Mardy Sears

Evanston, Illinois

Mardy Sears (text from interviews), Nathaniel Hawthorne, Gules

Gules is a double hinged gatefold Ethiopian binding, built from quarter sawn oak covers with crimson leather lining. It explores a topic that continues to be taboo in the jaded West, adultery. Mardy’s journalistic approach to gathering content delivers a broad range of freshly spoken perspectives on the “rightness” or “wrongness” of the act. Images of each subject, wearing the scarlet letter, have been carved into linoleum and printed on handmade flax paper, side by side with hand set letterpress text. 30 x 23 x 5 centimeters. Created 2005.

As an artist I have been making prints, primarily block prints for the past twenty years. It is only during the past six years that I have been making books, mainly artist books incorporating prints combined with text. I am currently a graduate student at The Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago and will receive my MFA in May 2006. While at Columbia, I have been learning traditional bookbinding techniques as well as non-traditional. During the last year I have also worked as an intern with Barb Korbel at the Ryerson Library Conservation Lab, The Art Institute of Chicago. I have been repairing and rebinding damaged books, mending paper ephemera and building boxes to house weak structures. Iím interested in incorporating historical binding structures into my contemporary artist books. I am inspired by the antique pieces that pass through the Ryerson Lab, and I am often driven to create work that appears to be from a particular time period, although I am not a historian. I am interested in an aged look, rather than historical accuracy.