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Book Arts Mosaic, 2005

A Book Arts Mosaic 2005 is curated by Lise Melhorn-Boe, and features twenty-six works by thrity-three Canadian book artists from across Canada. This is a community exhibition presented in a box portfolio and is available for loan by small galleries, museums, libraries, schools.A portfolio collection of work by book artists from across Canada. Community Exhibition Available to Libraries, Schools, and Galleries

Overview | ParticipantsThe Exhibition | Curator's Statement: Lise Melhorn-Boe


ParticipantsThe Exhibition | Curator's Statement: Lise Melhorn-Boe

A Book Arts Mosaic, curated by Canadian book artist Lise Melhorn-Boe, is available for exhibition and/or as a teaching tool. It is suitable for small galleries and museums, libraries and archives, schools, and other locations. 

A Book Arts Mosaic consists of 26 pieces (33 including all of the pamphlets included in the work Feasts) by 38 Canadian book artists (see list of artists below). The collection includes pieces which are delightful or beautiful, moving or inspiring, amusing or thought provoking, and in toto provide ideas and stimulation, suitable for a wide viewing public and for students and instructors. 

Included are examples of structures such as of accordian, tunnel, miniature, Coptic, Japanese stab binding, open lectern, and Chinese whirlwind books, as well as pamphlets and broadsides. Techniques include handmade paper with and without watermarks, calligraphy, blind tooling, incised decoration, paper decorating (including marbling, paste, sponge paper and stencil, hand cut rubber stamps, hand painting, etc.), letterpress printing, linocut, hand printed lithography, xylography, wax resist, collage, and many contemporary techniques and technologies such as machine perforation, polyester resin casting, digital printing on film, digitized photographs, offset printing, giclée printing, and computer layout. Materials include fused glass, knitted copper wire, curled paper ribbon, thongs, frosted acrylic, transfer paper bonded to unbleached cotton, painted wood, leather, paper, and many others.

A Book Arts Mosaic is housed in a handmade box by Don Taylor, Kate Murdoch, and Reg Beatty. The dimensions of the box are 23" x 12" x 9" and this is shipped in a slightly larger corrugated box. 

A location fee of $100 is charged venues. Venues must insure the exhibition while it is on-site. As well, venues are responsible for the cost of insured shipping from and returned to Toronto. The shipping charge to the venue from Toronto will be invoiced by CBBAG unless venues have their own account with a shipper. 

For more information contact cbbag@cbbag.ca


Overview | The Exhibition | Curator's Statement: Lise Melhorn-Boe

Jocelyne Aird-Bélanger

Joe Blades

Ingrid Hein Borch

Sarah Butt

Joan Byers, Dorothy Field, and Virginia Porter

Susan Carr

Stephanie Dean-Moore

Karen & Geoffrey Hewett

Susan Warner Keene

Trisha Klus

Clarissa Lewis & Lise Melhorn-Boe

Judy Martin

Anne Graham McTaggart

Cathryn Miller

Micheline Montgomery

Jane Morgan

Akemi Nishidera

The Ottawa Press Gang:

   Susan Globensky

   Holly Dean & Larry Thompson

   Roberta Heubener

   Grant Wilkins

   April Flanders

   Richard Coxford

   Britt Quinlan

Rob Richards

Anik See

Shanty Bay Press:

   Walter Bachinski & Janis Butler

Shelagh Smith

Peter Sramek

Ann Stinner

Judith Welbourn & Derek Chung

Robert Wu 

The Exhibition

Jocelyne Aird-Bélanger
Nouveaux contes de fées
Text and images by the artist; created with Photoshop, DeskJet printed. 
Cover: colour photocopy on grey Arches paper 300 mg; silk ribbon.
11.25 x 16 cm (when open: 22.5 x 16 cm)


Walter Bachinski & Janis Butler, Shanty Bay Press
Folded broadside; two-colour linocut; letterpress text (Century School Book) 
printed on Somerset Satin 250 gsm.
30.5 X 45.7 cm


Joe Blades
Space Station II 
Hardbound folio cover with fold/fold book pasted on inside back cover; 
folio cover of handmade Thailand fair trade papers pasted on Davey board;
fold/fold book consists of three interwoven accordion-fold panels
with original poems by the artist digitally printed on Xerox 24lb paper. 
 8.3 x 8.8 x 1 cm (closed); 0.3 x 48 x 53.2 cm (open and fully expanded with the cover as base) 


Ingrid Hein Borch
Side by Side
Hand sewn with linen thread, end sheets of handmade paper;
marbled cover papers; mounted on folded Circa paper.
6 x 10.5 x 1 cm


Sarah Butt
West to East
Tunnel book with wrap around cover, hemp tie, and metal button/bead closure;
marbled papers and paste papers made by the artist.
10 x 10 x 0.5 cm


