Extended View

 

Acrylic disk window installation, tunnel book, and kaleidoscopes

Em(body) {Reflections; Extensions; Projections;} exhibition at Preston Bradley Center, October 15 – November 13, 2016

The Preston Bradley Center is an extension of the Uptown community in Chicago – it is a hub of spiritual expression, arts outreach, and community service – and Extended View visualizes this community through a kaleidoscope metaphor as well as the kaleidoscope as a physical object: a dynamic blending of color and light activated by human interaction.

The hanging acrylic disks are backlit by the window, which lights the mandala-like images. The images are created from photographs taken in the Uptown neighborhood; they represent the beautiful, mundane, sacred, and profane, all integral aspects of a diverse neighborhood. The interior of the accompanying tunnel book features reflected text and a historic map of Chicago, and the kaleidoscopes provide viewers with a new perspective through which to see the exhibit and the beautiful architecture of the Preston Bradley Center.

As rhetorician Kenneth Burke states, “A way of seeing is also a way of not seeing.” When one looks through a kaleidoscope, the original image is obscured, but a new multifaceted image is reflected back to the viewer, who maintains control of the new image’s changing form by turning the kaleidoscope by hand.

When people interact within their communities, the community becomes a dynamic entity, constantly changing and reflecting the intentions of its members.

A kaleidoscope is an extension of the capabilities of the human eye.

A person is an extension of his or her community.

A community is an extension of the capabilities of its people.

KALEIDOSCOPE WORKSHOP INFORMATION:

Please join the artist for a kaleidoscope-making workshop on October 30 @ 2:00 pm at the Preston Bradley Center. All materials will be provided at no charge, and participants will take home their own handmade kaleidoscope. This workshop is open to ages 10 and up. Because space and materials are limited, please rsvp at jamieweaver@me.com.

 

Blackberry Winter

tunnel book with watercolor, illustration, moss, and bark, 9 x 9 x 11, 2011/2016

In the Appalachian Mountains, “blackberry winter” is the last cold snap of spring before warmer weather sets in. While the chill of winter whiteness surrounds the interior scene, the crow, bunny, and daffodils suggest the renewal of spring. Readers peer through the knothole of a mossy tree to view a beautiful garden landscape in transition, a strange period of weather suspended between winter and summer.

Topophilia

Clamshell box with pressed plants, photographs, divining rods, cube puzzle, and exquisite corpse book, unique, 2016

Topophilia was first conceived in 2012, and has recently been updated with a new, more streamlined clamshell box and accompanying exquisite corpse booklet!

How does one search without knowing where to look? In Topophilia, readers wander through the contents of the box searching for clues about place and identity, just as one might wander through physical environments searching for connections to people and places. The cube puzzle and exquisite corpse book invite multiple iterations and interpretations of the artist’s original poem. Readers discover the text as they reveal the images; as in life, searching and discovering are processes and matters of perspective.

 

Preorder my poetry chapbook Hard Rain, Hard Wind at Finishing Line Press!

Preorder Hard Rain, Hard Wind, a collection of poems by Jamie Weaver here: 

Finishing Line Press

PREORDERS SHIP MARCH 25, 2016

Hard Rain, Hard Wind is a powerful poetic dialogue about familial shame and reconciliation that emerges between the poet, her grandfather Joe, and several generations of female family members.

“Jamie Weaver’s Hard Rain, Hard Wind poetically decodes letters written by the women in her family to reveal the hardscrabble reality of their lives. In doing so Weaver shows a generosity of spirit, but equally important, a sophisticated psychological and feminist understanding of sexual politics and power that both disturbs and haunts the reader.”

~ Michelle Citron, Ph.D.
Author of Home Movies and Other Necessary Fictions

“Jamie Weaver’s alchemical excavation of the new from the old, Hard Rain, Hard Wind is a kind of literary revelation of the invisible poetry of her grandfather hidden within found letters and diaries of her female relatives. By embodying the contradiction of composing a voice for a fractious family member, Weaver honors the work of those who care for the difficult, and love them in spite of their difficulties.”

~ Jenny Magnus
Author of Observations of an Orchestrated Catastrophe: Plays and Performances
Co-Artistic Director of Curious Theatre Branch

Carta Postala

Carta Postala was designed and hand bound in Bucharest, Romania. The photographs and postcards, purchased at a local flea market, reveal the quotidian joys and dramas of the Sturdza family in the volatile 1930’s, when Romanian industry and culture boomed and fascism began to take hold. Many thanks to Anca Cojocaru, Alexandra Dragus, and Denis Nicolae, my University of Bucharest students, who lovingly translated the postcards from Romanian into English.

Pivoting panel book, postcards and photographs from the 1930’s, and booklet of translations, 6.25 x 8.25 x 1.25, unique, 2015

The Chalk Churches of Basarabi

In the village of Murfatlar (formerly known as Basarabi) in eastern Romania, a complex series of churches and tombs were carved into the side of a steep chalk deposit some time between 800 and 1000 AD, during the Byzantine era. A large section of this chalk hillside has been covered in a shell of concrete and a precarious system of wooden stairs and scaffolding in an attempt to protect the fragile chalk structures and carvings from both weather and tourists. The maze of stairways leading visitors in and out of small rooms carved into the chalk winds past primitive etchings of people, animals, and crosses left behind by ancient worshippers. The creators of the chalk churches remain a mystery. This book was designed and hand bound in Bucharest, Romania.

Pop-up book structure with digitally printed photographs, 6.25 in. x 5.25 in., unique, 2014

Hard Rain, Hard Wind: A Memoir and Confessional in Found Poetry

Two-volume set, each book is 8″ x 10″, slipcase dimensions are 8.5″ x 10.5″ x 3.25″, edition of two box sets (second edition forthcoming), 2014

The family wanted my grandfather to be a dentist, like his father. Everyone called him Joe, but his birth name was Clyde Painless Frame, so that when it came time to hang his shingle outside his dental office, his name would also be his slogan: “C. Painless Frame for Your Dental Needs.” They had high hopes, but things fell apart. Joe’s father left his mother Anna for another woman, and Anna hung herself when Joe was five. Joe was raised by his grandmother Lou and grew up poor in rural Appalachia; he became a farmer, a veteran, a boilermaker, and an alcoholic.

Hard Rain, Hard Wind is a found poetry project using my family’s letters, diaries, and photographs as source material to create an artist book that facilitates a dialogue about familial dysfunction and reconciliation between myself as poet, my alcoholic grandfather Joe, and several generations of women who suffered because of Joe’s destructive behavior. The letters and diaries were written between the 1930’s and 1960’s by female members of my family and female friends of Joe, and the found poems are written by me in the voice of my grandfather. The original family documents appear alongside the found poems and artifacts from Joe’s life, creating a conversation among all of the voices.

I’d like to offer special thanks to Michelle Citron and Jenny Magnus for advising me as this project developed, and to CBAA for generous financial support through a project assistant grant.