Artist books give me a chance to create something three-dimensional, exploring sculptural forms using my two-dimensional photography and printmaking. The books also allow me to use text in challenging ways. In this world of ever-increasing technology and virtual art, it feels especially good to create something tangible and textural that can be held in your hands.
The artist books Memento Mori and Albuquerque were inspired by glass plate negatives from an early 1900’s Albuquerque studio. Susan Sontag said in On Photography, “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability.” I found myself wondering about these women – what were their lives like, what has changed and what has remained the same for women? While working with the old negatives, I began thinking about my mother, Enid. She was a lovely, bright woman who struggled with depression. The artist books about her are both a tribute and an exploration of the factors that shaped her life as a woman and mother.
My most recent books deal with such diverse themes as: my father in WWII, recipes from the Midwest, the construction of femininity, and the fading of our once vibrant environment.