Joan Byers, Dorothy Field, & Virginia Porter
Let us praise the Garry Oak
Japanese stab-binding; letterpress printed with linocut illustration;
tipped-in handmade Garry Oak leaf paper.
12.5 x 30 x 0.4 cm


Susan Carr
Knitted copper wire to sheath map pages; wire twisted and knotted to attach painted wooden spines and flags;
handwritten text on curled paper ribbons woven into wire pages.
12 x 44 x 2.5 cm


Stephanie Dean-Moore
Text by the artist; computer printing, heat transfer, appliqué, machine stitching and edging;
unbleached cotton fabric, silk thread, woven silk ribbon, hand cut nickel-silver medallion
pierced with a Chinese character for "family". 
26.5 x 10.5 cm (closed), 26.5 x 35 x 1.7 cm (open)


Karen & Geoffrey Hewett
A Turn for the Magpie
Open lectern book structure; acid free papers bound in boards with xylography, lino-cuts,
hand-cut and alphabet rubber stamps, India ink, and watercolour paint.
0.178 x 0.116 x .015 cm


Susan Warner Keene
Handmade paper with watermarks, lamination, and single fold; cotton and abaca fibres, aqueous dispersed pigment.
10.5 x 28 x 6.5 cm (when standing folded)


Trisha Klus
Our Canadian Mosaic
Pamphlet style booklet and embossed slipcase cover; Strathmore drawing paper,
Higgins Eternal and walnut inks, watercolour, and wax resist. 
14 x 14 cm


Clarissa Lewis & Lise Melhorn-Boe
Tunnel book of Artist's Bristol and Kizuki Kozo, both hand-coloured with Windsor-Newton watercolours,
tied with satin ribbon; text handwritten with Staedtler Gel Roller and Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen;
with goose down and snowflakes hand-punched from Kozo paper.
18 (di.) x 2 cm


Judy Martin
Metaphysical Thinking
Cotton, found paper, floss, and cord with back stitch, running stitch, and wrapping.
15 x 48 cm


Anne Graham McTaggart
Earth, Air, Water, Fire
Stitched pamphlet; Japanese papers with computer printed text and hand lino prints;
contained in a painted wooden case with removable cover; embellished with a lino print, photos,
decorative threads, text, and symbols; wrapped with silk ties.
7.5 x 22.5 x 1.5 cm


Cathryn Miller
Four Seasons In A Dry Year
Accordion book in two part handmade paper sleeve; calligraphic design giclée printed on Arches 90 lb. hot pressed paper;
tipped in handmade paper collages; design, calligraphy, digital manipulation, papermaking,
printing, and assembly by the artist. 
12.75 x 12.75 x .75 cm (closed), opens to 76.5 cm


Micheline Montgomery
Buddha Love
Handbound book made with handmade paper and handpainted by the artist with one quote inside from the Tao Teh Ching.
2.5 x 3.5x 0.3 cm


Jane Morgan
The Deer's Cry: An Excerpt 
Leather covers with inset fused glass; handmade paper text block sewn on leather straps which also serve as toggles and ties;
hand calligraphy, decoration; collage, gouache, acrylic, prismacolour, gold and metal leaf,
acrylic medium transfers, and wheat paste. 
 14.7 x 13.2 cm


Akemi Nishidera
Kewpie Kawaii
Conceptual book; text handwritten by the artist on grains of rice, suspended in a cast polyester resin "Kewpie" doll;
acid free card stock; wrapped in vintage wool or cotton Japanese kimono material.
12.5 x 12.5 x 2.5 cm


The Ottawa Press Gang: Susan Globensky, Holly Dean & Larry Thompson, Roberta Heubener,
Grant Wilkins, April Flanders, Richard Coxford, and Britt Quinlan
Portfolio: series of letterpress pamphlets, broadsides, and an embossment; some handmade cotton and abaca papers;
individual works enveloped in a closure of handmade paper.
21 x 14 x 2 cm


Rob Richards
Canadian Canvas
Vintage canvas-wrapped case binding; split raised maple leaf impressions on front and back covers;
thirteen signatures of hand-cut bond paper.
15 x 12 x 2.5 cm


Anik See
Handset in Copperplate Gothic and Italian Oldstyle fonts; letterpress printed on a Chandler and Price 8 x 12
on dampened paper (unidentified watercolour paper rescued from a dumpster in a back alley of Vancouver);
image printed from an electroplate engraving found in a junk market in Barcelona; text by the artist.
20.5 x 28.5 cm


