Natural History explores our fascination with facsimiles and the relationship between signs and the things they signify. Illustrated with a vanitas-style rabbit image as a recurring motif, this book’s brief essay looks at how things such as taxidermy and ornithological prints shape our relationship to the natural world. The viewer experiences a discord between representation and the real and is confronted with the question of which is more appealing.
Images and text created with photopolymer plates, printed in a split edition on machine made paper and handmade cotton/abaca paper.
Michelle Ray is a traditionally trained book and letterpress artist featured in collections internationally. Ray’s pieces have been showcased in a variety of publications, including Lark Book’s 500 Handmade Books Volume 2 (2013). She has taught workshops and university courses, and holds an MFA in Book Arts and an MLIS with a focus in preservation.