Karen Hanmer, Juror

Glenview, Illinois


Vintage photographs and brief text document a couple’s many separations and ultimate reunion. I began Reunion shortly after the death of my father. My mother predeceased him by thirty-four years. He never remarried. I am intrigued with the idea that they are now reunited, at least figuratively, and perhaps in a more tangible form. Sewn boards binding. Pigment inkjet prints, silk brocade, goat skin. Edition of twenty-five. 18 x 19.5 x 1.5 centimeters. Created 2006.

Karen Hanmer’s sculptural books and installations fragment and layer text and image to mirror the experience of personal and cultural memory. Her books are meant to be handled; the intimate scale, choice of materials, and posture and gesture required to view each piece evoke the experience of looking through a photo album, diary, or the belongings of a loved one. However, her works often take playful forms, and many include tongue-in-cheek text. She exhibits widely, and her work is included in collections ranging from Tate Britain and the Denver Public Library to the University of Vermont and Graceland. She lectures and teaches workshops on book arts and digital printing. Hanmer holds a degree in Economics from Northwestern University. She serves on the editorial board of The Bonefolder, a peer-reviewed online book arts journal, and is an officer of the Guild of Book Workers and Chicago Hand Bookbinders. Website at www.karenhanmer.com.