Saturday, October 30, 2021


Extremely happy and proud that the last copy (I made only five similar but not identical ones in 1988) of PATER NOSTER has been acquired by the wonderful Bridwell Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas,Texas. I shipped it last week and it has now joined other NdA artist's books in their Special Collections. So proud am I that will quote from an email I just received from Arvid R. Nelsen, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts and Librarian for Special Collections at Bridwell:

"I should note that Rebecca (Rebecca Howdeshell, Digital Projects Librarian) and I each loved the experience of opening the work up - the unwrapping and the arrangement of the work itself. It unfolds in such a complexity of layers and both demands and rewards the interactive experience of the viewer/reader. The structure is evocative. It strikes me as a ladder constituting the ascension of the prayer. I further love the formal complexities of the impressions of the words emphasizing the three-dimensionality of each paper leaf - combined with the sense of your hand in the expressive colors adorning the surfaces."

For the benefit of anyone whose eyes may have rolled or hackles may have risen (do hackles really rise?) at the words Pater and Noster and their context, please give me another minute before you depart. The problem is words, whether inscribed in stone or on the pages of ancient sacred books. Words are human things and we don't know what we're talking about much of the time. If the image that came to your mind provoked by the words PATER and NOSTER was of a bearded old white patriarch sitting in the sky dispensing rewards and punishments, then no wonder your eyes and hackles are rolling! Mine roll too, at that image, whether drawn by Michelangelo or Disney. But listen, here's the thing:

I do believe wholeheartedly that there is SOMETHING which is not any THING we are capable of describing in words or images but which absolutely exists and is at the heart of everything that exists. I made this "book" named Pater Noster as a personal celebration of, or offering to what Martin Buber called the "THOU". It's a handmade, joyful object, like a DIY altar.

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