“i am removed” | artist book

In the spring I was enrolled in school studying Artist Books. If you are not familiar with the term, a comprehensive explanation can be found here.  But in a nutshell, “Artists’ books or art books are works of art realized in the form of a book” (Wikipedia, Artist Book).

I hope my readers do not mind that I use my blog as a place to also display my artwork from time to time. Today’s artist book is entitled, I Am Removed / I Am Remembered and was featured in the Special Collections Gallery in the Rare Books Collection display at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

Inspiration for this piece:

When I began the process of thinking about this project I wanted to do something that would use topography as a means to describe something with emotional depth. At first, I experimented with coupling topography with the ups and downs of a relationship. But as I moved forward, the idea was losing it’s interest to me. After some soul-searching, I decided to change the focus to grief. I wanted the book to be a shared experience. Almost a conversation where no words are exchanged, but only nods and knowing glances.

Beneath each circle of topography are the names of loved ones lost to various friends who contributed to the project.

Further description can be found below in the gallery placard below.

I Am Removed / I Am Remembered

in my studio | "i am removed" artist book
I am Removed / I am Remembered
Ann Neslen

Mi-Tentes board with graphite and Xerox transfer, accordion structure

I began this book with the hope that creating a physical representation of loss would both help me to place my own loss on the proverbial shelf and find ways to explore loss through the eyes of others. While researching I stumbled across a beautiful project that captured photographs of tears under a microscope (Rose-Lynn Fisher, Typography of Tears). Not surprisingly, the structure of tears of happiness greatly differed from tears of grief. Coupling loss with landscape added to my ability to express its emotional reality.

Excerpt of the text:

“The sea recedes westward/ as land pushes up
compression folds and fractures
erosion prevalsDeath Valley emerges
below sea level
[Elevation: -282 ft]”




Further Reading and Research that accompanies this piece:
“The Littlest Feet” by Brittany Kay Feinauer
Understanding Disenfranchised Grief
Comparing Grief: A Useless Endeavor
Rose-Lynn Fisher, Typography of Tears”
Parliament Hill Fields, poem by Sylvia Plath



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