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.

What happened?

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.

15 comments:

Dale Anne said...

Oh MY!!!
I LOVE this!
Oh Susan - FABULOUS!!!

Karen said...

Congrats on the invitation to submit for the Threads exhibition! That is so exciting!! Love the basket full of future hopes and dreams from childhood. My brothers and I used to just pour through the world books when we were children. Wonderful idea to use them in this way!

Doreen G said...

I have the "500 Handmade Books" book---Stephen gave it to me last Christmas but I hadn't realised that you had something in it.
Love the wasted words piece.

lindacreates said...

I love this piece Susan. You continually amaze me!

Bhuvan Chand said...

Nice Article. Keep it up. But I think this is copy of your topic recycling process

barmar said...

Your "wasted words" speaks volumes, from all those years when nobody was listening. Your project is truly meaningful, and deserves widespread publication and recognition.

BBB

Corinne said...

Susan- you have created another masterpiece- in terms of book art, fabric art, recycling art and social commentary - I applaud your vision and creativity!!
big hugs....

Guzzisue said...

LOVE IT!!!!!

congrats, wonderful work....

MrsL said...

VERY cool!

velvt said...

i hope this piece gets widespread attention and accolades. the process, both physical and mental, is wonderful. the work is a good expression of the message.

Wanda said...

Wow Susan. You are so right. I never thought about it. Your creation speaks volumes...of years and years of wasted words. Your story needs to go with this piece...it is so true. Where has the time gone? We have the same causes and conserns...just years worse now. I'm going to think about this for a long time. Where can I get a copy of that book? Can you order it for me and I'll pay and pick it up in May?

Iowa Sunshine said...

Susan this is wonderful! A very creative idea! Congratulations on being submitted for the Threads exhibition! Your work always inspires. Thanks for sharing it. HUGS

jonio said...

Wonderful idea! I love these!! Your Decision series is just getting better and better too. I'm hoping to see it in an exhibit when you have completed it. Keep creating, your pieces are just awesome!!!!

Ellen Kochansky said...

Brilliant. What is it about wrapping and stacking that is so therapeutic? Very proud of you for this work, and all your other efforts, and to be in the tippy little boat with you. Congratulations, friend.

Linda of the Lake said...

Are words truly wasted? If just one person thinks about them and tries to act on them then that one person is better off isn't she? Or is trying to be.....