Sara Langworthy, and Julie Leonard

Pages: Artist Books and Prints
August 28 - September 28, 2007

2007 Sara Langworthy and Julie Leonard 
  Artwork by Julie Leonard

Director's Note

Both Julie Leonard and Sara Langworthy are well known book artists that use different approach to creating books. Each mines personal experience to inform the content of their books. Some with words, and others that are dependent upon our “reading” of the visual image.

Leonard alters found texts to create sculptures that take the notion of a “book” to a new level. We are asked to observe the book no longer as a container for information but as an object which engages us on aesthetic level. By piercing, cutting, and using collage she gives each an essence of its previous readers and is a sense of time

Deborah Mitchell, Director -- APEX Gallery

Artist's Statement: Sara Langworthy and Julie Leonard

Making use of the book as an artistic medium is possible partly because of what we (Westerners) bring to the book, our collective connection with it. Since its inception we have imbued books and writing with a spiritual or magical aspect that goes beyond its physical or contextual properties. Experiencing a book is a tactile, intimate and private activity. It requires time, a slowing down and settling in. Books can act on us as an icon or reliquary does, evoking a spiritual reaction, a contemplative psychic space.

For me, books speak of the past, of what is gone or perhaps never was: a kind of slow beauty, longing and melancholy. I am drawn not only to the stories within, but the texture of the type, the smell of the paper, the feel of the covers, the physical presence of the book.

Drawing on these impressions, I am looking at the visual quality of writing, language in its physical form. Writing has a power to evoke meaning and emotion that go beyond its literal meaning. Text, visually, can weave its own stories. In much of my edition and one of a kind work I am using words and the book, its physical form and textual content, as image, in order to weave a meaning that can be sensed rather than literally understood.

Content is necessarily selective. We create stories by inclusion and omission. Obscuring the text, changing the weave, can represent that selectivity. Using a nonlinear or partially unintelligible text is a way to suggest that it possibly could be told or heard in a different way.

Working with these ideas I began to alter existing texts. The books I usually work with are old reference and botany books; old for the sense of the past they evoke, reference for their focus on words, their origins and meanings, botany books for their ability to bring the natural world into a closed and intimate space.

archive 2007

Please note that this website is still being constructed.  Not all past exhibits are represented and more will be added soon.