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Artist ID: 2240

I am a printmaker and book artist. My book projects have in common a repeated effort to reframe or reorganize existing information in order to pose new questions and challenge assumptions. I work in book form because of the natural relationship between the book and the communication of information. Our visual vocabulary developed simultaneously with the development of the book. They have worked together for over a thousand years to encapsulate information, to preserve it and to pass it forward. I am interested in the simplicity of this diagrammatic language, which allows for slight variations in line, color and format to describe a great variety of different systems; the movement of peoples, changes in climate, the progress of disease. This flexibility speaks to our need to connect, to find patterns, and to place ourselves in a world we can understand and explain. As is the case for many artists, my recent work has been influenced by a pandemic.
My newest book project, "Fairmont Color Card", is an exploration of the roles of textile, color, and fashion in the origin story of landfill culture. Text for the project was culled from "1977-1978 Home Furnishing Color Card," produced by The Color Association of the United States, Inc. and "The Wastemakers," written by Vance Packard in 1960. Designed and produced between 2019 and 2021, the project began in one place and ended in another. I lost access to my studio and presses during the pandemic and sought new ways to bring the project forward, looking to my own surroundings in order to complete the project with what was around me. As a result, this project was made from paper offcuts, old clothes, and worn bedding, becoming a contemplation of my domestic space during a time of isolation.

"Fairmont Color Card" includes a three-panel sample book of domestic fabric swatches and a series of seven collages. Materials for this project include my clothes and bedding, and thread color matched to these textile samples as well as the walls, hair, and skin found in my home. Produced in an edition of twenty copies, the fabric collages included in this project are all identical save for one, the card titled “the significance of these private worlds,” which is unique to each copy.

A recent print, "I Have Set My Hand Against the Tide" depicts a debris field of patent drawings for floodgates, water pumps, caissons, and levees; all mechanisms designed to keep the water out. The title is adapted from United States Patent No. 123,002, a caisson design proposed by James B. Eads in 1872. At first a project about the rising sea, this print evolved during a pandemic year. A caisson is a watertight chamber and a workspace safe from outside forces. A floodgate is a mechanism of control over the flow of the tide and a last restraint against an external threat. This print was produced in an edition of 22 as part of an international print exchange titled "Tidal Timespace" organized by Heather Green, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, Herberger Institute School of Art.

Sarah Bryant has produced artist books and prints under the name Big Jump Press since 2005. These books use analytical imagery and reference material to address topics ranging from archives and self-representation to population mapping and urban planning. She frequently collaborates with artists and individuals working in other fields. Her work can be found in dozens of libraries and private collections in the United States and abroad, including The Library of Congress, The New York Public Library, and The Yale Arts Library. She is currently an assistant professor at The University of Alabama, where she teaches letterpress for the MFA Book Arts Program.

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