Brea Black – A Pocket Guide to Avian Superstitions


© 2016

edition of 5

dimensions in inches: 6.25 x 4 x .25


About this piece:
Loosely modeled after 19th century natural history books, this pocket guide merges fact with fiction. Illustrations and scientific information are paired with superstitions in the form of short rhyming poems to assist in memorizing and recalling the crucial steps one must, or must not, take when faced with one of these birds. If we lived in a world where interactions between humans and animals had immediate and often fatal consequences, this book would help one navigate through life unscathed. The teal Cave Paper covers reference the sea and the sky, both domains of the birds included in this guide. The stitching on the spine, Keith Smith’s “pinking shears” design, represents the movement of a bird’s wings in flight.

The text, written by the artist, was inspired by the Cassel Dictionary of Superstitions by David Pickering, 1995. The book was digitally printed on Mohawk Superfine paper using Epson Durabrite ink. The images were adapted from books accessed via The Commons on Flickr and the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections.
paper, ink, thread
About the artist:
Lives and works in Lawrence, Kansas, United States

Brea Black is a librarian and book artist living in Lawrence, Kansas.

About Alicia Bailey


Brea Black – A Pocket Guide to Avian Superstitions

by Alicia Bailey time to read: 1 min