Julie Shaw Lutts, USA
a challenging book to complete. I started by researching
my topic, which in this case was a tragic, heartbreaking, event.
To choose to explode a bomb in a place where people gather to find
books and to broaden their knowledge, or to just enjoy the company
of others doing the same, is simply evil. Why a person would do
this is a question I'm sure the family and friends of the people
who died there, or were injured, or were forced out of business,
continue to ponder because it seems so incomprehensible.
When I became part of a small band of book artists who were inspired
by Beau Beausoleil to make works which
spoke to the 2007 bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, Iraq,
I was honored to contribute to this quiet protest. My piece called 'Remembrance'
has four small accordion books which make up the work.
The first book, 'To Seek to Know' includes
words both in English and Arabic which describe Al-Mutanabbi Street
before the bombing. It is followed by 'A Sudden
Attack', 'Pain and Grief' and 'Recovery',
depicting the evolution of the environment during and after the
I struggled with how to make this work bi-lingual. Arabic is completely
foreign to me and when trying to translate sentences there were
so many choices it was difficult to know which was best. I found
an old dictionary and as I read through, the individual words that
I chose created the narrative, which is simply single words displayed
in both Arabic and English.
This final piece is housed in a fragile glass box, symbolizing the
delicate balance of peace. As each book is opened, the words literally
spill out of the accordion pages.
Measures: 8" x 8” x 7" (closed). Open, each of the
four books in each piece measure 5" x 25" when hung.