third week to the entire class.
During the work process, Peter was available to help the students with
their technical problems and was instrumental in organizing this show.
The descriptions are in the students' own words.
The exhibition will remain on display in the Reading Room of the Special Collections Research Center, 6th Floor, E.S. Bird Library, through the end of April. Hours are from 9 - 5, Monday - Friday.
Magic Accordion Book
This book shows the transition of the magician making the rabbit disappear
and then reappear. I used a deck of cards, alternating the black and
red suits. This is a fun and unique book.
The Good Fortune Book
This book tells a story of a little girl being granted her 3 life lessons.
The fortune cookies hold an important message in them. The structure
of the box incorporates the story and the illustrations on the other
side. This is a very interactive book.
The Five Senses Book
This is a pullout book of the five senses. Each page has one of the
five senses with descriptions of sight (eyes), touch (cotton balls,
nail file), taste ( food), sound (noises), and smell (perfume). This
is a unique and innovative interactive book.
The Four Seasons
I made an interactive book about the four seasons. I found some old
shutters to use as the book structure. You flip the shutters up and
down to read the poem that corresponds with that season while watching
each season take place. On the winter shutter you can see the snow falling,
in spring the butterflies fly, summer is pretty lazy and doesn't do
much, and in the fall you can watch the leaves fall from the tree. This
book represents someone watching the seasons pass by when looking out
a window through shutters.
Chocolate Box Book
This book is not supposed to resemble a book on the outside and neither
is the viewer supposed to feel as though they are reading a book. The
outside of the book resembles a chocolate box called Elixir with the
outline of the cocoa bean painted on it. Untying the satin ribbon and
opening the box you see what appears to be edible looking chocolates,
but they are actually made of cloth, which has been coated with fabric
stiffener and cut up toilet paper tubes. Each chocolate has a removable
top which reveals an inside message pertaining to the love of chocolate
and a few interesting facts about chocolates.
Is Man a Myth?
The book is based upon The Chronicles of Narnia. My book is
based on an idea mentioned in the first book, The Lion, the Witch,
and the Wardrobe. Tumnus the fawn had in his library a book entitled,
Is Man a Myth? Borrowing from this idea, the book's intention
is to represent how a Narnian would tell the story of their own history.
"The Beltway Sniper"
The Beltway Sniper portrays the hysteria and mystery surrounding the
frightening serial killing spree that occurred in Washington, D.C. Beltway
area last October.
This book is based on the elements of design and structure and utilizes
stenciling to explore a deeper look into the conditions of human relationships.
Under the Big Top
Warning: What you are about to see and hear may result in life-altering
side affects such as awareness, thinking in a new light, wishing you
were still oblivious, denial, emotional scarring, and most of all experiencing
first hand appearance vs. reality...
The Mooney Family Journey
In 1831 my fourth great-grandfather, Robert Mooney and his small family
began a long, overseas journey from their homeland in Coothill, Ireland
to Prince Edward Island, Canada. Being subjected to the harsh British
landlords, and a potato famine that had lasted for almost ten years,
Robert moved his family with hope for new opportunities for the Irish
people. They began their journey overseas on a ship named the Morgianna.
On Prince Edward Island they became potato farmers and my book is symbolic
of this, by its worn potato sac burlap encapsulating the interior diary
entries. The corpse-like images that protrude from its cover symbolize
many relatives who died during the famine in Europe, and unfortunately
never made it to Prince Edward Island. Although many of these relatives
I will never know, their legacies and experiences live on with many
of the diary entries that I have recreated on handmade paper. Each entry
was written by Roberts wife, and is sandwiched between actual
potato cut prints on rice paper.
Laura M. Heinzinger
Reflections of Me
My book is based on reflection, and shows me writing to different people
saying something that I wish could have changed or done better. After
each page is a reflective glass plate showing images related to the
writing. The book is in a box that is shaped like a hand mirror and
is also reflective.
