Julie Leonard, “Accumulated Dreams”

Image of hanging piece suspended from aluminum frame. Paper armatures are strung with beading wire and silver crimp beads; pages are strung with thread in a variation of a venetian blind structure. Pages are letterpress printed in three type faces and three colors to distinguish the three place themes mountains, coastline and prairies. Papers used in printing for the hanging piece include abaca made by the artist; handmade flax and Japanese papers made by John Lee, and handmade cotton/hemp made at the Oakdale Paper Facility.


Detail shot showing a section of pages with ocean words / wire armature and overbeaten abaca forms


Detail shot showing a section of pages with prairie words / wire armature and overbeaten abaca forms


Detail shot showing a section of pages with mountain words / wire armature and overbeaten abaca forms


Image of post-bound book (96 pages, same text as hanging piece) and paper-covered wire basket with individual pages from edition rolled and tied shut, offered as take-away in exhibit setting.


Artist: Julie Leonard (Iowa City, IA)

Title: Accumulated Dreams (2013)

Medium/technique(s): Letterpress printed on hand and machine made papers, Archer, Scala and Quadraat types printed from polymer plates , handmade paper & wire armatures, hanging wire, silver crimp beads, aluminum frame from which pages and paper armatures hang. Remaining edition bound with one post. 5 housed in drop spine box with 2-3 paper armatures; 10 post bound.

Edition size: 1 unique version submitted / 5 special / 10 regular in edition

Number of pages: 96

Dimensions, hanging: 66″ x 36″ x 36″

Dimensions (bound version, closed): 3″ x 5″ x 1″


Artist Statement:

At the start (what makes me work): it is a history, conceptually and structurally; a history of the book, the object (how were these made, how many amazing ways were these made?); a history of language and its visual representation; a history of how we express thought, our ideas. Then, it is the desire for work that still shows evidence of the hand. It is words, systems that give me a structure to build on (an alphabet, made up rules, daily rituals, time based puzzles), images found, cut or drawn that resonate with those words (legible or illegible, text or pattern). The narratives have to do with language, how we use it, story-telling and remembering. Finally, I admit, it is beauty; I want to make work that is beautiful, in its craft, its ideas, its existence in our world.

In making Accumulated Dreams, I owe a debt to book artist and printer Harry Reese, who, for John Cage’s 100th birthday put out a call for mesostics (a kind of word-poem attributed to Cage) made from John Cage’s name. I loved writing/making those. It inspired making more. This book consists of 96 mesostics, 32 on the prairie, 32 on the coastline, and 32 on mountain ranges. Words were chosen for some association I make with those place. I worked to evoke a sense of that place through the word choice and the text created despite the constraints placed by the rules of the mesostic. Small wire armatures covered in over-beaten abaca pulp are the visual counterpoint to the word-poems. The text is printed from polymer using Archer (Hoefler & Frere-Jones), Scala (Martin Majoor) and Quadraat (Fred Smeijers) types on a variety of papers, hand and machine made. One unique book hangs from the ceiling. Accompanying the hanging piece is one copy post-bound in boards. A paper-covered wire basket holds individual pages from the edition meant to be a take-away. 5 of the edition are post-bound and housed in boxes with two to three paper covered armatures. 10 of the edition are post-bound and live on their own.