Melissa Wagner-Lawler, “A Weak Sense of Direction”


View of case enclosure opened showing closed cover of book


Center of book


Page spread immediately after center of book, translucency of the mulberry paper allows you to see images printed on back side of page


Middle of second French door folio with left panel open; right panel is closed

Video demonstrating the book being activated


Artist: Melissa Wagner-Lawler (Milwaukee, WI)

Title: A Weak Sense of Direction (2013)

Medium/technique(s): Relief, letterpress & monotype on Mulberry; cover: letterpress and embossing on Rives BFK

Edition size: 5

Number of pages: 12

Dimensions, open: 10.5″ x 38″

Dimensions, closed: 11.5″ x 10.5″ (case measurements)


Artist statement:

A Weak Sense of Direction is an abstract exploration of the journey of traveling by bicycle. There exist several similarities in riding a bike and experiencing art in a book format. While both can be experienced in a distinctly linear manner, one can also backtrack, slow pace, skim (speed up), follow pathways or make their own. For this reason, artist books are a natural format for my work.

The specific event referenced in this work is the Riverwest 24, a 24-hour bike race that I participated in during July 2012. As a solo participant, it was sometimes difficult to motivate myself to keep going, especially after being on the saddle for many hours. This book explores the thought process of staying engaged and continuing to push yourself beyond your perceived abilities.