|Beach Head, detail|
The ongoing exhibition at the Center for Book Arts, “Tell Me How You Really Feel: Diaristic Tendencies” displays a diverse group of artists. The art works shown are either inspired by graphic novels, memoirs, or travel journals. As you look around the space you can experience the art work in a variety of formats. One of these artists, China Marks, employs the use of a sewing machine and fabric to create imaginative and intricate sewn drawings.
|Lovely, Dark, and Deep, detail|
One of her drawings, shown in the graphic novels portion of the exhibition, is called, “Lovely, Dark, and Deep.” The image, composed only in black and white with some text in between, uses subtle sarcasm to critique modern day society. Starting at the bottom left of the work, we see two humans nestled in a tree picking fruit. These two humans seem to believe they are first to experience the natural surroundings they have entered, yet the plants and woodland creatures that also inhabit the space seem to think differently. In the last bit of text China Marks includes in her work, a personified plant speaks and says, “People can’t leave anything alone!” In a sense, China Marks is using a playful and inviting format to bring up some extremely prevalent issues that occur, at times, unconsciously.
|How His Troubles Began|
Another fascinating aspect of her work is how it is actually made. At first glance her tapestry like constructions appear to be just quilted together, but as you look more in depth you can see how China Marks renders much of her space with thousands of stitches. These stitches work to build shading and atmosphere in the silk-screened narratives China Marks has created. It is not only the delicacy of China Marks art that makes it so appealing, but also her very original portrayal of serious subject material.