|Patricia Sarrafian Ward: Dead Language|
Our avid blog readers might remember Patricia Sarrafian Ward’s piece My Characters Were Not Able to Come Fully to Life featured in our Wednesday exhibitions a while back (the first one, in fact!). As Ward will be giving an artist talk tonight at 6:30pm, I thought now would be a good time to revisit Ward’s amazing Featured Artist Project exhibition, Re/vision, on view until the end of the month.
|Dead Language, detail|
Ward modeled her exhibition after her studio, complete with a desk, chair, and piles of the shredded paper she used to create these intricate and almost mystical pieces. Ward is a writer as well as a book artist, and in a cathartic way to overcome the rejection her work received from publishers, she shredded it and picked up the pieces, giving them new life in nearly numerous pieces of book and paper art.
Dead Language, a small scroll created from pasting together (and on top of one another) sentences sliced in two, is a piece both eerie and compelling, contemporary and ancient. Because the words have their tops of bottoms cut off, it is difficult to recognize them as words. The way Ward overlaid them makes even the characters seem strange: this could very easily be an alien tongue, a foreign language not spoken nor understood. By taking pieces of her novel and rejection letters, this piece distances the artist from her former work. The words are no longer understood, but a relic of the past, a destruction that Ward says allowed her to move forward.
|Ward’s logo for her exhibition|
Having the piece created as a scroll also gives it an ancient feel while also taking book arts to a new level. Way before there was the codex, the modern bound book, there were scrolls of papyrus and cloth. I love that Ward is returning to that time with Dead Language, showing that book arts can encompass the book from a time long past. Just as her scroll can encompass the language of grief, confusion, and the courage to move forward with words we cannot understand.
If you can, please come to Ward’s Artist Talk on Re/vision TONIGHT, Wednesday, March 14th at 6:30pm. She will be speaking about her process as well as the emotional and creative impetus behind these works, and it’s guaranteed to be a wonderful discussion. You might even get a chance to ask her a question! And, of course, to see these beautiful objects on display before it’s too late.
For tonight’s talk, there is a $10 suggested donation/ $5 members.
For more information about Patricia Sarrafian Ward’s work and other exhibitions currently on display, visit http://www.centerforbookarts.org/exhibits/
Have any stories about your favorite (or least favorite) piece of book art, either in our exhibition or somewhere else? Want to give us suggestions or comments? Comment on this post, email us at email@example.com, visit us on Facebook (/centerforbookarts) or follow us on Twitter (@center4bookarts). Can’t wait to see you there!