Ellen Sheffield – April Yao


© 2015
edition of 4
6 x 5.5 x .25

In stock


Created for the 2015 Ideation Experience exhibition.

shiramine japanese paper, gouache, graphite, book board, silicone fabric


Artist Statement about work:

Listening to a concert by visiting musicians Mei Han and Randy Raine-Reusch performing their contemporary compositions for the ancient chinese zheng, a 21 stringed instrument, i was inspired to create an artist book that played with the concept of a visual score for this complex and moving music. Through texture, pattern and color, i hoped to visualize the sensations generated by their piece, forest rain, which evokes the sounds of rain in the bamboo forests of japan with the addition of a bowed bass to their zheng duet. Starting with the “innovative” structure card, Hedi Kyle’s fishbone folded format seemed a good fit with the symmetrical nature of forest rain, beginning and ending with strong yao (tremolo). Other constraints were helpful in narrowing my focus: japanese paper; a single bamboo leaf; hand-painted paste paper; carbon steel punches (raining letters and cipher notation dashes); and lines inscribed in a rock from my garden & one encyclopedia entry serving as found text.

Created using the following Ideation Deck card draws: color – highly colorful; structure – innovative; image – extracted from a single image; technique – hand drawn or painted; layout – based on a grid; text – found text

About artist:

Ellen Sheffield is a visual artist who explores the relations between language, materiality & time through small-scale hand held objects: artist books. Ellen’s work has been widely exhibited, most recently at CODEX V International Book Fair, Richmond, CA, & J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, & has been collected by institutions including the Bienecke Library Collection at Yale. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Institute of Art & The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, Ellen teaches book arts at Kenyon College in Gambier.


Ellen Sheffield – April Yao