Saturday, August 11, 2012

light reading: windows on main

For the window of Beacon Reads, the used-bookstore adjacent to Beacon's Howland Library, I created a piece to reflect my lifelong love for books and reading. For every reader, books are portals to other worlds, drawing you into their depths. You walk around libraries and bookstores, lost for hours, you reread favorites, you learn new words and places, characters and ideas. The large, oversized book I constructed represents this enormous passion, one that beckons you to peer within it, even as it reflects something about you. I made an infinity mirror and sandwiched it inside the cardboard/foam book, illuminated it with LED lights, and painted the cover with an abstracted infinity-symbol/ balloon design (to carry you away).

Part of my motivation for choosing this window is to draw attention to the fact that the bookstore, staffed by volunteers, has been a steady local presence here and all sales benefit the library. They frequently accept donations and there is always something new on the shelves.

My piece doesn't photograph very well. During the day, your own reflection (and that of the street behind you) shows up the most, but if you put your face close to the blurry glass you can vaguely see the effect of the mirror appearing to recede into the distance. At night, there's a subtle blue glow and the illusion is more visible. I am still proud of my giant book. My small silver-painted wooden letters which I suspended above to dangle merrily in the air, kept falling due to slippery fishing line, so I hung them over the shelves within the store. An exhibition called 'Tiny Windows' is on view in a local shop/gallery Dream In Plastic (177 Main), featuring small works by participating WOMS artists. I contributed a 6"x6" painting I'd made in New Mexico of a colorful little window and wall.

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