Issue Details, Summer 2016

The Summer 2016 cover features Hillary Waters Fayle‘s cut paper piece, Dance of the Nymphs. The piece features Mayflies, and was created in honor of a friend who was captivated with the springtime insects. More of Hillary’s work can be found here: http://www.hillarywfayle.com/

Elizabeth Robinson‘s poetry is paired with Laura Kaufman‘s Dark Matter Triptychs and Redacted Samplers, inspired by the scientific search for dark matter and dark energy, the mysterious substances present at the Big Bang. Laura was inspired by the journalists’ evocatively ambiguous language used to explain science occurring in presumably precise conditions. Ultimately, she paired her impulse for abstracted systems with the overwhelming scale of our current information landscape.

Using phrases taken from current news reports on dark matter, she pulled the words apart and rearranged the letters, leaving the original phrase as the base. These anagrammed lists are nonsense phrases in graphite on paper. Each triptych also includes an analogue drawing derived from the shape of the text. These block-like formal compositions are redacted texts that reinforce word structures while further eroding and expanding communication. Laura combined these word plays with drawings of knots taken from her grandfather’s book on nautical knots. The knots allude to textiles, to manifolds, to the hand, to maps of these unknown structures in the universe. She considers them another form of communicating this slippage of words.

This invented language system has become an index of forms for other works that intend to reveal visual phenomena. Each triptych has a related embroidered and painted sampler. These redacted samplers are done in copper thread and gouache and follow the same formal pattern as in the text works. In fact, they retain the original layout of the word processing program, complete with small shifts of spacing calculated by the computer. What started as a meditation on the edges of the solar system lands in her lap as traditional handwork that takes the form of a copper circuit.

More of Laura Kaufman’s work can be found here: http://www.laurakaufmanstudio.com/

Judith Roitman‘s poetry is paired with Hillary Waters Fayle‘s work from her “Of Trees” series. Hillary uses found botanical material such as leaves, seedpods, and branches to explore human connection to the physical world. By combining these organic objects with the rich traditions of needlecraft, she binds nature and the human touch. Both tender and ruthless, this intricate stitch work communicates the idea that our relationship with the natural world is both tenuously fragile and infinitely complex. More of Hillary Waters Fayle’s work can be seen here: http://www.hillarywfayle.com/

Genevieve Kaplan‘s images are part of a larger poetic project / artists book titled Community Chest, which takes as its topic issues of illness and uncertainty that affect not only individuals but also expand to surrounding family and friends; the impersonal “one” and continual evasion of subject highlight the difficulty in fully associating “the patient” with “the human.” Community Chest is — in its current iteration — a small deck of cards meant to be held, shuffled, read, and re-read to create different combinations of hand-printed phrases, ultimately leading to new poems and new understandings. The cards are a collection of iterations, of questions, of possibilities, of responses that are meant to rub against each other and change with each encounter. One way to explain the project is as a much (much) more intimate edition of Queneau’s “One Hundred Thousand Billion Sonnets.” The 2×3″ Community Chest cards are hand-cut, hand-stamped, and presented in a card case (not pictured). More of Genevieve’s work can be seen here: http://genevievekaplan.blogspot.com/

Tiff Dressen‘s poetry is paired with Fay Helfer‘s images Blackbird from her “Gibberish” series, Dandelion Heart, Fennel Heart, and Sea Fan Heart from her “Heart Transplants” series, and C. Comosum (Spider Plant) from her “Faces” series. Fay’s work is mixed-media, created with pyrography (word burning, aka “writing with fire”) and natural pigments to create art inspired by nature and nonsense. Her work embraces a spirit of randomness and ‘why not?’ with science, humor and pop culture influences. Natural pigments may come from earth minerals (zinc, ochres, malachite), biological sources such as plants (indigo, turmeric, berries), animals (bone char) and insects (cochineal).

More of Fay Helfer’s work can be seen here: http://fayhelfer.com/ and here:  http://fayhelfer.tumblr.com/

and more information about her work can be found at the following links:
http://www.redbubble.com/groups/uncommon-materials/forums/13701/topics/275068
http://www.plywerk.com/blog/2013/07/fay-helfer-july-featured-artist/

Summer 2016 Bios:

Tiff Dressen spent most of childhood and early adult life wanting to be volcanologist.

Hillary Waters Fayle really loves plants.

Fay Helfer sneezes when she is really hungry. Her images often contain an unlisted ‘natural pigment:’ yellow insect poop, which splatters down from the sky onto her paintings when she works outside.

Genevieve Kaplan once had a job collecting redhaired pine bark beetles for this research project:

http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/pub/php/news/2007/BarkBeetle/

Yesterday Laura Kaufman saw mother and child fin whales feeding in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Paolo Freire once kissed Elizabeth Robinson.

Judith Roitman is double-jointed. She does not know how to ride a bicycle.

 

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