I attended the gallery yesterday with a friend. We were the only ones there at the tiny gallery so we could take our time examining all of the pieces. While all show a great amount of work and craftsmanship, not to mention the finest of delicate touches, there were a handful that resonated with me either in appearance, ingenuity or content.
The first one that i was wowed by continues to be my favorite. It is "Transformations" by Marcia Ciro. Ciro uses aluminum, cardboard and hardware as the canvas to show her ink jet photography mostly of nature scenes. The "books" are really not quite that, they are more stand alone art pieces that are 3 dimensional almost look like pats of machinery. The juxtaposition of this man made machinery with the images of peaceful scenic nature create for a thought provoking and visually stunning book art.
Next, i spotted the works by Laurie Alpert, "Sand Battle 1" and "Silent Sounds". These show linear imagery that is repeated throughout the book of the silhouette of a soldier bearing a gun and what looks like old paper with worn text. The artists explains her vision behind her work as being from a trip to Israel where she saw the Dead Sea Scrolls and a sculpture of a soldier akin to the one she depicts in her art. Not unlike her motivations with these pieces, i too see the depictions of war, its politics and middle eastern tensions.
Then it was onto the more light-hearted and most narrative book-like piece in the room, "A Story About A Trip Up North And Down" by Stephanie Mahan Stigliano. This was a colorful pop-up style book with a mini flip book built into the back that showed the ending. It was a clever and fun way to tell a story from the artist's childhood. It combined drawings and photos and was simpler in its storytelling but showed a great deal of craftsmanship.
Lastly, I saw one of my favorite and most accessible books in the room. I searched the table the book was on but couldn't find the name of the piece or artist. I later found out it was by Peter Madden. Madden crafts his book in an almost homemade scrapbook fashion, with a wooden cover with a checkered overlay and brown parchment paper stitched with thread. He chronicles particular anecdotal moments in his life with pieces of memorabilia associated with those snapshots in time and attaches them to the page while explaining the moment with printed text above it. One can glean from this the notion that life is made up of a series of moments that give particular meaning to us and shape who we are.
I enjoyed the art show and was impressed by a variety of ways the different artists express themselves through this style of artwork. It was also an interesting way to understand the passage of time and it's transformations.