Art books

Opening of the Book Arts Fair at the SF Library on May 6


Journal staff report

Maternal Mitochondria, the cross-generational art duo of Miriam Sagan and Isabel Winson-Sagan, will present a new book art exhibit, “Lending Library of the Invisible,” at the Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive, Santa Fe. The show opens the May 6 and ends May 31.

The exhibition features collaborative books that the mother-daughter team created during the pandemic. After working for years on text and image, this is their first turn towards books.

“We had to semi-consciously avoid the book as a form, perhaps as too easy or an obvious solution,” Sagan, the author of more than 30 published books, said in a press release. “It turns out that books are, indeed, a great vehicle for us.”

About six months into the pandemic, the couple took a Zoom book art class together. As a visual artist, Isabel Winson-Sagan learned folds, cuts and shapes. As a writer, Miriam Sagan moved away from the typical book arts approach of emphasizing craftsmanship and beauty, but wanted to deepen the form with more emotionally vulnerable text. . The two artists thus created a common writing practice on the theme “What am I hiding?

Their results were edited for the show’s “Red Book” piece, which includes cutouts. An interactive artwork, “What am I hiding and what am I hoping for?” asks audience members to hang their own answers on sculptural trees or put them in slot boxes.

In addition to the literary elements, the sculptural elements of Winson-Sagan are still there. “Souvenir” is a book in a box with text that can be moved by the reader. Winson-Sagan, who read hardback books to her toddler during the pandemic, was inspired by the multidimensional innovations in children’s books. The show’s book, “Twin Camps,” is adorned with the cheerful plastic lids of baby food; however, the text delves into dark family and personal histories.

“Our shared love of libraries makes the setting inspiring for us,” says Sagan. Miriam Sagan and Isabel Winson-Sagan will be in residence from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 17 and 24, to engage with clients and help people of all ages add their responses to the group artwork.

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