Rhiannon Alpers – A Thousand Starlings


© 2016
edition of 30
dimensions in inches: 7.25 x 5.25 x 1

About this piece:

The book explores an imagined journey, being carried through
the comfort of one’s dreams. A journey guided by a murmuration
of a thousand starlings, undulating and wisping through the
evening sky, their soft voices calming and cooing as they head
into the unknown.

Metaphors abound in this book. The support system of family
and friends manifests in the starlings, and the twilight evokes a
sense of comfort and stability amidst the unknown. The many
threads pulling the dreamer along in this world are the guiding
voices that safely and carefully show us our way. When we steer
off course they gently nudge us and support us as we explore an
unknown route. Murmurations themselves have an astonishing
and dreamlike effect. Their immense rhythm and flow symbolizes
the thin line between the dream and day.

 Much of the symbolism also stems from the author’s rekindled interest in the long tradition of fables, passed on in her new nightly
rituals of telling stories to small ears and eager eyes in the low light of the evening. It is in these final hours that our day fades away
and our imagination is carried off to many wondrous places.

Letterpress printed with photopolymer plates and monotype, with an under layer
of hand painted stars beneath, on Somerset Velvet Black. The endsheets are Fabriano Tiziano Anthracite and bound in Asahi Grey Crepe bookcloth. Foil stamped birds and title, this false accordion is masquerading in a Secret Belgian binding with Italian film yarn.


paper, book cloth, yarn, ink

About the artist:

Rhiannon Alpers is a papermaker, letterpress printer and book artist living in San Francisco. Her work is influenced by all types of remnants of life, and the conceptual traces those leave behind. The work is entrenched in the history and visual sensibility of cabinets of curiosities and early natural history documentation.

Rhiannon has an MFA in Book & Paper Arts and a BA in Book Arts. She teaches book arts workshops nationally, and academically in the bay area. She has received the MCBA Arts Jurors’ Recognition of Merit, and exhibited at the CODEX International Book Fair.


Rhiannon Alpers – A Thousand Starlings