In class we were assigned to write about where we saw ourselves in four years non-stop for twenty minutes. It had been so long since I had written nonstop for that long that my hands started cramping two minutes in and I was drawing blanks. I was finally able to write three pages worth of material, even through my hand cramps. Rereading the pages, I realized my hopes for the future were focused on learning and acquiring new skills, specifically from other people. My personal role models are Solange Knowles, Terry Suprean, Archy Marshall, Toni Morrisson, Gloria Steinem, and Malala Yousafzai.
When researching my project and ways I could use books to convey my message of knowledge and learning, I stumbled across the artist Lisa Kokin who has done various series of book art and collaging. She used all kinds of mediums when transforming these books, from old photographs and embroidery to a branch sticking out of one of her pieces. I was inspired by her use of texture and manipulation of pages within the book. I gathered fabric scraps from bins in the University Center and a large yellow page book from The Strand and set to work studying Kokin. I wanted to mimic Kokin’s use of found objects but relate it back to my theme of learning and acquiring knowledge.
I just so happened open the pages to the middle of the book where they were describing one of the characters as how I want to be in the future. With the use of fabric scraps and brown paper bags I created a poem from the words on the pages that reads as follows:
You are clever.
so engaging, so
good natured, so amusing.
extremely clever, and very artistic.
charm and his gift for friendship,
intelligence and talents
In my own way. “
I then illustrated a portrait of Solange looking powerful and placed her between the words of the poem. On the left side of the page I wrapped up some folded hexagonal paper, made from a page from the book, to play with the idea of knowledge being a child that you have to nurture and help to grow.