Friday, March 27, 2009
Wasted Words: Global Warnings
(Above: Wasted Words: Global Warnings. Click on image to enlarge.)
A couple of weeks ago I received an interesting message from the from the Center for Book Arts in New York City. I've been invited to submit work for consideration for an upcoming exhibition tentatively titled: Threads: Interweaving Textu[r]al Meaning. I was contacted because of my piece in the Lark publication 500 Handmade Books! I was so honored to be noticed that of course I said I had other, similiar works......but, until a few days ago, these pieces only existed in my mind! Thus, I've taken a little break from other work and created the first of two pieces made from World Book Yearbooks, 1962-75.
Steve and I acquired these volumes at a book auction. They were part of a very large "table lot." We weren't interested them but had to take them away...it's all or nothing! For a couple years we tried to sell them, donate them, or convince our recycling center to take them. No one wanted them. They ended up in my studio....wasted words.
(Above: Detail of rolls and cubes. Click on image to enlarge.)
To be honest, I love them. Flipping through the pages is a journey into my childhood. Browsing through the articles brings back all sorts of environmental concerns....saving whales, the dangers of pesticides, electric cars, dwindling natural resources, over-population issues, gas masks, and the overwhelming need for adults to take immediate action. In elementary school, I felt completely reassured that the global warnings I was learning in social studies class would be addressed and solved before the year 2000....a popular date on all the pretty pie charts and graphs.
Never good in mathematics, it took me days to calculate that I'd be forty years old on January 1, 2000, the first day of the new millenium....turning the ripe old age of forty-one later in June. I couldn't even imagine being forty. It was such a long, long time off in a distant future that would be filled with mass transportation, new sources of energy, protected animals, clean ways to dispose of garbage and international recycling programs.
I seemed to have blinked my eyes and now I'm turning fifty! The world isn't better off. The same environmental issues exist....and now I'm the adult! Of course I've tried to "do my part". We actively recycle. I drive a moped and our car isn't a big gas guzzler. Is this enough? Probably not. Maybe this artwork, however, will help bring awareness to others.
(Click on image to enlarge.)
I removed all the articles about conservation, ecology, and other issues from all the volumes of World Book Yearbooks, 1962-75. These articles were carefully ripped and rolled so that highlighted words are visible. One volume, 1969, was selected randomly, ripped into strips and stitched into cubes with recycled buttons. All this was placed in a green fiber vessel made from 100% natural yarns.
Posted by Susan Lenz at 11:16 AM