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Monday, March 11, 2013


After doing a certain number of mini-books (not all of which I've yet been able to blog about for SitWithMoi), I realize that I'd been exploring textual silence and visual proclamations (including how the latter might replace the former).  An example is TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE ostensibly by my brother Fil -- you can read my entire engagement HERE, but let me focus on this part:

That blank space, you see, between my brother's address on the left and the stamp on the right, symbolizes, for me, time and journey.  And I need not write anything about that blank space, just present it (as I do in the mini-book).

So as I look around the materials from my everyday living, I've been trying to visually collage previously disparate elements to concoct a narrative.  At times I'll incorporate text but, at their most pure, they would avoid text. Actually, it's hard for me to avoid inserting any text at all (Alice Brody does it successfully in her mini-book JAPAN TALES which still contains a narrative); perhaps it's because I find it hard to be pure (haha).  Anyway, my newest mini-book is an impure example: MAY JOY.

The 1.75" x 1.5" MAY JOY is rooted from noticing two elements in my studio, a left-over Holiday card and the back cover of the most recent Barnard College Alumni Magazine:

I've kept a number of Holiday cards about because their card stock makes for good mini-book covers.  In the case of this card, I noticed the snippet "May Joy" (which probably was from a larger message like "May Joy Be Part of Your Holidays" or something like that), and thought the phrase could title a new mini-book.  In the case of the back cover of the Barnard Alumni mag, I loved the lavender flower strips which I also thought could be good mini-book material.  So I made a new mini-book joining together these two elements. 

Here is the front cover below -- I cut the edges so as to include remnants of the Christmas ornaments because I wanted to incorporate allusions to joyful holidays and that I wanted also for the book to be a "gift" to the reader:

You would open the book to see this interior, which is simply the lavender strip folded within the book cover.  Along the edge of the strip, which becomes the first thing you see when you open the book, you see the phrase "For You", which I did intend literally for you, the reader.

You'd unfold the accordion page to see the lavender flowers unfold across your vision.  Didactically, I inserted in the letters "U N F O L D":

But please notice how the message ends with the strip containing the words "For You":

Hence, the mini-book's total text is "May Joy Unfold For You."  You're welcome, you're welcome...

Next, I turned my attention to the back cover.  I wanted to put an illustration on its white space, and debated for a century between a cut-out from the Holiday card or the lavender flower strip.

Ultimately, I decided on the lavender flower because I wanted to avoid the overall Holiday Card (notwithstanding the hints of the Christmas ornaments along the edges of the front cover). Here is a visual of both back and front covers and I think it works better than if all of the imagery had alluded to Christmas.

And now, where shall we joyfully "shelve" this chair?  Well, why not on the metal chair that needs some softening!

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