Shelagh Smith
Natural Transformations: a portfolio of paper decoration evocative of natural phenomena 
Portfolio of five back-to-back papers decorated by the artist, housed in a wrapper; traditional and contemporary
decorating techniques: marbling, paste-paper, dyeing, sponging, spattering, sprinkling, pulling, throwing, painting;
Colophon watercolour marbling colours on caragheenan size, oxgall, wheat starch paste, methyl cellulose,
acrylic gel, watercolours, iridescent acrylic paints, vegetable dye;
Hahnemuhl Ingres and Strathmore Charcoal, and other papers.
Folder: 24.7 x 20 cm x 6 mm; sheets: 23.9 x 17.7 cm each


Peter Sramek
Burning: il cuore aperto
Double-sided concertina book in a St-Armand paper wrapper with blind tooled and incised decoration;
text and images digitally printed using Epson pigment inks; text, photography, and binding are by the artist.
9 x 6 x 0.75 cm


Ann Stinner
Tunnel book with Fabriano Academia cover, and Peterboro and Canson Mi-Teinte for pages;
painted papers, stencil, collage, paste paper, and machine-perforated treatments;
acrylic paint, gesso, and wheat paste were used in the colouring of the papers; laser printed written texts.
9 x 13 x 0.5 cm


Judith Welbourn & Derek Chung
Luna: Myths about the Moon
Frosted acrylic disc; digital film; hand printed lithographs (variegated edition) on Somerset paper; mica powders.
17.5 di x 0.75 cm


Robert Wu
Poems & Drawings
Ingres-Laid paper; offset printing by Tony Volpe; text, illustrations, and typesetting by the artist.
3.5x 2.5 cm

Curator's Statement by Lise Melhorn-Boe

        “Mosaic is the true painting for eternity.” These words of Ghirlandaio set forth one of the outstanding characteristics of 

        mosaic — its capacity to endure. Is not this a quality essential in nation-building also? Let us native and foreign-born alike 

        in the spirit of friendliness and goodwill strive to execute with meticulous care the pattern revealed to us by the master craftsmen 

        so that our Canadian Mosaic may be “practically indestructible,” so that it may endure!

These words of Kate Foster, from 1926, form the text of Our Canadian Mosaic, Trish Klus's contribution to A Book Arts Mosaic. This collection was conceived to present the great variety of techniques and materials used by members of the Canadian book arts community. As curator, I chose a representative group of CBBAG members, with people from all parts of the country. I invited them to produce a piece of work that addressed the theme of the “Canadian Mosaic,” referring to the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country. The contributions fall into three general categories: those relating to a sense of place; those concerned with the Canadian experience; and those dealing with spirituality.

Many contributors chose to use Canada itself — the land — as inspiration. Margaret Atwood wrote about this same trend in Canadian literature, in her seminal book Survival. She says:

        But in Canada...the answer to the question “Who am I?” is at least partly the same as the answer to the question: 

        “Where is here?” “Who am I?” is a question appropriate in countries where the environment, the “here,” is already 

        well-defined, so well-defined in fact that it may threaten to overwhelm the individual…

        “Where is here” is a different sort of question. It is what a man (sic) asks when he finds himself in unknown

        territory…we need to know about here, because here is where we live. For members of a society, shared knowledge

        of their place, their here, is not a luxury but a necessity.

       Without that knowledge we will not survive.i

In A Book Arts Mosaic, some of that shared knowledge is very specific, such of Dorothy Field's poem Let us praise the Garry Oak, a tree with which I was not familiar. Joan Byers and Virginia Porter have letterpress printed this very evocative poem — ”Whose bark is Braille, Whose leaves, lobed as lungwort, unfold like rusty hands” are the opening lines — in their book of the same title. West to East, a tunnel book by Sarah Butts, looks at Alberta's landscape from the mountains to the badlands. Others are more general in scope. Canadian Canvas, by Rob Richards, is a blank book, with covers made from his family's canvas bags, which they used when camping in the 1950s and 1960s. Susan Carr uses actual maps as background for her hand-written text highlighting Canadian cultural icons, such as totem poles, arenas, and Le Cirque du Soleil. The weather emerges as part of the landscape as well. Shelagh Smith felt that “Weather is seminal to everything that's happened in Canada.”ii Her beautiful collection of decorated papers evokes the entire year of Canadian seasons from sleet and ice crystals to fog and heat. Cathryn Miller uses the prairie landscape as a framework upon which to paint the four seasons in sixty different languages.

Language plays an important role in Peter Sramek's digitally printed concertina titled Burning: il cuore aperto. About this work he said, “The languages relate to the languages of women I have had strong attractions to and I suppose the book relates to the theme of the show in an acknowledgement of the cross-cultural nature of desire.”iii In this exquisite and elegant book, Sramek superimposes his poem on very subtle images of a woman's face and hair with shadows and echoes of the text (printed larger and lighter or darker) in three other languages. I especially like the last lines: “I float somewhere / Between heaven / and desolation.” Sounds like Canada to me!

