Of Kith and Kin / Standing Still / Between You
and the Sky
Karen L. Chew, USA
|Of Kith and Kin / Standing
Still / Between You and the Sky; Karen L.
Chew, Redwood City, CA, USA, March 2013
Three unique artists' books, 6”x6”x1/2”,
accordion and flag book structures with “found poems”
and mixed media work. The poems - cinquains and free verse - were
abstracted from pages of a 1928 copy of Rhetoric
and Composition, by Edward Fulton.
The books were completed in March 2013.
Of Kith and Kin speaks to the musings of
daily life, the innocent and random thoughts of those days and weeks
that preceded 5 March 2007. Whether an accomplished writer contemplating
her next poem, a mindful bookseller sharing the influence of words,
or a young man with a secret, these seemingly unrelated thoughts
and people were to connect through this life-changing event and
tragedy. The flagbook presents a map of the Al-Mutanabbi area, whose
pages flex and contract like the influx of sellers, booklovers,
writers and students.
Standing Still - the day of 5 March began
like all other days. The course of events, the choices that were
made that day were to profoundly affect the lives, friends and families
of the people who died, those who were injured, as well those who
would survive and live on. The poems soul search for answers, amidst
the confusion and the loss. The pages of the flagbook are singed
- as the book continues to be handled, the soot will leave marks
on adjacent pages as a reminder of the past. It will also leave
traces on the reader's hands and fingertips, quietly asking
us not to forget.
Between You and the Sky reflects upon the
fleeting thoughts of yesterday, hopes for better days, and the continued
tomorrows of recovery. As we heal and begin again, we look behind
and ahead, at earth and sky, for answers and guidance with revived
hope and promise.
Karen Chew is a San Francisco Bay Area
building designer and artist. Her paintings, mixed media work, and
book arts have been exhibited and sold through local and domestic
galleries and private collections in California, Florida, and Italy.
Karen also serves as an Arts Commissioner for San Mateo County,
4th District. You can see more of her work on her Facebook page,
Chew Designs and Studio.
Chew Designs and Studio