Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Anonymous Ancestors, an altered Victorian photo album

(Above, Anonymous Ancestors, cover.  Shut:  10 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 2 3/4".  Victorian photo album with pages altered using anonymous vintage photographs and letters clipped from vintage sources.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

My art residency proposal called for the creation of a series of artist and altered books made using anonymous vintage photographs.  My upcoming solo installation at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort campus gallery calls for a setting that emulates the feel of a nostalgic sitting room in which viewers are surrounded by anonymous images that are highly suggestive of unknown lives.  I will include an original Victorian rocker (courtesy of my parents), a grand old chair, a foot rest, a dictionary lectern, a period end table, an Oriental rug (yet to be found) and an ornate floor lamp (also yet to be acquired).  This comfortable area will include the altered vintage photos on which I've been working ... individual images placed in small boxes, scrapbooks on the end table, and also this Victorian photo album.  In my mind's eye, the Victorian album was exactly my vision ... for both the art residency work as well as the exhibition.  The scrapbook and the loose images are just "extra".  So, I'm very pleased with this altered book.  It is exactly what I wanted to make during this month of uninterrupted work time. 

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, title page.)

Because it so perfectly fits my mental plans, it seemed only appropriate to give the book the same title as the upcoming exhibition:  Anonymous Ancestors.  I enjoyed collaging, ironing (very low heat), and waxing every page.  Below are the spreads.  The last few pages have no additional words.  I thought they'd be too cramped.  I also like the idea that viewers can bring their own imaginative story lines to the scenes from the past.  Scroll down.  Enjoy!

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Best Friends.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Favorite Child and Distant Relative.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, I Had a Name and I Was a Mother.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Only One of Us Would Grow Up and Never Had Children.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Lost Loves.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, High Life and Adventure Seeker.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Going Places and Passport Photos.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Big Girl and First Birthday.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Supposed to Last Forever and We Were Unforgettable.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, An Honest Man and A Good Woman.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Spiritual Life and Social Life.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Dreamed of Hollywood and Dreamed of Romance.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Conservative Christian and Progressive Liberal.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, Perfect Family and Unexpected Happiness.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors, School Days and Church Revivals.)

(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors.)
(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors.)
(Above:  Anonymous Ancestors.)

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