Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Book Arts Tuesday/Karen Hanmer

This is the first of what will be weekly (or at least mostly weekly) posts in some aspect of book arts: spotlights on individual artists, bookmaking projects, links to historical books, publications, etc. I'm starting with book artist Karen Hanmer because I love her work and because she was incredibly generous to take the time to research a recommendation for a printer for me. More on the printer when I have time to really experiment with it.

I've known Karen's work for quite a while and had the privilege of meeting her in Boston last year when she gave a lecture at the North Bennett Street School.

Karen describes her work as answering the question, "What will I do with my liberal arts degree?" She is extremely versatile in both subject matter and technique. I am so impressed by both her skill and imagination. She creates artists books and does fine binding as well.

Her books are sometimes personal, and sometimes the product of research. One of my favorites is The Beautiful Software Project which she describes as documenting "interviews with software engineers regarding what they find beautiful or compelling about well-written software and the act of programming." Crossing the Divide is both an installation and a book she created after the death of her father. Her mother had died 34 years earlier and he never remarried. She says, "I am intrigued with the idea that they are now reunited, at least figuratively, and perhaps in a more tangible form."

You can experience Karen's work, virtually at least, at karenhanmer.com. Her Gallery contains work from many of her series. And for the budget-minded collector, she has some Thrifty Picks books priced from $15 to $100.

Her article, All Shook Up: Interplay of image and text in Bonefolder, gives insight into her process as well as thorough and thoughtful directions.

A recent interview with Karen at Chicago Publishes


Donna said...

Lovely work. The quality is amazing. I am slowly working my way toward this sort of quality, learning new things every day, with my year-long book-a-day challenge. If you'd like what I'm doing, it's at http://make-a-book-a-day.blogspot.com

srjames said...

Great blog/great ideas! Went straight to Karen's site and found both the perfect solution to this year's Xmas present for my astrophysicist friend; and inspiration for my contribution to a "paper artist's traveling goodie fix." Thanks for 'introducing' me to Karen's work. And - more than that - thanks for your BookArts list serve post that let me 'meet' you (and your daughter for convincing you to share your voice)!

Jeannie Hunt said...

A wonderful start to your newest online project. I look forward to your weekly artists.

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