Book Arts Summer in Salem – designing the installation

I hear them, over in the corner of the studio where they hang clustered together.  I hear their hushed whispers and the anxious rustling of pages.


The wearable books are nervous.  It doesn’t help that some of them have traveled  for days by UPS  in dark airless boxes immobilized by bubble wrap on their way to far away exhibits. They are only too willing to share their travel tribulations.  “But,” ask the innocents, ” we’re going by car to Salem so she won’t really cram us in boxes will she?  She’ll let us all hang up in the back seat, don’t you think?”



“Ah the open road!” exclaims the Kerouac fan in the bunch a little too loudly. “I get the front seat and I’m rolling down the window.  Can’t wait to feel the wind in my …um…pages!”  Others moan with worries about motion sickness.


I ignore them for now.  I have my own anxieties, most especially concerning how I will actually install the wearable books once we get to the North Front Gallery in Salem NY.  I’ll be suspending the wearable books from a 13 foot ceiling.  I can’t exactly try out dozens of alternative arrangements on the fly. (And forget motion sickness.  Acrophobia looms.)

I need a plan!  So I make a scale model of the gallery.

A great feature of this gallery is the wide tall window facing Salem’s tree lined village center.  I take a photo of my tree lined rural street and prop it up behind the model to give a sense of a world outside.  It’s in this window that I’ll be hanging the new piece I just made called Tales of Ice and Mist



I run thread back and forth across the ceiling of the gallery.  Now I’ll be able to suspend little pictures of the wearable books anywhere in the scale model.









How amazing.  I almost feel as if I’m really in the space. Now I know I’ll be able to figure out the installation plan.

I’d better go reassure the wearable books and show them the luxurious, spacious travel boxes I’ve got for them.  No bubble wrap.  No crowding.  No motion sickness.


We’re going to have a lovely adventure together!




Book Arts Summer in Salem – designing the installation — 6 Comments

  1. I love your little gallery installation maquette! Did you know there was talk of a show at the Metropolitan Museum of a selection of all the pre-show maquettes through history? Do you think they ever did it? Save this one of yours for future material even after you think you are done! I love it.

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