By Valerie Carrigan
North Adams, Massachusetts: Messenger Press, 2004. Edition of 40.
14 x 11.5"; five folios. Printed letterpress from polymer plates in Tiepolo typeface. Laid in each folio is an offset lithograph reproduced from an original monotype by the artist and printed on Arches Hot Press by Lori Spencer at the Borowsky Center (Philadelphia). Housed in a clamshell box made by Linda Lembke of Green River Bindery. Signed and number by Carrigan on the colophon.
Valerie Carrigan. "The birds presented in this artist book - a barred owl, northern flicker, bald eagle, pileated woodpecker and evening grosbeak - are messengers, urging us to pay attention to the world around and within us.
"Messenger is a series of prints about the experience of wonder I have encountered in the natural world, in particular, with birds. … Each bird is composed as an extreme close-up, allowing the viewer no choice but to engage with the image. This larger-than-life format gives presence to the experiences I have had with these birds; they cannot be dismissed as small or insignificant event."
Colophon: "Wonder strikes at the soul unexpectedly against a backdrop of the common and every day. Messenger was born of such moments. Created for Julie Rae Carrigan who believed all living things have souls."
Each image is preceded by a vignette featuring the bird as messenger: "Giant pines lined the road on which she drove. It was the first time she asked her sister for a sign, some indication that everything would be okay. Through her tears an eagle appeared, soaring about the small stretch of road."
Selected for Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair 2014 Juror's Award and Purchase Prize.
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