This summer a friend and fellow artist Amy Long gave me a collection of canceled stamps. After organizing the stamps I found several unusual examples. The cancellation mark in the stamp below seems perfectly placed to indicate the future direction of the characters.
The most unlikely stamp I found in the collection (seen below) features ermine (a kind of weasel) in a Christmas motif. Although this animal has a white winter coat, it seems like a surprising choice for a holiday greeting.
Finding diverse stamps among the given assortment provided a welcomed diversion and a chance to imagine myself in other places among varied company.
(For more information about the "Viewfinder Project" click here.)
Eva Wylie's "Viewfinder"- Relief Print, String, and Book Board Ledge
Eva Wylie was the only artist who sent back a "Viewfinder" in parts as a sculptural project. She wrote to me saying that her work evolved through many stages including one that involved sewing. The end result is a shelf like display for a "Viewfinder" that she ultimately cut apart. Below is a descriptive drawing she sent as part of a letter.
For a long time Eva's shelf rested on my desk. However, it is this summer when I fully felt its relevance. While at a six week summer teaching job, I live in a cabin that has several simple shelves that allow me store necessities. Below are two images from this cabin.
After considering these shelves, I realized that they function like a pedestal and a kind of three dimensional viewfinder. The ledge frames and organizes the image within a rectangle providing a context for the objects. Also, the conventional use of a shelf creates norms in which objects that are alike in either form or function are grouped together. Eva's small sculpture inspired me to consider how the everyday objects around me can be framed by conventions of three dimensional display. It seems that a shelf can be as powerful a prompt for organizing an image as the most traditional viewfinder.
Although Eva Wylie often uses print, sculpture, sewing, and installation in her artwork, her more involved projects usually build from many prints and break out of the rectangle or square. Below is an example from Wylie's website.
A detail of Eva Wylie's installation titled Roaring Garden