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Gina Fowler ~ New York                                                   Share this page:
(The Puzzled Press)


Artist statement: "I primarily work in the book format to create a portable universe, reflecting the constant state of flux in which I live. This also allows for tactile and physical representation of location in conjunction with abstract and artistic representations of memory and identity. My goal is to allow viewers to explore the concepts of place and identity as they move through sequential narratives created within the pages of my books. To this end, I utilize printmaking processes, hand papermaking, and acrylic ink painting as well as various mixed media approaches to book production."


An Ideal Nowhere: Finding My Utopia
By Gina Louise Fowler
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The Puzzled Press, 2022. Edition of 25.

Two items, "In Dreamland" and "An Ideal Nowhere: Finding my Utopia", are housed in a custom clamshell box. "In Dreamland" was letterpress printed on a Vandercook SP15 using plastic placemats and photopolymer. "s" is printed and bound as a pamphlet and includes both letterpress and inkjet printing. Signed and numbered by the artist on the colophon which is in the base interior of the box.

The Puzzled Press: An Ideal Nowhere’ is a collection of work that explores the relationship between personal experiences and utopian societies. It includes In Dreamland and An Ideal Nowhere: Finding My Utopia housed together… ‘In Dreamland’ features text from Annie Denton Cridge's utopian fiction piece ‘Man's Rights; or, How Would You like It?’ which was originally published in 1870 … ‘An Ideal Nowhere: Finding My Utopia’ is an essay on the connections between utopian literature and contemporary social issues, written by the artist. … Both works predominantly feature an image representing a segment of river that includes the Missouri Headwaters, where the Gallatin, Jefferson, and Madison rivers meet near Three Forks, Montana and mark the official start of the Missouri River.”

Gina Louise Fowler, excerpt: “The work of Annie Denton Cridge explores questions about relationships and society that are still shockingly resonant in 2022, despite the fact that women in the United States gained partial suffrage over a century ago. ‘Man’s Rights: or, How Would You Like it?’ asks readers to think about the roles they fill in society, and what it would be like to live someone else’s life, with all of the judgments and expectations placed on them solely because of characteristics that they cannot control. In searching for a way to express my feelings about experiencing America in 2022, Annie Denton Cridge’s words spoke much more eloquently than I could have about the balance between dreamland and reality.

“The ideal nowhere will always remain at least one step away, somewhere in Dreamland, but Annie Denton Cridge begs that we ask the question: What does it mean when we repeatedly dream of a place or a people to the point that they become as real to us as the world we inhabit?”

An Ideal Nowhere book
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Ways to Save the Day
By Gina Fowler
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The Puzzled Press, 2021. Edition of 30.

4.5 x 8"; 24 pages with gray free end pages and pastedowns. Set in Athelas. Printed on Zerkall Book paper. Designed, printed and bound at the University of Alabama. Bound in clothes boards with paper title inset on front board. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Colophon: "'Ways to Save the Day' is an exploration of girlhood, emotion and language. It includes text from select books in the American Girl historical series, rewritten and manipulated to draw attention to specific patterns. The following book titles were used to produce the text present in the book: 'Addy Saves the Day', 'Felicity Saves the Day', 'Josefina Saves the Day', Kirsten Saves the Day', Molly Saves the Day', and 'Samantha Saves the day'."

Fowler is interested the elements of personal identity. She uses excerpts from books to create new narratives and to explore societal expectations or "norms" for the individual, especially girls.

Ways to Save the Day book
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Impressions of Loss
By Gina Fowler
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The Puzzled Press, 2020. Edition of 10.

5 x 5.5"; 12 pages including pastedowns. Thread lifelines span double page openings. Pages of handmade cotton rag paper. Bound in black paper over boards with gray cloth spine. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Gina Fowler: "'Impressions of Loss' is an attempt to actualize the impact of familial death on those who are left behind, by representing individual members of my family who died during my lifetime. I used soft handmade paper and hand-dyed thread to create a tangible, tactile impression for each loss that I have experienced in my family. Each individual thread represents one family member whose life intersected with mine. "

Colophon: "Each of my direct ancestors who was alive in 1995, when I was born, is represented by a single, hand-dyed thread, braided together to form a physical family tree that spans across pages ... Each horizontal inch of the folios in the book represents approximately 6 months and through the book individual threads break off from the braid and pierce through the pages, at the location corresponding to the date of the death. I hope ... you can feel the message embedded between these pages that words cannot convey."

Gina Fowler, artist statement: "Attending my mother’s funeral when I was four years old is one of my earliest memories. The timing of her death, which occurred weeks before what would have been her 30th birthday, resulted in my perception of a mother eternally frozen in the prime of her life. My relationship with my deceased mother has led to a deep fascination with the concepts of motherhood and feminine relationships as well as the way that my limited personal memories of my mother have influenced my identity."

Impressions of Loss book
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Gina Fowler SOLD / Out of Print Titles:

The Ladies' Book of Etiquette,
and Manual of Politeness.

By Florence Harley
Artist book by Gina Fowler Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The Puzzled Press, 2021. Edition of 15.

7.75 x 8 x 1.25" cloth covered clamshell box containing 11 triangular folded linen napkins text pages and one unfolded as title page. Letterpress printed. Typeface is Baskerville. Colophon tipped in base of box. Title on spine. Designed and produced at the University of Alabama. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Fowler cut linen napkins into quarters. She then sewed the edges in black thread to form neat hems. Eleven of the napkins were printed with reformatted text from the Florence Hartley book on etiquette. The pages were then folded in triangles as dinner napkins sometimes are.

The text excerpts come from "The Ladies' Book of Etiquette" an 1860 etiquette manual written by Florence Hartley and originally published by G.W. Cottrell. As stated on the tile page of Hartley's book it contains "Full directions for correct manners, dress, deportment, and conversation; rules for the duties of both hostess and guest in morning receptions, dinner companies, visiting, evening parties and balls; a complete guide for letter writing and cards of compliment; hints on managing servants, on the preservation of health, and on accomplishments." The full text of the Hartley volume can be found in the Gutenberg Project list at

Another work by Fowler which continues her exploration of feminine relationships, conduct, and societal norms for women. Has much changed since 1860. We still navigate in a world ruled by "norms".
(SOLD/ Out of Print)

The Ladies' Book of Etiquette,and Manual of Politeness
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Page last update: 02.21.2024


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