Erin Mallea, “Fade”
Artist: Erin Mallea (Boise, ID)
Medium/technique(s): Hand-bound original artist’s book, acrylic on Arches watercolor paper, pen and colored pencil on vellum in vellum sleeve
Edition size: Unique Work
Number of pages: 12
Dimensions, open: 5 x 6″
Dimensions, closed: 5 x 3 x 1”
My work stretches across disciplines including bookmaking, painting, drawing, installation, design, and public art. Throughout this variety of media, interaction and process are conceptual threads that have become increasingly important to my work. I find bookmaking a compelling vehicle for visual communication because it is inherently interactive. Books are not stagnant objects; they are a time-based and experiential medium. The passage of time, sequencing, and the physical movement through the pages is fundamental to the object and the reader or viewer’s understanding of and relationship to the book.
Fade is an intimate exploration of memory and human fragility. The book was part of a larger series of work that began when I asked my mother to choose a meaningful object to share with me. She had to consider my request and reflect upon significance embedded in personal objects. Fade is composed of a series of delicate drawings on vellum. As the viewer turns the pages, my mother’s memento emerges from within an illustration of scientific and analytical figures. The background fades, and its details are forgotten; the cloudy traces of the previous pages echo through layered vellum. Books have long been utilized to archive information and chronicle collective histories and personal memories. Fade is inspired by the subjectivity of narrative, perception, and recollection – how individuals understand and classify objective facts through the lens of personal experience. Masked within time and memory, the pendant transforms into a vestige of the individual and oscillates between metaphysical relic and historical artifact.