Susan Lowdermilk ~ Eugene, Oregon


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Susan Lowdermilk: “I am a maker of these everyday objects, specifically books. I work in the genre of the book form to create objects that carry significance beyond their function. My artist books are limited editions, hand printed and hand bound. Our experience of reading books is increasingly changing from being physical and tactile to digital and virtual. I see my work as a counterpart to the flood of digitally created text and imagery that we see everyday. My movable books and work with optical toys like the zoetrope are meant to show movement that is transparent in its method but still create compelling visual illusions. My work is meant to be thought provoking and hopeful, mindful yet mysterious, posing open-ended questions.”
XO On What Might have Been Our Anniversary
By Jeanine Hathaway
Eugene, Oregon: Susan Lowdermilk, 2005. Edition of 12.

6.5 x 4.5"; 16 pages with woodcut images on reverse side. Accordion structure. Text ink jet printed on organdy fabric using an Epson C88. Images printed from the woodblocks. on Zerkall Frankfurt paper. Red paper-covered boards. Full band enclosure from same paper and images on back side of accordion. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Susan Lowdermilk: "I met Jeanine Hathaway in 2004 at a show of my prints in downtown Eugene, Oregon. She was writing poetry while on sabbatical leave from teaching at Wichita State University in Kansas. It turned out that she was also my neighbor, renting a room down the street and we became friends. Jeanine was inspired by my woodcut diptych titled, Remembering, Forgetting, and wrote the poem, XO, On what might have been our anniversary. I created my artist’s book, inspired by her poem, printed from the woodblocks I created for Remembering, Forgetting, thus completing our circle of creativity and inspiration."

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Power Play
By Susan Lowdermilk
Eugene, Oregon: Susan Lowdermilk, 2002. Edition of 35.

4 x 4” closed, six panel Jacob's ladder. Printed from woodcuts in black and grey. Protective slip on open ended wrapper. Images of rock, paper, and scissors appear in each panel with the background carved to imitate wood grain. Signed and numbered in white ink on the black painted inside of the slip-on wrapper.

Susan Lowdermilk: "Through my creative practice as a printmaker and a book artist, I represent inanimate objects and abstract marks as visual metaphors or allegories. I explore tenuous qualities of human interaction, struggles and experience. I explore the use of simple, forms such as 'X' and 'O,' symbolic for 'hugs and kisses' or 'tic-tac-toe.' I'm informed by familiar leisure games like 'Rock, Paper, Scissors,' to reference interpersonal communication."

Vicky Stewart: "This has been one of our favorites to show elementary school age children when showing artists' books. They love to watch the pages unfold and the hear the clapping sound as the pages hit each other. And, of course, they are all familiar with playing rock, paper, scissors."

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Text by Emily Bronte
By Susan Lowdermilk
Eugene, Oregon: Susan Lowdermilk, 2005. Edition of 15.

12.75 (high) x 52" (wide) unscrolled; 4.25 x 15.75" (in box). Multiple block woodcut on Masa Asian paper. Constructed in a scroll with PVC pipe ends. Housed in Stonehenge black paper pillow box . Printed on a Takach etching press.

A quote from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte:
I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.

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memento mori
Text by William Shakespeare
By Susan Lowdermilk
Eugene, Oregon: Susan Lowdermilk, 2005. Edition of 12.

12.75 x 4.6"; eight panels. Printed on Stonehenge paper. An Indonesian palm leaf style construction with sewn thread binding. Black corrugated paper covers.

Quote from Shakespeare's "As You Like It" -

        It is ten o'clock:
                 Thus may we see
        how the world wags:
        'Tis but an hour ago,
                 since it was Nine;
                 and after an hour more,
        'twill be Eleven:
                 And so,
        from hour to hour,
                 we ripe and ripe,
        And then,
                 from hour to hour,
        we rot and rot,
                 And thereby
        hangs a Tale.


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All My Relations
By Susan Lowdermilk
Eugene, Oregon: Susan Lowdermilk, 1993. Edition of 25.

38 cm; 13 leaves. Accordion bound between paper-covered boards. Housed in a box covered with a rich, brown brocade.

The family photo album has been taken to a new level. Woodcuts from photos and tintypes of the artist's ancestors and other images-a pocket watch, a locket-evoke the passage of time. We sit looking back with the artist recalling our own family figures and family legends- "Most faces I don't recognize, but I can see the present in the past." The background of each spread, printed with a wallpaper-like pattern, suggests that we are walking through the doorways of memory into many rooms.

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Page last update: 05.03.16


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