The Sunday Paper #335
October 25, 2020
Mary Hark, University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor in Design Studies, is the proprietor of HARK! Handmade Paper where she produces limited editions of high quality flax and linen handmade papers in collaboration with book designers and artists, as well as unique paper artworks that have been exhibited internationally. Hark leads an initiative in Kumasi, Ghana, building the first hand papermill in West Africa capable of producing high-quality papers entirely from local botanicals. An artist committed to sustainable practice, Hark recently led a team in St. Paul, Minnesota, designing and producing 2500 beautiful handmade papers, made entirely from urban bio and textile waste, that were used as placemats for CREATE: the Community Meal public art event (Seitu Jones). Her work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of African Art, the Ginsberg Book Arts Collection in Johannesburg, South Africa, and in many university special collections. Mary Hark is regularly invited to teach workshops at premier craft schools and art centers nationally.
In the Studio: Meg Black on Paper Talk
I enjoyed getting to know Meg Black on Paper Talk, an artist and art historian who studies historical works of art and connects her work to the great artists who have come down to us through the ages. The subject of her work is nature and its impact on our sensory experience, and she studies how artists have recorded nature, and considers these approaches in her own designs. She doesn’t try to copy the natural world as she sees it but, rather, as she feels it. Black’s paintings and wall reliefs are made with abaca, a fiber that she is constantly discovering the potential for and is challenged by. She finds that the texture of this material provides an almost three-dimensional quality to the surface of her work, mimicking nature in all its splendor. Enjoy our conversation!
I learned about the work of Ruth Edwards this week on the Book Arts listserv, when news about her death was shared, along with some wonderful remembrances (I am sorry that our paths never crossed). I took a little trip down a rabbit hole via her wikipedia page, where I discovered one of her initiatives. Books in Black is a collective of individual African Americans and others from the African diaspora who are “ordinary people who make extraordinary books.” The collective focused on creating unique books that highlighted aspects of African American history and achievement.
I love this concept (although it is hard to see in the photo). An A4 piece of paper with thousands of forward-slash characters on it from a typewriter has won the $25,000 annual Parkin Drawing Prize.
LOL, this rumba got tangled up in TP! So much for the time-saving benefits of technology.
The New York Times recently featured the paper work of photographer Vik Muniz, who creates elaborate views of the world’s most famous tourist spots, building the details with thousands of pieces cut from postcards he collects.
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Just wanted to thank you so much for talking about Mary Hark in your blog. Her work is AMazing and gives me great inspiration for the work I am doing now.
oh and Yipee for our new leader😊