About this piece:
While exploring cyanotype printing for another project, I mulled over ideas around light/shadow, positive/negative space and the saturated blues this process produces. Then the novel coronovirus presented, rapidly infecting populations across the globe. Despite living in Washington State where early U.S. cases were uncovered, I primarily heard national news describing the devastation in New York City. The book’s poem developed from contemplating empty urban landscapes such as this, where echoes and shadows remain when individuals shelter away from one another and death counts rise to shocking levels. The book’s imagery—through the hole-punched voids and the mirroring prints—suggests the spread of disease and its accompanying losses. The colored pencil lines reflect the poem’s “blue sky” reference, lightening and darkening depending on the words, while also suggesting the lines of hospital monitors gone flat. The soft, white paper cover wrapping the book’s body evokes a shroud.
The title for the piece, dearth, indicates what is lacking or has gone missing. It references the poem where an empty playground stands for the vacancies and voids this pandemic has created, where what was once vibrant is now filled with echoes and shadows. It nods to the dearth of civility, as deep divisions threaten democracy, where attitudes around something as basic as mask wearing rile up certain groups who see regulation as threat to their personal freedoms. We have a dearth of connection, of community. And the word dearth sits close to death, which resides at the forefront of our minds as this disease racks the human population. We have indeed awoken “on hard ground.”
paper, fabric, pencil, ink, museum board, velcro
About the artist:
Lives and works in Hoquiam, Washington.
Carrie, a visual artist living in Hoquiam, Washington, studied at Whitman College. There she was introduced to Book Arts which became the springboard for all permutations of her art-making. While much of her work takes inspiration from the natural world, her artist’s books often explore an internal, emotional landscape. They have been exhibited nationally and are held in the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art collection, as well as various university libraries.