Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Spirit Books at the Arnold-Part 13

I thought there would be some special intention about Spirit Book #100 but it took me by surprise. Sometimes Spirit Books that I thought were finished are rethought or remade. I like that they evolve naturally and sometimes it takes a while for them to find their true forms.

Spirit Book #100 has a cradle made from wood gathered at the beach at Plum Island this past winter. The book was originally made for Spirit Book #92 in 2016. As I was thinking about the book for 100, I took the one from 92 and set it on top of the cradle just to see how I felt about making a book of that size. It turned out that I liked more than the size—I liked the book itself. I didn't realize what number it was in the series until I made the base and started to think about a name.
I have a little book where I record information about each Spirit Book and give it a name. I write out words connected with the materials and patterns. I look in my books about symbolism and the dictionary and free associate to come up with words for the name. In this case, I made notes about spirals (the patterns on the pages) and thought about where I found the wood—at the beach at the edge of the water. The name is Returning Embrace.
The Spirit Books are on view at the Hunnewell Building Visitor Center at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University until July 22. Gallery hours are 10 AM-5 PM everyday but Wednesday. I'll be there on the last day, Sunday, July 22, from 1-4 PM. Stop by and say hello!

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