Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Artist Book exhibited in Portland, Oregon in conjunction with the College Book Arts Association

The Assignment: A Juried Exhibition of Artists Books

Organized in conjunction with the College Book Art Association
December 3, 2009 - January 9, 2010

KEJETIA CONVERSATIONS
by Mary Hark and Amara Hark-Weber
7.5 x 7.5 page size / length when opened at a curve 22"
Handmade Flax Paper, Found Coal Grates, Adinkra Ink, Pigments,
Linen Thread. 160 pages ~ one of a kind



In early June 2009, Mary and her daughter Amara were invited to participate in an international artist workshop at the National Cultural Center of Ghana in Kumasi. 10 artists from around the globe, and 10 Ghanian artists set up studios, worked and lived together. The organizers of this event asked that the artists pay attention to the this particular place, to respond by integrating local materials into their practice, and to collaborate when it was appropriate. This book was made with paper Mary made in her Madison Wisconsin studio, along with found local materials: adinkra ink and coal grates. Painted imagery was contributed by Ghanian artist Asokipaala Aberinga, and Ghanian batik artist Dorothy Amenkue carved the stamps that were used with the adinkra ink (both workshop participants).

Kumasi Ghana is a place where powerful histories overlap. It is a place where the intensity of the sun and the rain erode the built environment producing beautiful and evocative surfaces everywhere. It is a place where masterful craftsmen 'repurpose' the dregs of the material world into inventive and useful daily objects. Amara and Mary responded to the accumulation of time and experience that was evidenced everywhere they looked; to the heartbreaking beauty of the common coal grate found in every local market, an ordinary kitchen tool in Kumasi, and to the lively, if not fully understood exchanges between people on every street corner, as they designed and built this book-object.

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