Stephanie Dean-Moore has written a moving text about her two daughters, adopted from China. Near the beginning are the words:

I am plagued by thoughts of my girls,
Any given moment at different ages,
Different stages
Of their lives, hunched over conveyor belts,
Or hand-painting minute details
On objects of little value.

Closer to the end, we read:

Canada gave to my children
A new home;
A place where all are equal,
Where a country is a mosaic of its people,
Not a melting pot
In which all must be assimilated.

Canada gave to me a hope:
For a family,
For a benevolent life,
For my dream to share my gifts
With those not born into our blessed society.
She gave to me the chance to reach across oceans,
Across cultures,
Across language and histories,
To create a family out of want and need and love;
Richer because of its diversity.iv

Akemi Nishidera would probably agree with Dean-Moore. She writes, “Growing up in Canada and being of Japanese and Philippino heritage, I have never really been treated as a foreigner or non-Canadian here. I am a Canadian.” Her conceptual bookwork Kewpie Kawaii was made in response to her experience of living in Japan. Of that experience, she writes:

I am of Japanese heritage, but I would consider myself very North American in my outlook and day-to-day culture. I speak and

 understand very little Japanese. I am much more proficient in French! I met many people who were first or second generation “Foreigners” living in Japan. Culturally they are much more Japanese than I. They have homes, raise their children and work, 

all in Japan. However, because they look different, they will always be treated as foreigners by the majority of the Japanese. In 

Japan, if you look or sound like a foreigner, you are a foreigner, and thus think like one. But, if you look Japanese, only sound 

like a foreigner, then you must be at least a little Japanese, and thus think like one.

For Kewpie Kawai, Nishidera has written, on grains of rice, some of the phonetic sounds that make up the Japanese language, although she has written them in the Roman alphabet to reflect her experiences in Japan of being “included and excluded.” These grains of rice were embedded in a cast polyester resin Kewpie doll, wrapped in fragments of old kimonos.

The Ottawa Press Gang has compiled a delightful portfolio titled Feasts with texts, mainly about food, in a Canadian cultural context, including a description of Perth's Mammoth Cheese of 1893 and a copy of a 1606 menu from Samuel de Champlain's L'Ordre de Bon Temps. Holly Dean and Larry Thompson's very funny recipe for The Great Canadian Stew includes doughnuts, poutine, maple syrup, and of course, Tim Horton's coffee, along with hockey pucks and toques, all served up in a Mountie's hat. April Flanders should be writing ads for the Canadian government:

        Feast your eyes on…

        beautiful natural landscapes

        universal health care

        an official second language

        public funding for the arts

        aggressive recycling programs

        a multi-cultural population

       & Eat your heart out.v

Also in a light-hearted vein are Judith Welbourn and Derek Chung's Luna: Myths About the Moon and Ingrid Hein Borch's pair of wearable books titled Side by Side.

Several of the contributors explored spiritual aspects of our culture. To Judith Martin, the act of creating her hand-embroidered and quilted scrolls was itself a meditation, and Micheline Montgomery hand-painted her small Japanese-sewn books with the same spiritual intent. Anne Graham McTaggart's Earth, Air, Water, Fire, inspired by Tibetan Buddhist prayer sheets, is a praise-filled prayer for the four elements: 
Fire's Heat of Divine Diversity…transforms Canada in scarlet maple leaf, golden tamarack, blaze of sunflower, gleam of rainbow
 trout, ruby throat of hummingbird, winter sun, spring sum, summer sun, fall sun, rising sun, setting sun, full moon, north star 
and more…and for the creative blessings of fire, I offer thanks…

Jane Morgan's The Deer's Cry: An Excerpt, is a glorious tribute to the Medieval manuscripts produced in Ireland, the home of some of her ancestors. Susan Warner Keene and, working together, Janice Butler and Walter Bachinski, have contributed works that transcend national boundaries. All of us would do well to “kiss joy as it flies” vi and we all need to take time to centre ourselves and BREATHE.vii

Like a mosaic, the disparate pieces in this collection fit together to give us a picture of the various interests of CBBAG members — from traditional skills such as papermaking and letterpress printing to contemporary ones like polyester casting and digital printing. As well, they form a composite image of our Canadian identity — our sense of place, our heritage and our spirit.


i Margaret Atwood, Survival: a thematic guide to Canadian Literature (Toronto: Anansi Press) 1972, pp 17-18.
ii Shelagh Smith, Conversation with the artist, August 7, 2005.
iii Peter Sramek, E-mail from the artist, September 10, 2005.
iv Stephanie Dean-Moore, One, 2005.
v April Flanders, Feast, 2005.
vi Shanty Bay Press (Janice Butler and Walter Bachinski,) Eternity, 2005.
vii Susan Warner Keene, Breathe, 2005.

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