In the Woods
By Melanie Mowinski
Cheshire, Massachusetts: Melanie Mowinski, 2008. Edition of 40.

4 x 6"; 10 pages. Printed on blue paper from French Paper Company. Relief printed images. Bound in a variation of a storage book structure. Housed in black paper with envelope fold. Slot and slip closure.

Melanie Mowinski: "When I was in graduate school in Philadelphia, my work became completely centered on trees and nature. I created tree rubbings, books about trees, paintings focused on rocks, and other things. I read Thoreau and Emerson and dreamed about the woods.

"… only when I returned to living in the woods did I realize that much of what that work was about was NOT having access to the woods and nature. As I was realizing this, I was reading Emerson’s Nature essay. I played around with the text and simplified it down to 30 words, few enough to memorize. I could carry the sentiment with me wherever I went. When I am in the woods I often repeat this as my mantra.

"I decided to create a small little book of this mantra, paired down from the essay. The words are printed on a blue French paper from a polymer plate of my handwriting. The pages, including the covers, are relief printed images – the same image repeated over and over and transformed by the different lines of text. The original one-of-a-kind mock-up was from stone lithograph prints made in grad school. The structure is derived from Hedi Kyle’s Storage Book Structure: folded pages mounted on a very thin tyvek accordion with a non-adhesive folded cover."

In the woods
we return to reason and faith.
Nothing can befall me in life
which nature cannot repair.
Standing on bare ground
all mean egotism vanishes.
I become transparent.