Ocaso / Twilight
"I noticed this book on Martha Hellion’s stand at the Small Publishers Fair at the Conway Hall in London last month. When I say noticed, it actually stopped me in my tracks, being so incredibly beautiful. I just knew that I wanted it, and then as I looked down I saw the rest of her new books and blew the rest of my money on one from her new series Field Work. Hellion has a long and respected history of artists’ books research, curation, writing, teaching and practice.
This book, screenprinted over silver leafed paper in an edition of 30 at Taller Pablo Torrealba (tpt) in Mexico can be read in many ways. First of all, it is captivating, depicting the onset of dusk, a shimmering twilight with a detail of pink and orange tinged sky on the last page. But, typically of Hellion this book is about much more than landscape. On the reverse is a poem, translated from Spanish, originating from the Arhuaco people of Colombia. In their spiritual beliefs, this mountain of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the heart of the world, and all the wellbeing, health, harmony and happiness of the rest of the world depends on it. So here is Hellion, at twilight, looking to the heavens from earth, thinking, asking, reflecting in her travels, and this immense beauty of the mountain at dusk is responsible for everything, for all of us."
Sarah Bodman is Senior Research Fellow for Artists' Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), and Programme Leader for MA Multidisciplinary Printmaking at the Bower Ashton Campus, UWE Bristol, UK. www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk