A Memory Collaboration
By Judith Barbour Osborne & Jena Osman
With an introduction by James Rosen
2005. Edition of 250.
9 x 10.5" This portfolio consists of an introductory booklet (a 6-page tri-fold) and ten individual sheets (five-color offset printed sheets of poetry and artwork) in a wrapper tied with a suede ribbon. Portfolio cover created by Osborne at Dieu Donné Papermill. The deluxe edition includes an additional one-of-a-kind original work by Osborne.
Judith Barbour Osborne received a grant from the Independence Foundation toward the creation of an artists' book collaboration with poet Jena Osman on the subject of memory. The collaboration was to be interactive rather than simply response oriented. The result, Day Recalls, also allows the viewer/reader to explore their own memory. To assist the reader is a six-page introductory booklet containing an introduction by James Rosen and statements about memory and the creative process by Osman and Osborne.
"Our collaborative process," Osborne explains, "began with Jena writing a poem each evening, consisting of fragments of things experienced that day. She emailed it to me upon completion. I would end each day by reading and rereading the poem in an attempt to memorize it. The next day I would jot down the lines that I could remember and use those words as the text for that day's markmaking. This process continued for ten poems.
The result is an intriguing, multi-layered mix . The poems could stand on their own. Tracking the lines as Osborne remembered them to the lines of poetry is sometimes a challenge. How this lines move through Osborne's artistic sensibility and are translated by her artistic abilities through her chosen media (she puts large sheets on the floor to begin her day's markmaking, and in the end chooses the most successful ones) is another challenge. This may have started out as purely an exploration of memory, but it turned out to be an illustration of the mystery of creation.
My artwork is text-based and utilizes elements of chance and intention. I abstractly write text with tools ranging from small hand-made brushes to mops and brooms, from syringes to batiking tools. The mediums in this project include sumi ink, shellac and watercolors. The images in the book developed simultaneously rather than one image in response to each poem: memory is a cumulative experience which separates into days.
"A major intent of the project was to question our assumptions about memory and to provide the reader/viewer an opportunity to do the same. The translucency of the rearrangable sheets provides metaphors for how each day's experiences partially obscure the previous day's happenings, and how experiences become the filter through which we interpret future experiences."
$230 Regular edition
$350 Deluxe edition (with a signed original)