The squash format book may open intimately page by page, or dramatically to show all of its pages at once. The spikey three-dimensional structure invades its surrounding space, implicative of the fracking that has invaded Colorado. This one of a kind book is a precursor to the drum leaf, editioned book, 4 3 2 CRY. Looking at satellite maps during the summer of 2012, Hettinga became petrified by the intricate pattern of drilling scars formed across the open lands around Greeley, Colorado. The land is covered with five point X’s-roads crisscross from large well pads. The rich Niobrara shale field is permitted to be drilled twenty plus times per square mile. The land is pierced, perforated, gouged beyond comprehension. Northern Colorado is sitting on a pincushion of drilled and fractured earth. Photographing the area where she lived, worked on a dairy farm, gave birth to her son, started an art gallery, worked as a designer at the Greeley Tribune and went to graduate school, Hettinga saw an agricultural landscape changed by decades of oil and gas drilling operations. Compliance signs, diamond shaped Mondrian-like, are affixed to thousands of condensate tanks. These innocuous signs consisting of primary colors and numbers one through four are code for a chilling catalog of possible hazards ranging from fiery explosions to lethal health effects. The compliance signs became a design element for the front and back covers and the chapter countdown.
Kathy T. Hettinga, Distinguished Professor of Art and Design, Messiah College, PA, is an active artist in design, artist’s books, and digital prints. She has received national recognition including a Research Fellowship at Yale where she studied with Johanna Drucker and an Artist’s Book Residency, Women’s Studio Workshop.
Her large-scale digital series have been exhibited across the country and in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Her artists’ books have appeared at Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts, Corcoran Museum; Action/Interaction at the Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts, and the Dadian Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Her work is in the permanent collections of UCLA’s Grunewald Center, university collections of Iowa, Berkeley, Virginia Commonwealth, Yale; The Library of Congress; MoBIA, NYC; The Fogg Museum of Harvard; and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Her art and essays have been published in SIGGRAPH, Graphic Design: USA, American Photography 25, and Latin American Fotografia. In the past decade, Hettinga has worked in artists’ books, design projects for activist causes, and deluxe editions, such as her Grave Images: San Luis Valley (Museum of New Mexico Press).