A Little Taste of Judaism
This book is about love. It is inside of a hatbox that is covered with
paper that I made. The book tells of what love is, my journey with it
and that special someone who has let me enjoy love. I really opened
up in this book, much further than I usually do, and I would really
like others to see it. The pages go in a circular movement and there
is a clear heart cut out in the bottom to symbolize that love is never-ending
and forever changing and that there is no one thing that defines love.
A Pop-Up Tour of Syracuse University
This pop-up book consists of five Bristol panels each illustrating
a building in Syracuse. Mylar was used in the back to allow light through
and create shadows and depth in the cutouts. The text is my thoughts
and first impressions of each building, written in a fashion so it makes
a pathway to the buildings. It also acts as a connection from panel
With this book I am approaching the issue of my fathers divorce
from my mother and remarriage to another woman. I am originally from
England and when something upsets someone over there they are not supposed
to say anything about it. Therefore I spent a great deal of my childhood
brushing things off and pushing emotions deep down and simply saying
that everything is fine. The band aid on my heart is from a funny saying
that you heal a broken heart with a band aid and even though it is on
there, it doesnt truly work at healing the wound.
This book is about my anorexia and my insecurities. The book is shaped
like a heart because of the saying cross my heart and hope to
die. To illustrate this point, sentences are attached to strips
of fabric inside the book structure that alternately cross over each
other as you read. On one side I have my secret thoughts about my weight
and my issues with how I look. The other side is fun facts about me
that not many people know about. The book is made out of a constructed
copper wire frame and quilted with childhood fabrics that I still own
such as pajamas and clothes that I wore as a child.
I completed this book over Christmas when my mom bought home a mink
head from the fur store where she was working. The title of the book
is Conversations and it is so interesting the way you open the book
and discover the small nose and then the face that seems to be talking
to you. I covered the book in fur, tinted the edges gold and stained
the paper with coffee to make the book appear as though it had been
around for hundreds of years.
Swarm begins as the story of a bee, but ends as the story of
the human worker. The bee emerges from the confines of its first enclosed
space in the hive, only to become the prisoner of a cubicle. This juxtaposition
was one that I was feeling during the winter-emerge from my cramped
concrete cube of a room, only to land in another cage of walls.
When 'closed this book is a black cube. After the first
splitting, it shows the earth flanked by a sunrise and a landscape of
mountains. From there, each piece folds out again, revealing the slow
degradation of nature through a hydrogen bomb explosion, nuclear waste
facilities, a graveyard, a depiction of a thalidomide baby, a toxic
factory and a mutated frog. Upon the last unfolding of the cube, it
has become 8 individual cubes, each depicting a different part of the
cycle of human development. The cubes encircle the earth, now in a mixed
state-- new growth comes now from death, and an earth conscious mind
emerges in the wasteland, which we have created.
I wanted to create a chronological documentation of the gradual degradation
of the earth due to humanity's waste and abuse. I created an accordion
book out of Rives BFK paper and cardboard, as well as black and white
photocopies of photographs from National Geographic. The cover of the
book is swathed with strips of birch bark. The title, "Decoquo"
is a Latin word meaning, "to ruin oneself". I wanted to personify
the earth as a living and feeling being; and humanity as a collective
entity ruining itself by overusing and exploiting the earth's resources.
Earth begins its life as a natural and harmonious life form and is eventually
eradicated by civilization. This book is its testament.
Message in a Bottle
My book is made of wood and is in the form of a small piano. When you
hit the keys on the piano they jingle from the bells that are attached
and words will pop up out of long space on the cover of the piano. There
is also a small stand with sheet music. If you follow the notes on the
sheet music then the words inside the piano will pop up in order of
a saying once quoted by Ludwig Van Beethoven.
My book is based on my own life-altering experience in the hospital.
I used varying block printing techniques to create the haunting imagery
that remains with me long after my visit. I hand made the paper out
of hospital robes and green pulp to simulate the eerie environment of
the hospital. The book is bound with black thread and the stitches resemble
those given to a patient. There is no written story line, only the images
with hidden words to be found in them that are also stitched into the
paper. The book was made for myself and the abstract view is how I view
my disillusioned and unconscious experience in the hospital.