Books are magic, utter magic. Just think about it: they are nothing but pages bound together, smudged in an orderly manner with regular marks. Something very abstract and material. But then you see readers, carefully examining these marks, and suddenly they will burst into laughter or cry, get angry or enlightened… – and not by the marks as such, but something more and immaterial, for if you have learned how to decode these smudges, you have an experience almost like a voice talking to you while looking at them.
The writing down of ideas and language is such a powerful cultural tool, and their permanence in the form of books is marvellous. We are so accustomed to book around us that we often overlook their magic. Bringing this magic back into plain view as been the core of all my efforts in the book arts since the very start.
In my most recent works concentrate on my experiences as a woman in this society. The pressure of expectation and the appropriation of the female body by the public was especially noticeable to me while being pregnant. In my most recent book, “346. A Journey While Staying as Still as Possible”, I examine women’s loss of rights over their own body during pregnancy and the tight prescription of acceptable emotions and behaviours. Again the small range of what is considered a normal emotional response by women experiencing miscarriages is the centre of my current work in progress. And my “women with hat” series of mini prints is an ongoing project in which I study female beauty outside the usually accepted boundaries.
Other topics for my books often come from where my interest in mathematics, theology and books overlap. As mentioned above, I am very much interested in the writing down of language and the choice of hand writing or print is always very conscious. Some of my books are written in a (secret) script that I have developed for this purpose, to allow the reader either a slow discovery of the contents, or marvel at the sight of a book in its abstraction.
My Project Message in a Bottle has been an ongoing art project since 2013. I view these filled bottles as pieces of book art in that they have to be handled to discover the contents in writing and imagery. And in putting a piece of work into a small bottle and sending it on its way, reaching out to an unknown finder of the message, leaving it to them to decode and discover the contents, this work combines all the aspects of my work mentioned above.