Sha Towers – A Clean Sheet of Parchment


c. 2020
edition of: v.e.
dimensions: 4.5 x 3 x .125

This simple, single-sheet book uses stark contrasts of white ink on black paper and the bold marks of the ruling pen and with quieter voice of pointed pen to focus on a fragment of the larger Henry Martin quote (from his book Escaping Barcelona) which I explored in my artist’s books Tabula Rasa (2018) and Tabula Rasa (2020). The original quote explores the concept of tabula rasa (Latin for “scraped tablet”, often translated a “blank slate”, or one in which writing has been erased).

The idea of tabula rasa appears in the writings of ancient and medieval philosophers as well as modern and contemporary ones as they wrestle with the idea that the mind arrives in the world as blank slate to be written upon by external impressions and experiences. The fragment of the quote that appears in this artist’s book is:

“Perhaps someday, humanity can start afresh, a new world, a tabula rasa, when all humanity becomes a clean sheet of parchment . . . .”


paper, ink

About the artist:

Shā Towers is visual artist working in calligraphic and book arts. He is the arts librarian at Baylor University, where he also serves as the Associate Dean for Research & Engagement. In 2007, he launched the Baylor Book Arts Collection, now containing 1,400 artist’s books and fine press books. His own artist’s books appear in collections (private and university special collections) across the United States and books have been featured in juried exhibitions.


Sha Towers – A Clean Sheet of Parchment