About this piece:
This one-of-a-kind book is the result of long, meditative walks in the high desert – an extreme form of social distancing. As I walked, I envisioned the people who once occupied these barren lands. Through purposeful manipulation of plants, a reflection of nature was formed. Beaten by hand with a volcanic stone on a wood board, this bark paper book attempts to conjure a glimpse of Rio Arriba County in Northern New Mexico. I think of this undulating bark paper landscape as “…a way for the universe to know itself.” (Carl Sagan)
A pulp painting creates images with pigmented pulp; in this process, I “draw” with plant-dyed Japanese kozo fiber. Inspired by ancient Aztec and Maya papermaking traditions, I have innovated the technique to produce imagery that is composed face-down during the wet stages of the formation process. The fiber is then hand-beaten with a stone and air-dried. The slightly-abstracted composition is revealed when the dried sheet is released from the board. The process is plant-based and has low environmental impact.
kozo, natural dye
About the artist:
Lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Lisa Miles is a papermaker and book artist who focuses on hand-beaten bark papers. She creates limited edition artist books under the imprint Dutchess Press. Originally from New England, Miles lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She holds an MFA in Book Arts from the University of Iowa Center for the Book, a BFA in Graphic Design from the New England School of Art & Design, and an Associate degree in Printmaking from the Santa Fe Community College. In 2017–2018, she represented the United States as a Fulbright Arts Researcher for her project “Bark Paper, Plant Dyes, and the Book Arts in Indonesia.”