an exhibit at The Studio Gallery, Washington DC. MARCH 3 - MARCH 24th
by Tawn O' Connor, Potomac Chapter Secretary, GBW
For millennia, humankind has viewed eclipses with wonder. At the recent opening of her exhibit, “From the Light of the Sun,” at The Studio Gallery in Washington, DC, book artist and Guild of Book Workers member (and Potomac Chapter President), Elizabeth Curren told how she and her husband, Dwain, traveled to Glendo, Wyoming, and stood with thousands of others to marvel at the total eclipse on August 21, 2017. Beth returned with Dwain’s photographs from that pilgrimage and began to plan an accordion book.
"Supermoon" (6'4"x6'4"): watercolor crayons, gouache paint, and wax crayons on overbeaten flax paper. Beth poured paper pulp onto a theatrical scrim laid down on the floor of her studio and allowed it to dry without pressing, creating the texture that adds depth to the detailed map of the moon. When asked what prompted the subject matter, Beth says some of her earliest memories are of her father getting her and her siblings up in the middle of the night to view an eclipse of the moon through his telescope.
She teamed up with Carolee Jakes, a letterpress printer and book artist, to produce an edition of five, 12-page books, one of which was collected by the Library of Congress. This book, and other pieces, are featured in Beth’s current exhibit at The Studio Gallery through March 24. At the artist’s reception March 3, Beth and Carolee talked about choosing the images, making the prints, and creating the books.
Beth took inspiration from a trip with Carolee to Greece this past summer. “The light of the sun prompted the work for this exhibit,” Beth writes. “In Skopelos, Greece, the night winds from Africa created cloud swirls and rough seas; in the morning, the sun’s light was refracted through ice crystals and fog, and then danced on the eddies and currents, strengthened by the moon high tide. In Glendo, Wyoming, we saw the solar eclipse, a unique event that was greater than the sum of its parts: the vanishing sun, the dark moon, the four minutes of night time at totality, the stunning corona, and the perfect joy at witnessing this rare occurrence. Using watercolors, drawings, sintra and screen prints, I have tried to recreate the sense of wonderment engendered by observing and researching these phenomena.”