Pasadena, MD: [ND but 2009]. Unique artist's book by Elizabeth McKee, with two texts by Elizabeth McKee, "Some Lessons My mother Taught Me" and "Some Questions You Could Ask" all on Arches Text Wove paper coated twice with acrylic gesso so that the pages resemble oil cloth, signed on the title page by the artist / author, Elizabeth McKee, and her inner child, "Annie". Page size: 13W x 10H x .25D inches; 14pp. including self wrappers. Bound by the artist: sewn with linen thread, housed in black cloth over boards cloth clamshell box collaged with painted pieces of paper, title lettered on painted paper with mauve border on spine. The front cover starts the text, "All creation begins in chaos" and the text continues with 60 other quotes about lines. The artist explains that, as her mother died when she was but thirty-one years old, and Ms. McKee was only seven, there were no lessons actually received. The child's reaction to her mother's death was, "to try to be very good and follow the rules - stay in line - hoping that would prevent any further loss of loved ones." She goes on to explain, "Because this grief is cyclical and seems to be never ending I chose not to make a cover for this book. The end leads back to the beginning and chaos." Yet, in this chaos, the artist has created beauty and the reader / viewer enters into a dark world that still has movement and flashes of color.
To channel her inner child, the artist used her left hand to write the lessons never received, like "The end is the beginning" (back cover) and "Don't be afraid to stop out of line" and "Watch for open doors." The background painting and the lettering is in acrylics with some oil pastels. For "Some questions you could ask" the artist has used a Coptic marker (and her right hand). Some of the questions are, "Where do lines come from" and "Do all lines lead to heaven?" and "Where will I put my foot when there are no lines to follow?" Popping up between the two texts and as background are the artist's own interpretation of Linear B writing done with a seashell, including a Linear B character which the artist / author thinks of as a little girl. Some pages are collaged with stitched on and painted additions.
Truly a captivating book - with simplicity as the hook for the reader / viewer to enter into the world created within the covers. The questions asked, however, are not easily answered or forgotten. Item #10599