BOOK WORKS: Journals - Seen and Recalled by Susan Newmark
Central Library, 2nd floor Balcony Cases
My book art explores the natural world of growing things and memory mixed with reverie and fantasy. As a new gardener, I'm fascinated with the infinite variations of ordinary plants after they have bloomed and the configurations of form that exist within a single branch, a bundle of vines, a tiny seed pod or a worn flower. These skeletons leave an imprint echoing what was and signaling what will begin. The poetry of Mary Oliver parallels my interest in seasonal change as a metaphor for the cycle of human life and death, and her powerful words are intertwined in many of my books.
The books in "The Mirrored Room" series recall a childhood escape, an enclosed dressing room within an old house not far from here on Rugby Road and hours spent fantasizing, along with my changing reflections. This photo-based work and my interest in glass and mirrors is also seen in books inspired by my daughter and pieces based on glass objects, which disappear and then reform, blurring reality, illusion and memory.
Trained as a painter, my books depend upon drawing and color, a delight in accident and all over imagery. With their simple structures - such as accordians and concertinas - many of the books have become "folded drawings" that can be hung on the wall, and many of the individual pages have transformed themselves into wall panels further extending the experience of the books and the excitement of creating these objects.
Susan Newmark incorporates paint, ink, pencil, charcoal, collage, monoprints, fabric and found objects to create one-of-a-kind books which have been exhibited extensively in New York City and throughout the country. She is Director of Visual Arts and Arts-in-Education Programs at the Abrons Arts Center of Henry Street Settlement and frequently works as a freelance curator.