I forgot to post this when it happened, but one of my artist books was accepted into an altered book exhibition at the University of South Dakota Libraries, “Bound and Unbound II.” This was my first acceptance to a juried exhibition, though the show itself won’t take place until August of this year.
Chimeras, found book image collage, 2011.
Statement from my website: The idea for this book came from a short story called “Chimera.” (Gutkind) The story was that of an old man mourning his late wife, and it told of the theory that people are connected through the viruses they carry in their lymph nodes. Essentially, if you catch a virus from another person (which everyone does at some point in their life) you carry a little piece of their genetic code with you, because your lymph nodes store away every virus you’re ever infected with in order to better defend against them later in life. I was struck by the concept of this microbial connection—a relationship that had nothing to do with emotion or mental connection, but with actual, physical bonds between human beings.
In order to illustrate the concept, I cut illustrations from an old children’s book (Tracie Belden and the Mystery in Arizona, by Julie Campbell) and collaged them together to create a series of mutants. I combined images of cowboys with images of young women, of young boys with grown men, and of adolescents with the elderly. Some of the resulting mutants are subtle—it takes the viewer a moment to notice that something is out of place. Others are more obviously altered.