Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Second Ancestor Scrapbook ... finished!
I blogged about the first scrapbook (HERE) just last Friday, but it seems like last month because I've done so much work since then. Time, in my subterranean studio here in my Fergus Falls' art residency, is playing tricks on me. I have no idea what time of day it is, what day of the week it is, or how many hours have passed. It is a unique sensation and ever so appropriate for working with nameless faces peering up from bygone days. I'm deep into the fictions of these anonymous, vintage photographs. I've finished the second scrapbook. In fact, I made so many pages for it that I only inserted half the batch. The photo above shows that the finished work looks exactly like the scrapbook did before I altered it.
Inside, however, the contents are totally different. The pages were cut from the two remaining canvases I brought with me. These canvases were previously collaged with random ephemera and over-painted with washes of off-white and bluish tinted acrylics. Since Friday, I added anonymous images and clipped words to each one and punched holes on the left-hand side to coordinate with the metal binding posts that hold the scrapbook together. I also cut "spacers".
(Above: Ancestor Scrapbook II, in the process of being put together, showing the page reading "Endless Summer".)
The spacers are the 1 1/8" wide strips that are inserted between every page in the scrapbook. They act to keep the pages level, to prevent the book from bulging due to the additional materials added to the pages. In other words, the spacers act as shims to keep the book perfectly flat from side to side.
The metal binding posts are two-part screws. I will have to order some because I could only used half the pages I created. When I'm back in South Carolina, I'll make two additional covers using 8-ply mat board for the remaining pages. Metal binding posts are easy to find on-line. I can order 100 of them for under $30 from Binding 101. I don't need that many, so might shop around for a smaller quantity.
As luck would have it. The thirty pages I made were easily divided into two books. Fifteen pages included clipped letters in either red or blue tones. These went into the book. The others will be assembled later.
It is wonderfully fun deciding what words to add to each selected photo. For many, it is a temptation to make a social comment (and it works for some photos). Seriously, who today would look at the baby's car seat (above) and not be utterly horrified by its lack of safety? Yet, I might have ridden in such a contraption. At the time, this was a perfectly great way to transport a child. No social commentary is needed ... just words to conjure up a life, a memory, a suggested narrative. Traveling Man.
(Above: Ancestor Scrapbook II, Kodak Moment.)
I could not resist using this photo. Talk about "suggestive"! There was no name (not that I'd know who it was even had there been a name) but there was a date ... 1947. My ninety-seven year old grandmother was twenty-nine years old in 1947. This could have been her. My grandfather probably would have snapped such a shot. Why it was saved, I don't know. Why it was discarded and in a box lot at Bill Mishoe's auction house, I don't know. Trying to find out the right words took a while to figure out. The flaming "T" at the end of "moment" came from a piece of sheet music ... also from the 1940s. Time. It's a fascinating subject and what is driving my work ... that and the fun of making up stories about my anonymous subjects. Below are the rest of the pages for both Ancestor Scrapbook II and Ancestor Scrapbook III (to be finished when I'm back home!) Enjoy!
(Above: Ancestor Scrapbook II, All American.)
Posted by Susan Lenz at 11:39 AM