Dual Pathway BookEnviron
2007, Handmade paper
6' (h) x 20' x 14', installed 6' above the floor
abaca fiber, threads, tea leaves, sawdust, milkweed down, milkweed seeds, hair
Collaborative installation with Veda M. Rives

BookEnvirons are artist's books that by concept and scale create immersion experiences for the viewers. As though released from their bindings, the handmade paper pages shape the space of the gallery enveloping the viewer. Embedded threads allow the pages to be suspended and move rhythmically, responding to gentle air currents and the motion of the viewer. Light sources reveal the layers of paper and expressive lines of embedded threads. Ethereal qualities are enhanced by the contrast between the delicate appearance of the handmade paper and the mass of the forms. BookEnvirons define actual spaces; pathways, arches, windows, etc.; that are metaphors for personal inner spaces which have no tangible structure. The overall size and configuration is variable, adjusting to a specific gallery.

I work collaboratively with my twin sister, Veda M. Rives, on these installations, developing the term 'BookEnviron' to describe our large-scale artists' books into which viewers may walk. Several BookEnvirons have created a sheltered space within the gallery, allowing escape from the stress of everyday life, providing an oasis for meditation and reflection. Many BookEnvirons have reached a height that encourages the viewer to look upward, prompting thoughts of higher goals, aspirations, and epiphany experiences.