What You'll Find Here

I post daily (photos of my journal pages, things that inspire me and personal bits and pieces) to inspire and encourage others. I have always believed that if I can do it, so can you.

You'll find resources (my favorite supplies, books, slideshows of my art journal pages, favorite bloggers, etc...) listed along the right hand side of my blog.

I've been teaching both in person and online workshops for almost twenty years now. You can find out more about my classes by scrolling down along the right hand side of my blog. I strive to make classes accessible to everyone (both beginner to advanced).

I love teaching and truly believe that deep down inside everyone is an artist, capable of creating something. There is power and knowledge in the act of creating something with your own hands, made from your own heart and head.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at EGorey99@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kelly

Monday, November 05, 2012

Al-Mutanabbi Street Book Arts Project




 
Well over a year ago I was invited to partake in a book arts project by the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition.  

Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad was a community of book sellers, cafes, stationery and tea shops. On March 5, 2007, a car bomb exploded killing thirty people and injuring more than one hundred. 

The Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition project was a call to create three books that "reflected both the strength and fragility of books, as well as the endurance of the ideas within them." It was a project that would both honor and reflect upon Al-Mutanabbi Street, the attack on the printed word and the worldwide literary community.

I was eager and excited to participate in such a project. However, the more I thought about it, the more anxious I grew. What would I say? What kind of book would I make? A multitude of ideas swarmed through my head. None of them were ever "good enough" for a project like this. Self doubt. Worry. All of those ugly emotions reared their head.

The due date drew closer and I still wasn't sure what I would make.

Then my Dad died unexpectedly and my world collapsed. 

I forgot about the project, focusing on my family and my Dad and trying to make sense of all of it.

Beau Beausoleil, the founder of the project (as well as a poet and bookseller himself) wrote asking what was going on. I was embarrassed and explained the situation. He kindly extended my deadline.

More worry. More doubt. Then one night, I threw my other ideas aside and thought about creating a book without pages, something along the lines of a triptych book. I spent the weekend collaging three panels whose pieces were made up of torn book pages, handwritten notes, and hand imagery. I worked outside of my comfort zone and pushed myself to try to reflect what books and reading really meant to me. The project that you see above is what I came up with. I even included some of my Dad's handwriting to honor him (he also loved to read.)

You can read more about Al-Mutanabbi Street and the Project here

There are various sized exhibitions of the books touring the world. More on that here.

There is an indiegogo project called Building a Literary Bridge that will help raise money to:

- Ship these artists’ books to destinations in the United States, Europe and the Middle East to hold simultaneous exhibitions from 2013 through 2014.
 
- Send 260 Artists’ Books and 130 Letterpress Broadsides to the National Library of Baghdad to be part of their permanent collection.


More on the Indiegogo project and how you can contribute here

Beau has recently edited a book called Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5th, 2007, Bombing of Baghdad's "Street of the Booksellers".

Thank you to Beau and to all of the project contributors for including me as a part of this project. It's meant a lot to me.

Al-Mutanabbi Street starts here.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Your book is a moving tribute to the Book Arts Project and your dad. Thank you for sharing your process. I find it very touching.

Deb said...

There's nothing like holding a good book in your hands, you were the right person to contribute..beautiful pages. Hugs Deb from Long Island.

Sandy said...

Your book is great. I love that you included your dads words. Awesome project.

Kelly Kilmer said...

Thanks Sarah, Deb and Sandy for the kind words. They are very much appreciated.

Deb, I hope you're okay on L.I. My heart goes out to all of those who were in Sandy's path.

Lori Wostl said...

Love your book and the thought. Lori W at Art Camp for Women