Ink Fish Press ~ Pennsylvania
(Tara O'Brien)


By Tara O'Brien
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Ink Fish Press, 2008. Edition of 20.

5 x 5"; 12 pages. Single-sided accordion fold structure extending from both boards. Inkjet print embellished with fresh water pearls and gold thread. Bound in cloth covered boards. Paper title label on front board. Paper colophon label on back board. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Tara O'Brien: "Healthy humans need society in order to function. In a group we are able to protect and support each other, ensuring survival. But this is only the small picture. We must examine our place within the larger picture. What does the environment need from us to ensure its future? If the seed destroys the environment it needs for survival, it ultimately destroys itself."


"ecumenical: 1. general; universal. 2. pertaining to the whole Christian Church.
"ecology: the branch of biology concerned with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings."

Lynne Farrington, Curator of Printed Books, University of Pennsylvania, Show and Bestow exhibition catalog: "Tara O'Brien combined the words ecumenical and ecology to coin the title Ecomenical. The single image that constitutes this work is of trees, lined up much like tombstones in a cemetery, on which new growth appears to have been grafted onto older roots. The work ends with the simple message, we are not a single seed."

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Entelechy 2
By Tara O'Brien
Philadelphia: Ink Fish Press, 2007. Edition of 5.

5.5 x 9.5 x 2.5" cloth-covered clamshell box containing three books. Each book 40 unnumbered pages. Each book printed on paper that has been washed in the body of water indicated in the book's title, i.e., the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, or Wissahickon Creek (southeastern Pennsylvania).

Tara O'Brien, colophon: "Entelechy: in some philosophical systems, a vital force that directs an organism toward self-fulfillment.

"It started as an experiment. What would happen if I washed paper in a local creek? How would the minerals in the water affect the paper?

"Rather than making a fascinating discovery of nature, I witnessed the affects of nature on life. And instead of beginning a new body of work it became continuation of previous work. An interest in the quest: How is life lived?

"Each book is printed on paper that has been washed in the body of water indicated in the book's title. Sitting still while waiting for the paper to dry, gave me the opportunity to observe what was happening around me. Beginning with Wissahickon Creek, these observations first center upon the basic survival instinct, then move to reflections on love and family in Atlantic Ocean. The series culminates in Pacific Ocean, a book addressing many facets of the cycle of life, including death, marriage, birth, and relationships. Together, the texts provide examples of what drives us to continue living."


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The Story of Little Goose
By Tara O'Brien
Philadelphia: Ink Fish Press, 2003-2004. Edition of 100.

5 x 9" in gray cloth covered boards with a blind stamped impression of "Little Goose." Offset printed. Structure based on a design by Heidi Kyle.

This little story is a humorous one of a renter's woes.

Tara O'Brien: "The Story of Little Goose was inspired by my first landlord experience when moving to Philadelphia from Los Angeles. I had a rough time finding a place to live, and then the apartment I did rent leaked when it rained. The leaking could be defined more accurately as: waterfalls down walls, saturated carpets, mold released every time the carpets were re-saturated. I kept asking for the problem to be fixed, but of course nothing happened. After two months I'd had enough and many pieces which made it possible for me to move, fell into place.

The actual book originated as an assignment. We pulled two images and two pieces of text from an envelope and were instructed to create a book. I pulled the goose, a postcard with an image of Philadelphia buildings on it, my own writing on rage (directed at my landlord) and a piece on traveling. The Story of Little Goose is the final result."                                       



Ink Fish Press Out of Print Title:
• Om Shanti
• a still dawn

Page last update: 02.08.13


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