Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Muse: 'Quarantine' as Artist's Book

Many know that I am drawn to artists' books of all kinds. I've even managed to collect a small number of them through various presses around the country. Among my favorite creators of artists' books is Pacific Editions, where award-winning artist-designer-bookmaker-teacher Charles Hobson produces exquisite work.

Pacific Editions released last year a limited-edition accordian-style artist's book titled Quarantine (close-ups of the book are at the link). It is inspired by Eavan Boland's poem of the same title. The hand-assembled edition is limited to 42 copies, each comprising 18 pages; the images, Hobson explains, are monotypes of bundled twigs, printed as high-resolution digital prints that have been given an additional pastel finish. Both the design and images are by Hobson.

Hobson created a stop-action animation showing how he and assistant Alice Shaw created the book and the box in which it is presented. The text of Boland's poem appears at the end of the video.

Dublin-born Eavan Boland, who directs the creative writing program of the English Department at Stanford University (her university profile is here), has published at least 10 poetry collections, including New Collected Poems (W.W. Norton, 2009) and Domestic Violence (W.W. Norton, 2007). She co-wrote with Mark Strand The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (W.W. Norton, 2001). Some of Boland's poems, translations, articles, and poetry lectures are here. The poet reads a selection of her work in this video.

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Hobson also created (in 2010) a 30-copy, 16-page construction inspired by W.S. Merwin's "Trees" (it sold out). You'll want to see the stop-motion video about the making of the edition.

Pacific Editions Artist Book List


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