About this piece:
This varied edition artist book straddles the line between book and box, and was inspired by the scientific logs and collections of the 1600s in Europe. The Curiosity Series of sculptural artist books as a whole are heavily tied to natural themes, and the untenanted remnants of plant and animal life. The materials were all found and collected by the artist to create a visual narrative in the form of a miniature cabinet of curiosities. The letterpress printed book with handwritten notes serves as a document log of the inclusions and the historical context of this type of book. The pieces are entrenched in the history and visual sensibility of cabinets of curiosities. They seek to illuminate the beauty of remnants and findings in the natural process of creation, transformation and decay. The life timeline and aesthetic of chrysalises, moths, butterfiles, and nests are a primary source of inspiration and inclusion in the series.
Text written by the artist, and designed to fit the style of 17th century natural history ephemera. Letterpress printed with polymer plates the same for all the pieces in the edition, and filled in with specific specimen details in handwritten calligraphy with hand painted or transferred imagery for the moth or butterfly diagramming. Wooden frame made by the artist for the series and museum glass is encased on the surface for encapsulating the curiosities.
book cloth, paper, gouache, mica, metal, butterfly specimens
Rhiannon Alpers is a papermaker, letterpress printer and book artist. Her artwork explores the untenanted remnants of plant and animal life. Rhiannon’s work is entrenched in the history and visual sensibility of cabinets of curiosities and early natural history documentation. She has an MFA in Book & Paper Arts and a BA in Book Arts. In 2015 she received the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts Jurors’ Recognitions of Merit, and exhibited at the CODEX International Book Fair.