Linda L. Broadfoot ~ Florida


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Artist Bio: " Linda Broadfoot had planned to major in biology and at one point considered pursuing a career in architecture. She worked as a nurse as she studied for her BA degree in art history from the University of North Florida. Her varied interests and experiences in science and the arts coalesce in photographic studies of insects and plant forms."

Poems by Carol Ann Duffy
Atlantic Beach, Florida: Linda Broadfoot, 2014. Edition of 30.

Box 6.5 x 7 x 9.5" containing ten 5 x 7.5 x .5" double-sided panels. Poems letterpress printed on Hahnemühle Ingres paper using Perpetua type cast by Michael & Winifred Bixler. Text overprinted with a transparent honeycomb pattern. Archival pigment print images on Hahnemühle Photo Silk Baryta paper. Images and poems mounted on Russian birch plywood, foreedges coated with beeswax, and encased within a fabricated one-half scale maple Langstroth beehive box structure. Title and bee image engraved on the cover. Title page mounted on the interior side of the lid. Signed and numbered.

Hive was produced over the course of two years and contains nine poems from The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy with images and design by Linda Broadfoot.

Linda Broadfoot: "Hive was created to reveal the wonder of sunlit bees in the air and the mystery of the hive. The images and the physical structure of the book came from my experience as a beekeeper.

Here are my bees,
brazen, blurs on paper,
besotted; buzzwords, dancing
their flawless, airy maps.

"On first reading of these words of British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy from her book, The Bees: Poems, it was clear that her words about bees as a symbol of endangered nature and my images of bees in flight would illuminate each other.

"I can watch the bees from my bedroom window and have spent many hours fascinated by them and the trails they make as they enter and leave the hive, swirling around it. Capturing this experience on film was a technical challenge, solved by creating an outdoor studio, using a black backdrop and the mid-day sun, then the opening the shutter just long enough to capture their flight. The eight photographs included were selected from thousands made over the course of three years.

"After obtaining permission to use nine poems of Duffy’s, I was accepted into the Winter Letterpress Residency at Penland School of Crafts. There, I worked on honing the structure and materials for Hive, and printed the text.

"The form of Hive is a half-scale replica of a Langstroth hive, invented in the 1850s, which allowed the beekeeper to look inside the hive without destroying the bees, their honeycomb, and their young. The pages, modeled after the ten frames inside the hive, hold poems and images conveying the sweetness and strength of honey and pollen and the vibrancy of young bees in their industrious work in and out of the hive. The beeswax-edged pages can be carefully removed and inspected, recreating the privilege of visiting inside the hive and sharing in the mysteries held within.

"In February (2015), I had the honor of meeting Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s first woman Poet Laureate, at Emory University on the occasion of The Raymond Danowski Poetry Library Reading Series and presenting Hive to her. The project had come full circle."

All day long we leave and arrive at the hive,
concelebrants. The hive is love . . .
. . . the hive, alive, us – how we behave.


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Text by A. S. Byatt
Atlantic Beach, Florida: Linda L. Broadfoot, 2005. Edition of 50.

9 x 13 x 2.5", 84 pages, half-bound portfolio enclosed in a custom-made maple and poplar insect specimen box. Images inserted in silk organza pockets mounted on the hand-bound pages of the six signatures. Line drawings by Sarah Crooks Flaire accompany the text. Endsheets and covers are handmade papers by Ann Marie Kennedy and Kathryn Clark. Contains thirty prints made from original hand worked 20x24" Polaroid image transfers produced at the Polaroid 20x24 Studio in New York.

A combination of handset letterpress and computer generated work. Letterpress was used to print the text using metal type on a flat bed press on a Vandercook Universal III using Hahnemuhle Biblio and Copperplate papers at the Letterpress & Foundry of Michael and Winifred Bixler. Then digitally reproduced small Giclée prints of the artist's original 20 x 24" Polaroid image transfers were printed archival on Crane's Museo paper using an Epson 4000 printer.

A modern day Cabinet of Wonders. Broadfoot uses A. S. Byatt's "Things Are Not What They Seem" to accompany her images as "a numinous guide to viewing" these wonders of nature. The insects shown were selected from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods.

Broadfoot: "In the spring of 2001, I began to borrow insect specimens from the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. Carefully transporting this delicate cargo to New York, I used the Polaroid 20 x 24 Studio to make large image transfers of my subjects. I was working with an alternative photography process—after the initial exposure, the image is transferred to watercolor paper, and then refined by hand to mute portions of its surface. The final piece is titled with the specimen's Latin name, in the tradition of ars botania. Selecting from more than 60 originals, I chose the work enclosed in this book to make small prints on fine art paper for these pages.

"Upon discovering in British author A.S. Byatt's Angels and Insects the mystic tale 'Things Are Not What They Seem,' I knew it was the ideal narrative frame for these strange and beautiful creatures. Her words are included here not only as a vital element but a numinous guide to viewing this Cabinet of Wonder. Such a tradition can be traced to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when European gentry compiled collections of oddities and exotic artifacts from the New World. These Wunderkammern were Cabinets of Curiosities to those who were bound to their parlors as the wonders of untamed lands flooded into their ports.

"Insecta is a modern-day Wunderkammer. Here, the reader may take an active part in the revelation of the cabinet's contents, a balance of the creations of both God and man—nature and art."

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 Page last update: 12.17.16

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