Karen L. Chew, USA
Of Kith and Kin / Standing Still / Between You and the Sky
Karen L. Chew, USA

Karen L. Chew, USA      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, Karen Chew Designs and Studio.

Karen Chew Designs and Studio